If you're a parent with young children, you've undoubtedly realized that kids tend to get impatient very quickly when they are asked to wait at the doctor's office or sit quietly for a meal. If you ever find yourself with a cranky child, I suggest teaching your little one how to make an origami house. This simple design is a snap to fold and can be decorated to suit your child's unique personality -- whether that means pink and purple shutters or a giant Batman symbol on the front door! Review our How to Fold an Easy Origami House article for complete instructions.
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Some of the most creative applications for origami can be seen in the fashion industry.
In 2008, designer Catherine Meuter unveiled a concept for origami inspired shoes that could be folded flat for easy storage. These shoes were marketed as an ideal solution for the woman who travels frequently, since they would take up very little room in a suitcase. You can view the shoes on the Yanko Design website.
Origami inspired designs have been seen on several handbags throughout the years. For example, Gucci makes a beige and ebony canvas bag with a green leather origami frog patch for the woman in search of a bold accessory.
Another way in which origami has influenced fashion is through the use of origami figures as a jewelry motif. Bottica showcases a collection of origami necklaces by Claire & Arnaud--the French design friends who founded their own brand "Origami Jewellery." Their necklaces feature gold and sterling silver renditions of origami cranes, elephants, lions, rabbits, and horses.
Review our article Origami in Fashion for more examples of origami inspired fashion trends.
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If you're planning a wedding in the near future, why not add a little origami to the celebration? About Wedding Traditions has written an excellent article exploring the tradition of using 1,000 folded paper cranes as wedding decorations. The article explores the symbolism of various paper colors, as well as suggesting some creative ways to incorporate the cranes into your wedding decor.
If folding 1,000 cranes is just too much for you to handle, I'd recommend adding an origami crane mobile to your wedding decor. Mobiles can be made with as few as 10 cranes each, making them a much quicker folding project. Review our Origami Mobile Instructions article to learn how to assemble your crane mobile.
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For some people, origami's fragile nature is not a problem. They view their creations as temporary works of art, much like fresh blooming flowers in a garden. However, if you're interested in making origami jewelry or displaying your origami outdoors, there are several different waterproofing methods you can use to protect your paper creations. Learn more in our new article How to Make Waterproof Origami.
If you have a waterproofing technique that's worked well for you that isn't listed, I'd love to hear about it! Email me at email@example.com.
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Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz, Founder of Origami Salami and Folding for Good, is leading an effort to collect and string 1,000 origami peace cranes for the school community at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. At least 24 people were injured in an act of random violence by a 16-year-old student on April 9. At least five people were critically wounded.
If you would like to help in this effort, you can mail your origami cranes to:PA Distance Learning Charter School
Attention: Miss Crooks
2100 Corporate Drive, Suite 500
Wexford, PA 15090
If you need a refresher on how to fold an origami crane, please review our Origami Crane Instructions tutorial. If you want to learn more about the meaning of 1,000 paper cranes, review our article What Does a Senbazuru Mean?
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If you're looking for an easy way to add a little color to your home, consider folding a few origami window decorations. Our origami window flower can be made from a single sheet of paper, while the origami suncatcher design requires gluing together several individually folded units. When folded from tissue paper or very thin origami paper, both of these designs create a lovely faux stained glass effect.
Photo courtesy of Dana Hinders.
About Needlepoint has an origami bird needlepoint design inspired by the traditional origami crane. Although I have no experience with needlepoint myself, this pattern makes me want to learn! I think a framed needlepoint next to a string of folded paper cranes would make for a lovely home decor piece. Needlepoint expert Cheryl C. Fall says you can add extra sparkle to the design by adding metallic blending filament to the wool.
Have you ever made a needlepoint, quilt, pillow, or other craft with an origami inspired design? If so, I'd love to see what you've created. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to see your work showcased on the About Origami blog.
Photo © Cheryl C. Fall, Licensed to About.com
Origami comes in all shapes and sizes, as evidenced by Sipho Mabona's life-size paper elephant standing more than 10 feet tall. His elephant was folded from a single sheet of paper measuring 50 feet square. The project required 10 different assistants due to its large size.
Origami is more than just a cute way for children to make their own paper toys. Paper folding can lead to important scientific discoveries. Review our Examples of Origami in Science article to learn more about how scientists use origami principles to make the world a better place.
One of the newest science projects to involve origami is Stanford University researcher Manu Prakash's foldable microscope that provides an inexpensive way to detect 20 different infectious diseases. His design costs $1 per microscope and can be assembled in under 10 minutes. He's looking for 10,000 people to test out the microscope this summer. Testers will be selected from a range of backgrounds, so scientists, teachers, children, college students, and crafters are all encouraged to apply. Visit the Foldscope website for details or to submit your application.
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Origami can be used to help stroke patients regain their fine motor skills, to help children with ADHD learn to focus, and to provide a way for people struggling with depression to cope with their condition. Review our Origami in Art Therapy article to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of paper folding.
If you've been involved with origami from an art therapy perspective, whether as a patient or an instructor, I'd love to include your perspective in an upcoming feature I'm working on! Please email me at email@example.com to share your story.
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