Dec 25, 2011

Origami Jewelry: Decorated Bezels

I'm always looking for new ideas to utilize origami models.
This time, while visiting the local craft store, I came across a product called Mod Podge Dimensional Magic. The picture in the package showed beautiful bezel charms, and I though that it would be a nice idea to make some of them with origami models. So I bought it, along with a few blank bezels that I found in the jewelry aisle.
Before starting, I looked over the internet for some advice on how to use the product. There are plenty of tutorials, just google "Mod Podge Dimensional Magic".

This is what I came up with:

Origami Jewelry: Decorated Bezels

I was pleased with the result, although I know there are some things about the technique that I will need to improve (I got a few bubbles, and the paper changed its color a little because I did not seal it properly).

If you want to give this project a try, here are some brief instructions:

Materials:
  • Bezels: Try to buy the biggest bezels you can find. Keep in mind that you will have to fold an origami model to fit inside it.
  • Glue.
  • A paper sealer: I used Mod Podge Original, but I later found out that the Mod Podge Paper would have been a better option, as it's acid free.
  • Mod Podge Dimensional Magic.
  • Tiny Origami Models: Choose simple models, that fold flat. I used the following models:
    • Crane, traditional, folded with a 1" (25 mm) square of regular origami paper.
    • Butterfly, created by Ralph Matthews, folded with a ¾" x ½" (19 mm x 13 mm) rectangle of duo origami paper.
    • Flapping Bird, traditional, folded with a  ¾" (19 mm) square of regular origami paper.
    • Owl, created by Robert Neale, folded with a 1" x ½" (25 mm x 13 mm) rectangle of regular origami paper.
    • Wildflower, created by me, folded with a 1 ½" (44 mm) square of regular origami paper.
    • Goldfish, created by me, folded with 1" x ¾" (25 mm x 19 mm)  and  ¾" x ½" (19 mm x 13 mm) rectangles of duo origami paper.
  • Scraps of paper, beads, rhinestones, glitter, embellishments, etc.

Instructions:
  • Choose a paper as background, and cut it to fit into the bezel.
  • Glue the background paper to the bezel using Mod Podge Original. Apply another layer of Mod Podge Original on the top to seal the paper.
  • Fold the origami model. Apply regular glue between the layers of the model and let it dry. If you do not glue the model, it will try to unfold when wet.
  • Glue the model and the rest of the embellishments to the background paper using Mod Podge Original. Apply another layer of Mod Podge Original on top to seal the model. Let it dry (at least one hour).
  • Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, and let it dry till it looks clear (at least 24 hours).
  • Apply a second layer of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, and let it dry till it looks clear (at least 24 hours). You can apply a third layer, if necessary.

Some things I learned:
  • You have to be patient and wait for the sealer and the different layers to dry before going to the next step. This was one of my mistakes, I was too anxious to see the final result that I did not wait enough time.
  • When pouring the product you need to be careful not to form bubbles. You can pop up the big ones with a  needle, but this will not work with the smaller ones.

I hope you like this project.

Dec 18, 2011

Origami Holiday Cards

Here are a two ideas for Holiday cards, using two beautiful origami models:
  • Pigeon,  by Kunihiko Kasahara, folded with a 3" (75mm) square of white origami paper . The instructions are available in the book The Magic of Origami, by Alice Gray and Kunihiko Kasahara.
Origami Holiday Cards
  • Flower, by Ligia Montoya, folded with an hexagon cut from a 6" (150mm) square of red and green duo origami paper. The instructions are available in the magazine Plegando al Sur #2, published by the Asociación Argentina de Origami, and also in the book The Encyclopedia of Origami, by Nick Robinson.
Origami Holiday Cards

The cards were made with a letter size card stock sheet, cut in half, and then folded in half. I decorated the cards with scrapbook paper and printed greetings. I also highlighted the models by painting them with paper glaze.

Happy Holidays!

