Origami Mandala Hanabi (Design by Nani Suwarni)

Origami Mandala Hanabi (Design by Nani Suwarni)
Origami Mandala Hanabi (Design by Nani Suwarni)

I came across this design while browsing through the Internet trying to decide what to fold today. These Mandalas are very pretty and look great when folded with patterned paper. Once can also decorate the finished Mandala with an embellishment in the center like a bead or a crystal and use a cord to make a hanging out of it and they will look gorgeous!

I made this out of regular Kami paper and thought of using solid colors which are all different colored in order to give the finished model a contrasting look. These are quick to fold and usually consist of just 8 sheets of paper.

Paper to use:
The kind of paper you use here i.e. the pattern or design is what gives an added effect to the overall look. If you select double sided paper which is colored differently on either side, the model will look better given that you have the underside of the paper also visible in certain places. One can also use pretty patterned wrapping paper to fold this model. The minimum size of paper you should use is 3 inch square sheets, the finished model measures approx 3.5 inches in diameter once completed (using 3 inch sheets).

How to fold Mandala Hanabi:
The designer of this model – Nani Suwarni – shared the diagrams to this model on her Facebook page and that’s what I have followed in order to fold this pretty design. 8 sheets of square paper are required to fold this design and the diagrams are pretty clear. One does need to have a little folding experience prior to folding this design as there are a reverse folds involved in the folding sequence.

Clover Kusudama (Design by Maria Sinayskaya)

Clover Kusudama (Design by Maria Sinayskaya)
Clover Kusudama (Design by Maria Sinayskaya)

I folded a kusudama after a very long time and it took me about 4 hours in all to fold and assemble this design. The model itself looks complicated with the layered or frilly look but the individual units are pretty easy to fold once you’ve got the hang of it. I usually do not fold kusudama designs since they are time consuming and monotonous. But this time around, I found this pretty pattern and thought I would give it a try. These Kusudama designs look pretty when hung from a height or can be used as table decoration in the house.

Paper to use:
I have used 30, 3 inch square sheets of single side colored Kami paper to fold the model. I think this is the ideal size of paper to use as larger sized sheets would mean larger ‘edges’ (those half cube structures which you seen in the design) between the folds and this would make the model less compact. It is easier to manage the assembly with the units folded from these smaller sheets, too. You do not require any paperclips or pins to hold the in-progress model together while you assemble it all; you just require patience. One can use wrapping paper or any similar textured paper to fold this model. Tissue paper or extremely fine paper should be avoided.

How to fold the Clover Kusudama:
Maria Sinayskaya has diagrammed the folding sequence and also provided links to the instructional video recorded explaining this folding process. Further, she also includes color photographs of the finished model in various paper color combinations to give folders an idea of the kind of paper to use.

I found the video by Jo Nakashima pretty clear and very helpful especially where the assembly process is concerned and therefore I thought I would share it with you all, too. Jo makes the extra effort of cross referencing each step in the diagrammed folding sequence with that of the step in the instructional video, too.

Origami Stars (Design by Enrica Dray)

Origami Star (Design by Enrica Dray)
Origami Star (Design by Enrica Dray)
Altar for Our Lady
Altar for Our Lady
Origami Star (Design by Enrica Dray)
Origami Star - Top View (Design by Enrica Dray)

I folded these stars recently for a small function at home, in Goa, India. I was looking for delicate stars or flowers to fold and place around the table or on the wall and found these pretty stars designed by Enrica Dray.

As for the function, there is a tradition in Goa where Our Lady ‘visits’ all houses in a parish and is kept at home for a day before going to the next house. This tradition has been going on for years. Family members pray the Holy Rosary 5 times during Her visit during the time She is at home and all neighbors, family members and friends come to visit and partake in the prayers. Its been many years since I attended this in Goa, so I was happy that I got a chance to do so when I was visiting family during my vacation.

Paper to use:
To make these stars, I used metallic paper which I managed to purchase in Goa itself. The proprietor of the store called it Silver Metallic paper with no other special name given to it. I bought these in large sized sheets and cut them down to decently sized 6 inch squares. You can also use contrasting wrapping paper which is not flimsy or Tant or even Kami, since the folding process does not have any intricate sinks or complicated folds.

One thing, however, you should know is that if you would like to make the ‘curls’ like the version shown on Go Origami, then you would need to select your paper carefully – i.e. the kind which will allow you to easily form these curls as well as keep them in place. Washi, Metallic Tissue paper or certain kinds of wrapping paper will be good in this case.

How to Fold Enrica Dray’s Stars:
Maria Sinaskaya of Go Origami has shared the links to the diagrams as well as photo diagrams of the assembly process. These I found were clear and very helpful when folding. Further, these stars can be folded by beginners who have a little bit of folding practice, too.

For each star you need 8 square sheets of paper, and you can buy these individually of a certain size, or buy larger sheets and cut them down to the size you would like to use.

When folded (I used 6 inch square sheets of paper), the size of the star is approximately 6.5 inches.

Hope you enjoy folding these stars.

Florucha (Design by Isa Klien)

Florucha (Design by Isa Klein)

I folded a simple design today after a long break from folding. I have been side tracked with work and a lot of other things going on which kept me quite busy.

This particular design has been quite popular on Facebook, especially, with both the designer and other folders creating lovely patterns and incorporating fancy add-ons such as tassels, beads and strings to their designs.

One point worth mentioning about this design is that it is difficult to incorporate some of the folds – especially int he ‘petals’ area – if the paper you have is too thick. The thick craft paper you get in the supermarkets may not be a good choice for this at all.

Paper to use:
This floral pattern can be folded from any kind of paper, especially if the paper itself has a pretty pattern. Wrapping paper, kami paper is a good choice for this design. The minimum size of paper sheet required is approx 15 cm. 2 sheets of paper are required which you will then have to cut into 6 strips of equal length (i.e. 3 strips out of a single sheet). Pasting a thin sheet of paper such as tissue paper on the back side of this patterned paper will give the completed model a nice contrasting look.

How to fold a Florucha:
Isa Klein of Diagramas & Cia has taken the effort to create and record instructions on folding this prety design. She also demonstrates, in her instructional video, on how to attach the glass bead at the center, a tassel and string in order to make this a hanging ornament or as a gift.

Olympia (Design by Ancella Simoes)

Olympia (Design by Ancella Simoes)
Olympia (Design by Ancella Simoes)

With the excitement of the Summer Games in the air, I have been thinking for quite a while on folding some Olympic themed designs. So, fiddling around with paper over the last few days, I came up with this sequence to fold modular units – interlocking them to form rings.

What better way to pay homage to the one event which unites the world in Sport, than folding the Olympic Rings!

I have used specialty paper which I cut into 3 inch sized sheets to fold each of the 15 units making up a single ring.

I can’t wait to watch all my favorites compete in the various sporting events.

Let the Games begin!