How to Make Origami Paper

Make Origami Paper
Origami is the art of paper folding. Most origami artists use special lightweight paper that comes in small squares. However, sometimes this paper can be difficult to find. If you don’t have specialty paper on hand but still want to practice your folding, there are a number of ways you can repurpose more common types of paper. Making your own paper also has the advantage of being completely customizable. You can decorate it however you want!

Method 1 of 2:Convert A4 Paper Into Origami Paper

1. Gather normal copy or printer paper
Gather normal copy or printer paper. Copy paper is extremely common, cheap, and easy to obtain. If you’re fine with using paper that isn’t blank, you can often get large amounts of used paper for free. The only thing keeping printer paper from being “origami paper” is the fact that it is rectangular, not square. You will need to trim some away for proper origami paper.

2. Make your first fold
Make your first fold. Properly folding the printer paper will allow you to cut it into a perfect square without using a ruler. Take the top right corner and fold it down until it touches the left edge of your paper. The entire top edge of your paper should now be even with the left side. Make a crisp crease along the fold. Your paper should now look like a sailboat with a folded right triangle “sail” sitting on top of a single-layer rectangle.

3. Make your second fold
Make your second fold. Take the point in the top left corner and fold it down so it is equal with both the left side and the base of the triangle. Your paper should now look similar to a house. The top will now be a right triangle with a centered point and the bottom section a rectangle.

4. Fold the bottom flap
Fold the bottom flap. Take the rectangle at the bottom and fold it behind the triangle. Make a sharp crease along the edge. Now you can unfold the triangle.

5. Cut along the bottom crease with a pair of scissors or tear the paper
Cut along the bottom crease with a pair of scissors or tear the paper. This will remove the excess paper. Unfold the paper completely. Use a pair of scissors to cut off the bottom rectangular flap. Use the crease to guide you, and try to cut as straight of a line as possible.

6. Unfold your paper completely
Unfold your paper completely. Now you should have a square piece of paper that you can use for your origami practice. You may want to use a hard, flat object to smooth the paper so that it’s easier to work with when you are folding your origami. Try putting it inside a thick textbook for a day or two.

Method 2 of 2:Making Decorative Origami Paper

1. Print out designs
Print out designs. A lot of origami paper has beautiful repeating designs on one or both sides. Some paper even have different designs on each side. To make this kind of paper at home, find a pattern on the web that you like and print it out. Patterns specifically for origami paper usually have a guide so you will not need to use the folding method to make a square.

2. Consider colored paper
Consider colored paper. If you don’t want designs but would like some color in your origami creations, buy some colored printer paper. This can give you variety without having to waste printer ink. Inexpensive printer paper comes in numerous bright colors.

3. Use wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, or tissue paper
Use wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, or tissue paper. Another way to reuse or recycle paper is to use gift wrap, scrapbook paper, or tissue paper. Wrapping paper and scrapbook paper are usually white on one side with a design on the other, much like most specialty origami paper.

Gift wrap comes in a wide variety of designs that can make beautiful origami. Be aware that it folds well, but can tear easily. Use a ruler, a pencil, and a pair of scissors to cut it into squares.
Scrapbook paper is usually thicker and sturdier. You can buy scrapbook paper in large or small squares, so you may not need to cut it at all.

Tissue paper comes in many colors and designs. However, it is also very thin. You will need to take extra care when folding it. Additionally, some kinds of tissue paper won’t hold a crease and are not usable for origami. Crepe paper, the tissue paper often used in packages and decorations, holds a crease well and is suitable for origami. Tissue paper also has the advantage of often being sold as squares.

4. Design your own paper
Design your own paper. Take squares of printer paper and draw your own designs on it. You can use acrylic paint, watercolor paint, markers, or anything you have to color it to make your own unique designs. If you’re using acrylic paint, be careful not to paint it on too thick. Thick paint can crumble, and the bumpiness will make folding difficult. You can also dye your paper using tea, either as a “paint” or by using tea bags to create abstract art.