Dec 10, 2011

Christmas Origami: Santa and Elf

There will never be too many origami Santas! New Santa models keep materializing in the hands of origami creators year after year.
This time, Santa came accompanied by the Elves that make the toys in his workshop.
These models are easy to fold, look nice from every side, and can stand up easily. Here are a few things that you can do with them:
  • Glue a piece of ribbon on the top, and decorate your Christmas tree.
Christmas Origami: Santa and Elf
  • Create a really fun and low budget Christmas gift: A Christmas Tic-Tac-Toe. Just fold three of each, and place them over a colorful origami board game made of business card cubes.
Christmas Origami: Santa and Elf

Santa and Elf models are my design. Each model is folded from two squares of paper of the same size. Both models share the same base, a "combined preliminary base", only the folds that define the facial features are different. Here are the video instructions:


You can use different sizes and different types of paper to fold the models. The Santas and Elves in the pictures and in the video were folded with squares ranging from 4 ½" (113 mm)  up to 12" (300 mm). I folded some of them using regular origami paper, and some with scrapbook paper.
I folded the Santas and Elves for the tic-tac-toc using 4 ½" (113 mm) squares so that their base fits neatly within the faces of the board. The business card cubes instructions can be found here.

I hope you enjoy the models.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 4, 2011

Christmas Card - Kusudama Tree

There are several origami models that can be used to make Christmas cards. In this case, I made a pop-up Christmas Tree card using a modified kusudama piece.

Christmas Card - Kusudama Tree

To make the card you will need:
  • A 8 ½"x 5 ½" rectangle of red card stock, for the card, folded in half.
  • A 8"green square of green paper for the kusudama tree.
  • A few ¾"squares of different papers to make the packages. 
  • Glitter glue, to decorate the packages and the tree.
  • Some stickers, for the star and the greeting.
To make the kusudama tree:
  • Fold a traditional kusudama piece. Click here for the video instructions. 
  • Unfold one of the corners of the paper and refold to make the back of the kusudama flat, as shown below:
Christmas Card - Kusudama Tree

Glue the decorations on the inside of the card. The center of the flat side of the kusudama tree must be glued to the center of the card, so the tree will pop-up when the card is opened.



Nov 27, 2011

Origami Snowflakes

Snowflakes are very popular Christmas symbols, especially in the United States and Europe, where people will most likely have a traditional White Christmas.

Origami Snowflakes

The beautiful origami snowflakes in the picture above were designed by Toshikazu Kawasaki.  The diagrams are available in his book Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058).
I like them because they are three dimensional and quite easy to fold. My favorite is the one at the bottom right of the picture, that looks almost like a flower.

I would recommend to use very thin paper. I folded the snowflakes with hexagons cut from 9" (225 mm) squares of Pacon Paper Squares and 6"(150 mm) squares of Thin Crisp Washi Paper.

Nov 19, 2011

Christmas Decoration: Heart Ornament

Origami ornaments are nice and inexpensive decorations, suitable for any occasion. You can chose the appropriate colors depending on the specific holiday.  You can also paint them and add glitter, ribbons or beads to make them unique. For hanging decorations, it is important to select models that look nice from both sides, like these Heart Ornaments that will beautifully decorate your Christmas tree.

Christmas Decoration: Heart Ornament

The Heart Ornament is my creation. It is a modular model that consists of two Heart Modules and a connector. The video instructions to fold the Heart Module can be found here, in one of my previous posts. The following video shows how to fold the connector and assemble the ornament:


I folded the Heart Modules in the video with 6" (150 mm) red Tant paper, and the connector with a 2"x 4 ½" (50 x 113 mm) rectangle of green Tant paper.
For the Heart Ornaments in the picture above, I used different decoration folds on the hearts than in the video. I also used some bicolor connectors, folded with foil paper. You can find more ideas for the connectors in my book Contemporary Origami Decorations . The book also contains instructions to fold a lot of modulars that will make attractive and unique Christmas tree decorations. Please remember to add the book to your Christmas shopping list!

