Origami booklets are simple projects to fold, yet very versatile. Mini booklets can be added to scrapbook pages, given as handmade greeting cards, or used for jotting down small notes. They make especially nice Valentine's Day gifts, since you can create a booklet with a theme such as "Favorite Memories Together" or "Things I Love About You." They are also great for including as tags on small gifts that require instructions, such as a cookie mix in a jar or a kit for completing a specific craft project.
This easy origami booklet is featured in most introductory level origami books, as well as on many websites featuring origami projects for children. To make the origami booklet, you'll need an 8 ½ inch x 11 inch sheet of paper. Depending upon what you want to do with your finished booklet, you can use plain white printer paper, construction paper, or patterned scrapbooking paper. If you have access to a printer with borderless printing capabilities, there are many websites offering free printable origami paper designs that would work very well for this project.
As with most origami projects, the weight of the paper you choose for your booklet should be considered carefully. Thicker paper will result in a slightly more durable booklet, but it will be bit trickier to fold neatly. Crisp, even folds produce the nicest looking origami projects.
1. Create a Rectangular Grid
To begin your easy origami booklet, fold the sheet in half horizontally. Unfold. Fold each side into the middle crease, then unfold. Fold the top of your paper to the bottom, then unfold. When you're finished, your paper should look like the model in the picture at the left with the folds creating a grid of eight equally sized rectangles. (You don't need to draw the pen lines on your paper. They are for demonstration purposes only.)
2. Cut the Middle of the Paper
Fold your paper in half horizontally, then carefully cut along the line as shown. (Again, the pen marks are for demonstration purposes only and do not need to be drawn on your paper.)
3. Fold Your Origami Booklet
Fold your origami booklet in half from the long direction--bringing the top edge down to the bottom edge. Holding the booklet at the left and right edges, push towards the middle. The two center panels will separate and form a cross. When you flatten each page, you'll form your completed booklet.
4. Decorating Ideas for How to Make a Booklet
Decorate your origami booklet as desired. You can use markers, colored pencils, stickers, or copies of your favorite photos to give your book as much personality as you want. If you wish, you can add small origami hearts or flowers to the cover to make it seem even more unique. Gluing a square of cardboard or a second type of decorative paper to the cover would be an option to consider as well.
Including the front and back covers, this origami booklet has eight pages. It measures 4 ½ inches x 2 ¾ inches.
If you'd like to make a larger book, try folding this project from wrapping paper cut to the desired size. Brown kraft paper or white butcher paper would also work well for this project.
5. An Alternative Use for the Origami Book Project
A fun alternative use for the origami booklet is to create a miniature city for your child to play with. Instead of flattening the pages after Step 3, pull the center panels out to form a box shape. Create an additional two or three origami booklets, then tape them together to make a city skyline. Add doors, windows, and other details as desired. Your finished cityscape makes a unique and inexpensive backdrop for playing with toy cars or small action figures.