Although no one knows for certain, it’s believed that the iconic art of origami paper folding originated in Japan after paper was invented in China. Origami is the meditative art of folding paper into beautiful, symmetrical shapes using complex folding techniques. Early indications of origami suggest use in religious ceremonies by monks. Now, origami is a well-known craft, popular with children and DIY home decor enthusiasts alike. 

Learning how to make origami is a handy skill to have, especially if you enjoy creating sculptures, crafts or DIY gifts. The art of folding origami is a wonderful way to relax and can also be an inexpensive way to create eye-catching, inexpensive, DIY home decor. Using a variety of papers and shapes, simple origami displays can spruce up your home, top gifts, and provide a very Zen way to relax.

The Benefits of Practicing Origami Paper Folding

It’s relaxing and encourages a mind-body connection. Not only is the act of origami paper folding calming and satisfying, it’s incredibly good for the body and mind connection. It’s no secret that origami boosts mindfulness and is often used in a therapeutic setting. The action of folding the paper can be calming and even promote happiness by releasing serotonin.

Origami also develops fine motor skills, as it requires the creator to make precise lines and folds with perfectly straight, crisp seams. With practice, origami artists gain patience and better hand-eye coordination, spatial skills, memory, and mental concentration. All of the activity happening at once in the brain during origami folding promotes a clearer mind and a better mood.

It promotes math, comprehension, and problem-solving skills. Many aspects of origami are mathematical. Standard origami paper is typically cut into 3”, 6” or 10” squares, although some projects can be made with rectangular 8.5” x 11” papers. The accuracy of your measurements for folds and creases will make or break your paper art project. 

Origami can be a great way to teach math to young children and improve their overall attention span. Geometry, fractions, sequencing, and proportions are also integral aspects of creating origami projects. 

Following simple instructions for a paper folding project provides children with more confidence in their reading skills, and many even improve their level of patience as they complete each step in their origami project.

Simple origami projects are suitable for children as young as preschool. The finished results will promote self-confidence and creativity.

Origami helps us improve our connection with others. When we’re stuck at home and running out of things to do, origami is an excellent activity to do with friends and family. It’s as simple as looking up a video or two, grabbing a few sheets of paper, and sitting around the table together. Because origami is suitable for all ages, it’s a wonderful craft to learn and share with others.  

If you’re looking for a way to take a break from devices, origami can be an easy 5-minute craft. If you want to while away the evening with something creative, it can be a long, complex process. Pick up a book on origami from your local library, and spend some time learning about the history of origami and how to master this ancient art.

Origami creations are a fun way to promote cooperative learning. Older children love showing younger children how to make origami projects the way they learned to do it. The sense of achievement that comes with completing an origami sculpture is even better when the excitement is shared with great company!

How to Make DIY Origami For Your Home Decor

There are so many reasons to love the idea of using origami to make DIY decor for your home. A simple origami project is fun and rewarding without requiring a lot of time and money. A dreamy, eye-catching paper sculpture for your living room or bedroom is only a rainy afternoon away. Here’s what to do:

Gather the materials you need. The wonderful thing about an origami project is that you only really need one thing: paper. You can use any paper that will fold easily, but choose patterns, textures, and colors that suit your style. Depending on the complexity of your project, it may also be helpful to have a pencil, a pair of scissors, and a glue stick.

Choose a pattern: Many origami patterns are symmetrical and geometric, making them pleasing to the eye. Some patterns represent natural creatures, such as flowers, birds, butterflies or animals. Shapes like hearts, diamonds, and triangles can be simple or intricate, but they’re always beautiful. Utilitarian objects can be made of origami, too: Bowls, boxes, lamps, and mobiles are automatically prettier when they’re made of delicate origami paper.

  • A simple origami crane is one of the first patterns enthusiasts learn. An ancient Japanese legend promises that the gods will grant anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes a wish. The crane symbolizes honor and loyalty, and this simple origami shape is elegant alone or in multiples. You can group your origami cranes on a credenza or side table, or hang them from a mobile or banner. Try these instructions for making an origami crane. 
  • The origami lily is another of the first origami patterns taught to beginners. This paper flower is a simple, beautiful decoration as a single bloom or bundled into a paper bouquet

Plan your display: You can use origami DIY decor in countless interesting ways — and none of them are wrong. A single origami statue is an elegant doodad for your desk, but an entire ceiling installation of cranes may be closer to what you’re after. Use the same repeating pattern and size to create a uniform display, or alter the size of repeating shapes for a more dynamic look. A combination of shapes creates even more interest and texture. The options for visual interest are limitless — let your imagination run wild!

Install your design: 

  • In the living room, an origami lampshade adds new ambience to the living room, and an origami wall hanging commands attention in a large entryway. 
  • In a bedroom or guest room, group your creations on a bare tabletop, window sill, or shelf to create a serene impression. 
  • In a child’s room or nursery, install an origami mobile or colorful origami banner for a soothing focal point.

DIY Decorations for Every Occasion 

Decorations made from origami paper make any occasion more special. Create custom looks to match the mood of your next big event with DIY origami designs.  

  • Birthday party decorations. Decorate for your next birthday party with origami in all of your favorite colors. Create special origami details such as guest place settings, cake decorations, banners, mobiles, and party favors. 
  • Weddings, baby showers, and other gatherings. If you’re hosting a special event like a wedding, baby shower, or backyard barbeque, origami invitations and envelopes will definitely get your guest’s attention. Save money—  and possibly even reuse discarded paper — by doing it yourself. Try this origami envelope tutorial.
  • During the holidays. Affix origami stars on the ceiling, walls, or doors, or hang them from strings. Create origami wreaths and table decorations with metallic papers for an extra festive look. Save money during the holidays and create new traditions by engaging the whole family in making colorful origami tree ornaments that are sure to become favorites on the tree year after year.

Special Origami Gifts Made By Hand

  • Valentine’s Day. On Valentine’s Day, heart-shaped origami makes a special card or gift. Or save on flowers and create a beautiful Valentine’s Day origami flower bouquet that will never wilt or fade.
  • Mother’s Day. Make Mom’s day extra special by giving her an origami gift folded by the kids. A beautiful arrangement of origami flowers, a special mobile for her favorite window, or a tiny origami statue shaped like her favorite animal will surprise and delight her — every mom loves a simple gift made by little hands. 

Try These Simple Origami Gift Ideas

An origami box or cup makes a useful standalone gift, or you can use it as clever packaging for another gift that’s inside. Or both! Your gift is guaranteed to be the first one that gets opened when you arrive at the next special party carrying a present in origami gift wrap. 

Bookmarks make excellent gifts and keepsakes, especially for little readers. Although they may need assistance, even young children will enjoy making their own origami placeholders. These cute origami bookmark patterns are sure to get kids excited to return to their book. 

Decorating with Origami is Fun

Not only is creating origami decorations fun and inexpensive, it’s also a great way for you to change the look and feel of your space quickly and easily — with your own two hands! So relax, get creative, and spend an afternoon with your favorite papers, DIY-ing beautiful, original origami gifts and decor.