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Paper folding and paper cutting — also known by the Japanese terms origami and kirigami — are big trends in crafting right now, and lots of beautiful paper crafting books are being published to promote these arts.
Whether you’re new to the crafts like I am or a seasoned folding and cutting expert, these guides are sure to inspire and make you want to make something with paper.
Any one of them would also be a great gift for someone who loves paper, flowers or whimsy.
The word amazing in the title of Marion T. Nichols’ book 100 Amazing Paper Animal Snowflakes is not an exaggeration. This book is so cool.
It features templates for snowflakes you can print out (by making photocopies or downloading and printing from your computer) and instructions for folding into the perfect shape for cutting snowflakes.
There are 10 templates suited to beginners — from starfish to penguins to frogs — as well as 30 each rated easy, intermediate or challenging.
The book says the beginner ones can be cut out by kids (I haven’t let the girl try it yet), while the easy patterns are good for teens and adults who are new to the craft.
Other shapes include things like bears, horses, cows, an elephant, a swan, a blue marlin, a chameleon, two different octopi and a tiger.
Templates printed onto origami paper at the back of the book allow you to try the starfish, easy eagle, panda, green salamander baby elephant, great white shark, elk and tiger without printing them out yourself.
If you want to try the craft of making paper flowers for yourself, Origami Flowers Super Paper Pack by Maria Noble is all you really need. The book includes 32 pages of instructions to make 10 different kinds of flowers, including tulips, sunbursts, roses and forget-me-nots.
In addition there are 232 pages of origami paper, perfectly sized for these projects, so you can get started right away.
This one in particular would be a great holiday gift because you need nothing else to get started, and everyone will have fun trying to fold the flowers.
I tried out a tulip, assuming the first project in the book would be the easiest. It was pretty easy, but there were a couple of places where I was confused as to what the instructions wanted me to do (“Fold side triangles inward and collapse the shape so upper triangle sits over lower” sent me running to YouTube).
The paper selection is really pretty, with a few solid color sheets but most with patterns for extra fun in your flowers.
Because I’m a beginner when it comes to origami, I haven’t tried out any of the projects in 3D Origami Fun! by Stephani Martyn, but it looks adorable.
The book has 25 projects made with folded shapes built onto a base. They include food, animals and creatures from the sea.
Seven of them are noted as being good for beginners, and the instructions at the beginning of the book on how to form different structures make it look doable for someone with a little paper-folding experience and a lot of patience.
I love the butterfly. It’s an intermediate project, so I’d better start practicing!
For gorgeous crafted paper flowers that almost look real, check out Paper to Petal from Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell.
This book is stunning and includes 75 projects using tissue paper, florist crepe and other supplies to make projects inspired by flowers, pom-poms, insects and more.
It starts with a gallery of the projects, with each one saying what its made out of, what it was inspired by and what you might want to use the finished flowers for.
A discussion of materials, including crepe papers, other paper, tapes, adhesives, tools, paints and stems follows, along with an overview of basic skills and how the flowers are put together.
Finally there are instructions for each project with large photos showing different steps in the process.
I didn’t have the materials to make any of the projects in this lovely book but I definitely want to! I think it’s impossible to chose a favorite but I love the five-petal sweeties, a relatively easy shape you can make in dozens of ways. Check out the preview at the link above and you’re sure to fall in love, too.
Have you done much paper crafting? What do you think about the trend? I’d love to hear your thoughts or what you’ve made with origami or kirigami in the past.