Nov 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Cornucopia - Origami Flower Arrangement

Are you looking out for a centerpiece to decorate the Thanksgiving table? Why not arranging some rich red, bold orange and bright yellow origami flowers in a cornucopia basket?
The cornucopia is a symbol of plenty, particularly associated in North America with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving Cornucopia - Origami Flower Arrangement

This Thanksgiving Cornucopia includes the following models, all of them folded from color copy paper:
  • Iris, traditional model, diagrams available in several books, like Complete Origami.
  • Gerbera, spray mum, and lily bud, created by Hiromi Hayashi, from the book Origami Flowers.
  • Octagonal flower, created by Paul Jackson, from the book Complete Origami Course.
  • Sunflower, created by Yoshihide Momotani, from the book Lay Out a Garden with Origami, ISBN 441630404.
  • Leaf, created by Michael Laffose, from the book Origami Art.
  • Wheat spike, created by Tomoko Fuse, from the book 12 Months in a Small Box - Spring/Summer, ISBN 4480873392.
I hope you like this idea!

Nov 6, 2011

Extreme Origami - Woven Solids

Browsing through my books I came across Extreme Origami, by Kunihiko Kasahara. This is a very interesting book and a source of inspiration. The author encourages the reader to "free (himself) from the traditional rules of classical origami" by experimenting using different shapes, materials, techniques and even allowing some cutting, painting and gluing.

Binding, pleating and weaving are some of the techniques described in the book. The cubes (top and bottom left) and the greek soccer ball (right) in the picture below are some of the models from the book. They were made from plaited card stock strips.
Extreme Origami - Woven Solids

Oct 30, 2011

Turkey - New Origami Model and Video

The Holiday Season is almost here... Let's put ourselves in a Thanksgiving mood by folding this turkey.
Turkey - New Origami Model and Video
The turkey is my design. The turkey consists of two pieces of paper. The tail is the same "3 Pajaritas" module that is used in the model Passion Flower, with minor modifications.
I like to fold this model with paper that is the same color on both sides.
The model in the picture was folded with 6" (150 mm) squares of Japanese Tant Origami Paper- 12 Shades of Yellow 6 Inch Square. In the "3 Pajaritas" video instructions I used 6" (150 mm) of regular origami paper, and in the Turkey video instructions I used 9" (225 mm) squares of Pacon Paper Squares.

Here are the video instructions for both the 3 Pajaritas module and the Turkey:




I hope you like it!

Oct 23, 2011

WOD - World Origami Days Celebration

World Origami Days are held each year from October 24 to November 11. It's a 2-1/2 week celebration of the international community of origami that has the goal of making origami as visible as possible to the world.
October 24 is the birthday of Lillian Oppenheimer (1898-1992), who founded the first origami group in America, and November 11 is Origami Day in Japan, where the paper crane has become a symbol of peace.
You can find more information about World Origami Days at the Origami USA website.

Our local origami group, OH! Origami Houston!, will be celebrating World Origami Days by sharing the joy of Origami with the library patrons.  We will be teaching some very simple models for an hour, 3 - 4 PM, during our regularly scheduled meeting on November 5th, 2011, at the Freed- Montrose Library (4100 Montrose, Houston, Texas).
As part of the celebration, we set up an origami display, in the glass case located in the library entrance:
WOD - World Origami Days Celebration
WOD - World Origami Days Celebration
Sue Ann, another member of OH!, and I had a lot of fun setting up the display.
WOD - World Origami Days Celebration
Sue Ann (left), Marcela (me)(right)
We look forward to see you there!

Oct 16, 2011

Papirolandia, by Fernando Gilgado Gómez

I recently bought Papirolandia 1 and Papirolandia 2 by Fernando Gilgado Gómez.
I like those books a lot. His models have a great sense of humor and make an intelligent use of the color in both sides of the paper.

Papirolandia could be translated as "Paperland" or "Origamiland". The books introduce all the characters that live in this world made of paper. Here are some of them:

Papirolandia, by Fernando Gilgado Gómez

Árbol (Tree), created by Fernando Gilgado Gómez, from the book Papirolandia 1, folded with a 14" (350 mm) square of duo origami paper (Double-Sided Origami Papers 35x35 cm - 35 sheets).
Luna (Moon), created by Fernando Gilgado Gómez, from the book Papirolandia 2, folded with a 6" (150mm) square of regular origami paper.
Friki asustado (Frightened Friki), created by Fernando Gilgado Gómez, from the book Papirolandia 2, folded with a 6" (150 mm) square of regular origami paper.

I made the background with a 12" (300 mm) square of blue cardstock,  that I decorated with cardstock scraps, simple origami flowers and stickers.

