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Origami which directly translates into "folding paper" is the Japanese art of creating art through paper folding. This is one of the easiest hobbies to get started with, as all it takes is having a straight piece of paper.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Origami resources. We have a Origami forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Origami how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Origami books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis


Definition and History

Origami (ori meaning "folding" and kami being a translation of "paper") is a traditional Japanese folk art of paper folding. Its was created in the 17th century and has evolved into the modern art it is today. It consists of transforming a flat sheet of material (that is typically paper) into a sculpture.


The only material needed for origami is paper. It should be thin, able to hold a crease, and not tear easily when folded a number of times. Some origami paper is colored on one side, with white on the other. Paper should always be folded on a hard, flat surface, and the folds should be as straight and precise as possible, with all corners and edges meeting evenly. The standard folds are categorized into the following:

- Valley Fold – The paper is folded downward, or toward you. When unfolding the paper, the crease should always be on the bottom, resembling a valley.

- Mountain Fold – In this case, the paper is folded backwards, or away from you. When the paper is unfolded, the crease will be on the top, causing the paper to look like a mountain.

- Crease – This is the line that remains as a result of a fold.

- Top – The corner or edge of the paper that is pointed away from your body is considered to be the top.

- Bottom – This is the corner or edge of the paper that is pointed toward your body.

- Front – This is the side of the paper that is facing you as you work.

- Back – The side of the paper that is facing the table is considered to be the back.

- Right – The parts that are lying to the right of the middle of the line.

- Outside – This is the back and the front of your work.

- Inside – This is everything that is between the front and the back layers of paper.

- Unfold – This is the process of opening up a previous fold.

- Turning – This is when the paper is turned (while still flat on the table) so that the corners are aligned.

- Turning the Model Over – The paper is turned over so that the front becomes the back.

- Outside Reverse Fold – The front and back layers of paper are spread apart and wrapped around the outside of the model, causing the edges that were originally valley folds to become mountain folds.

- Inside Reverse Fold – An edge that is a mountain fold is pushed down between the front and back layers of the paper. By doing this, the edge has become a valley fold.