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What Are the Different Types of Origami for Beginners?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Origami is a craft that requires patience and precision, but the difference in difficulty between advanced origami and origami for beginners is really one of following complicated directions. The folds used in origami are typically quite uniform, and thus anyone with enough patience and precision can accomplish advanced origami projects without any experience. There are many different types of origami for beginners that minimize the time required and types of folds used. Some books of origami for beginners even print the lines that need to be folded on the paper that is used. Common basic projects include cranes, cups, and boxes.

When a person begins to learn origami, it is often helpful to have a more advanced crafter demonstrate the basic folds. Beginners do not always have access to assistance, so beginner projects usually focus on easy folds. Diagrams are helpful for many people, but without the ability to visualize the folds, it can be very difficult to get started. Many types of origami for beginners seek to minimize the number of folds that require complex diagrams. These folds can create any number of finished pieces and are often appropriate for children.

Basic folds may be utilized to create origami for beginners.
Basic folds may be utilized to create origami for beginners.

Many people are first introduced to origami by making cranes. There are several ways to make cranes, but the most common pattern involves several somewhat complicated folds. This challenging project for beginners is primarily used for reasons of tradition, but as a teaching tool, making cranes can be quite valuable. Beginners making cranes often learn not only the basic techniques used in origami, but also some of the history of origami due to the significance of the crane.

Colored construction paper is sometimes used in origami crafts.
Colored construction paper is sometimes used in origami crafts.

In many cases, origami for beginners simply makes projects easier by working on a larger scale. One of the hardest parts of origami is working with tiny folds. By making projects that are appropriate to large paper, such as boxes and cups, a person can learn the basic folds that will allow him or her to move on to more advanced projects. It is important to keep in mind, however, that when a project gets too large it becomes difficult in other ways. Balance is the key to success for origami beginners.

Origami may have a holiday theme.
Origami may have a holiday theme.

Among the many different projects that can be made by beginners, some focus on supplementing the necessary simple construction with the design of the paper. For example, common beginner projects often involve making penguins and other animals. By printing the origami paper so that the finished animal will have eyes and appropriate coloring, beginners cannot only be more certain of making the right folds, but may also be encouraged by the appealing look of the finished project.

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Discussion Comments


@umbra21 - Those are great to get the idea across but I'm not sure they count as proper origami. It is a particular art, with particular steps, rather than just folding paper into a shape.

If someone is serious about learning origami they would be best to follow origami instructions for beginners that guide them through the different basic folds and how they can be used to make classic shapes.


@KoiwiGal - I remember doing that as a kid. If memory serves that is one of the main folds as well, since the "balloon" shape can be used as the body of round origami creatures.

Beginner origami has all kinds of different shapes that appeal to kids though. I can remember making hats and boats and paper planes. We would have competitions where we would try to design a plane that flew the furthest or a paper boat that didn't sink.

I still make paper boats with my nephew when it rains so we can float them in the gutter outside his grandmother's place. He loves his video games, but he still gets a kick out of watching those boats float away.


If you want to engage a whole classroom of kids in an origami project, you can teach them how to make a paper balloon. It's relatively easy if I remember it correctly and it's going to appeal to everyone, particularly as it can be used as a water balloon if you use the right kind of paper.

I wouldn't tell them that unless you're willing to clean up the mess afterwards though! It will probably be enough fun just making balloons and puffing them up with air.

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    • Basic folds may be utilized to create origami for beginners.
      By: amphotolt
      Basic folds may be utilized to create origami for beginners.
    • Colored construction paper is sometimes used in origami crafts.
      By: smuay
      Colored construction paper is sometimes used in origami crafts.
    • Origami may have a holiday theme.
      By: lily
      Origami may have a holiday theme.