I'm now waiting for Papirolandia 3. I hope that it'll be as much fun as the other two books!

Oct 8, 2011

Halloween Decorations: Origami Wreath

Origami wreaths are very nice decorations for every Holliday. This is the one I made for Halloween.

Halloween Decorations: Origami Wreath

The ring is a Tomoko Fuse's design. The name of the model is "Ring 2", and is available in her book Origami Rings & Wreaths.
I folded the ring with 8 squares of 12" (300 mm) Strathmore Colored Art Paper. The diameter of the wreath is approximately 16 ¼" (413 mm),  a nice size for hanging it on the door.
As decorations, I used the models that I described in my two previous posts. You can find more details about them by clicking here (flower) and here (ghosts).

Happy Halloween!

Oct 1, 2011

Halloween Decorations: Three Ghosts

These three ghosts will make great Halloween decorations! They will look cute and spooky on your walls and windows (especially if you use fluorescent origami paper!).
They are very easy and fun to fold. The ghosts can also be given as favors or become a funny folding activity in a Halloween party. They fold flat, so they are great decorations for scrapbook pages too.

Halloween Decorations: Three Ghosts

I folded the ghosts with 6"(150 mm) white origami paper, and made the faces with black cardboard cuttings. Copy paper and markers will work great too.

These are the details of the models:
Boo! Have fun!

Sep 24, 2011

Origami Decorations: Halloween Flower

For origami enthusiasts, Halloween fun starts way before October 31st, when we start folding decorations.

I would like to share the first decoration that I folded, a Halloween flower:
Origami Decorations: Halloween Flower
I used Canson Expressions paper for the leaves, and color copy paper for the petals.

The Halloween flower is a variation of my model "Poinsettia". If you like to give it a try, you can fold the Halloween flower by following the Poinsettia diagram.

You need to fold:
  • One "leaves module," black,  12" (300 mm) square.
  • Five "big petals modules," purple, with squares of the following sizes: 8"(200 mm), 6"(150 mm), 4"(100 mm), 3"(75 mm) and, 2"(50 mm).
  • One  "small petals module," yellow, 1 ½" (38mm) square.
The modules are assembled in the same way as in the Poinsettia.

Have you started folding Halloween decorations too?

Sep 17, 2011

Passion Flower - New Origami Model

Passion flowers, also known as passifloras, are very unique and beautiful flowers. Here is my origami version of them:

Passion Flower - New Origami Model

The passion flower model is my design. I folded the flowers in the picture with duo and patterned kami paper: 3" (75 mm) squares for the petal modules, and  2" (50 mm) squares for the stamen modules.
The passion flower petals consist of four "3 Pajaritas"modules that are joined with a stamens module. I called the petals module "3 Pajaritas," because it's just that. It's obtained by dividing the paper in quarters and then folding a traditional spanish pajarita in three of them. The stamens module is a bird base upside down, where each petal is folded inside in half, and then folded down.

The pictures below show the crease patterns and a detail of the modules.
Passion Flower - New Origami Model
Passion Flower - New Origami Model

Sep 10, 2011

Origami Roses, by Toshikazu Kawasaki

In the last meeting of the OH! Origami Houston group, we had a visitor that was interested in learning an origami rose. The name of Toshikazu Kawasaki immediately popped up in the conversation, as he had designed the most famous and exquisite origami roses.

So here are some roses, all designed by Toshikazu Kawasaki:
Origami Roses, by Toshikazu Kawasaki
  • Rose (top left, white), folded from a 6" (150 mm) square of thin washi paper. This rose starts with a square grid. The diagram is in the book Origami for the Connoisseur.
  • Rose bud (top left, red, the smaller one), folded from a 6" (150 mm) square of duo kami paper. This rose starts with a square grid. The diagram is in the book Roses, Origami and Math, and in the book The Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058).
  • One minute rose (top left, red, the bigger one), folded from a 6" (150 mm) square of thin washi paper. This rose can be folded from a template, that is available in the book The Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058).
  • Rose (top right, pink), folded from a 9" (225 mm) square of Pacon Paper Squares (very thin and strong paper, nice to fold!). This rose starts with a 22.5 degree diagonal grid. The diagram is in the book Roses, Origami and Math, and in the book The Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058).
  • Leaves (top right), folded from a 6" (150 mm) square of thin washi paper. The diagram is in the book Roses, Origami and Math, and in the book The Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058).
  • Crystal roses (bottom left, pink), folded from a 9" (225 mm) square of Pacon Paper Squares. The four buds are folded from a single sheet of paper. The model starts with a square grid. I tied the model with a ribbon to help keep it together. The diagram is in the book The Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058). 
  • Bridal roses (bottom right, white), folded from a 9" (225 mm) square of Pacon Paper Squares. The four buds are folded from a single sheet of paper. The model starts with a diagonal grid that is cut from a square grid. I tied the model with a ribbon to help keep it together. The diagram is in the book The Greatest Dream Origami (ISBN 9784255005058). 

