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:

  • 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.

  • 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 AsociaciĆ³n 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.