If up to now, the only origami you know is folding paper cranes, it's time to step up your knowledge of this Japanese art. There is a certain fascination felt in seeing a simple paper gradually transforming into different things we see around us. You realize that even a seemingly useless piece of paper can actually be used to create something beautiful.
This article is a tutorial and not a philosophy nor a history class. But just to help you know more about the art, let me just explain the origin of the word origami. The term “origami” is a combination of two Japanese words, “oru” and “kami,” meaning “to fold” and “paper,” respectively. It is commonly defined as the art of paper folding as the finished product is supposed to give us a three-dimensional figure of almost any kind including animals, people, objects, shapes, and a host of others.
Origami is actually a good breaking-the-ice activity and a mental exercise. We could also learn more about the Japanese culture if we delve deeper into the basics of the art, as well as its history. We may discover that the Japanese way of life is as intricate and rich as its art. It is not also surprising how these people are considered among the most productive people in the world. Japan is the second largest global economy next to the US.
Now for the more fun part, let's begin this tutorial. Let's start with an origami lotus flower, one of the simplest among origami handicrafts.
You need to prepare, of course, square pieces of paper. Just that. When you think about it, origami is both simple and intricate. You only need a paper but you really need to be a good listener to get the hang of folding papers. So you do not only enhance your handicraft skills, you also become a more compassionate person (just an assumption of course) as you take this tutorial. As this origami forms squares that turn smaller as we go along, you will find it easier to fold larger pieces of paper.
- Fold both sides of your paper diagonally. Crease them before unfolding.
- Fold over the corners into the center.
- Repeat folding and unfolding horizontal and vertical midlines. Your origami should now form creases to guide you.
- Fold a corner of the square into the center.
- Repeat step 4 for the other 3 corners.
- This time, fold a corner into the center. Your square is gradually becoming smaller now.
- Repeat step 6 for the other 3 corners.
- Repeat step 4 and step 5.
- Now, turn your small square over and fold the corners to the center again. Don't worry. This is the last of the “square-turning-smaller” series.
- Carefully pull the flap from behind each corner. Do this with care as you don't want to tear your paper flower.
- Do step 10 thrice to create more petals
Your lotus flower cannot float on the pond, but you surely have a piece of Japanese art legacy in your hands.