Sep 4, 2011

Coasters - Decorating with Origami

Decorating with origami is so much fun! There are so many options!
On this occasion, I used a set of photo coasters, and instead of photos, I decorated them with small origami models.
This can be a great gift for the upcoming Holidays, and you can personalize each coaster for every member of the family.

Coasters - Decorating with Origami
Each coaster measures 3 ½" x 3 ½" (88 mm x 88 mm), and the display measures 2 ½"x 2 ½" (63 mm x 63 mm). The final size of the origami models used for decoration are very small, so try to choose simple models. The models must also fold flat.

In this set, I included the following origami models:

Dad's coaster
  • Shirt, by Marcela Brina, from 4 ½" x 1 ½" (113 mm x 38 mm) duo kami paper. This is a variation of the traditional kimono model. The video instructions can be found here.
  • Pants, by Rachel Katz, from 3" x 1 ½" (75 mm x 38 mm) kami paper. The diagram can be found in the book  Origami, Easy-to-Make Paper Creations by Gay Merrill Gross.
Mom's coaster
  • Two tone dress, by Gay Merrill Gross, from 2" x 2" (50 mm x 50 mm) duo kami paper. The diagram can be found in the book Minigami, by Gay Merrill Gross.
  • Hat, by Gay Merrill Gross, from ¾" x ¾" (19 mm x 19 mm) duo kami paper. The diagram can be found in the book Minigami, by Gay Merrill Gross.
  • Handbag, traditional, from 1" x 1" (25 mm x 25 mm) duo kami paper. The diagram can be found in the book Minigami, by Gay Merrill Gross.
Boy's coaster
  • Baby bodysuit, traditional, from 1 ½" x 3" (38 mm x 75 mm) kami paper. This is the traditional shirt model with two extra folds (the two bottom corners were folded back). The diagram can be found in the book The Practical Illustrated Encyclopedia of Origami, by Rick Beech.
  • Ball, not an origami model. It's a sticker.
Girl's coaster
  • Baby bodysuit, same as in baby boy's coaster.
  • Pinwheel, traditional, from ½" x ½" (13 mm x 13 mm) kami paper. The diagram can be found in the book The Magic of Origami, by Alice Gray and Kunihiko Kasahara.

Aug 28, 2011

Origami Quilt - Blue-Eyed Grass Flowers

This quilt was made by joining seven Blue-Eyed Grass flowers with nine hexagonal connectors. The final shape of the quilt resembles the interior of a beehive. 
Origami Quilt - Blue-Eyed Grass Flowers
Both the flowers and the connectors are my design. They were folded from hexagons cut from 6" (150 mm) of tant paper.
The joining method is strong and the quilt does not require glue to stay together. For the flowers, I used different shades of blue tant paper (Japanese Tant Origami Paper- 12 Shades of Blue 6 Inch Square), and for the connectors, I used different shades of yellow tant paper (Japanese Tant Origami Paper- 12 Shades of Yellow 6 Inch Square).

The model Blue-Eyed Grass flower originated from using, in other regular polygons, the same folding sequence as in my model Wildlflower. The polygons/flowers that I've folded so far with the same folding sequence are (see the picture below): triangle/Spring Flower, square/Wildflower, pentagon/Pimpernel, hexagon/Blue-Eyed Grass, heptagon/Hepatica, and octagon/Single Dahlia.

Origami Quilt - Blue-Eyed Grass Flowers