Buddha (Design by Dang Viet Tan)

Buddha (Design by Dang Viet Tan)


This is my second attempt at folding this amazing model as a gift to one of my good friends here in Chicago, this year. My initial attempt was made using tant paper and you can see the outcome of the folding here. However, this time, I thought I would fold the model using Metallic Tissue Foil paper which I purchased on Nicolas Terry’s Pack Tissue-foil Papers – 20 sheets – 30x30cm (11.8″x11.8″)“.

Folding Buddha with this Metallic Foil paper is much better and the overall look and feel post completion is very good, too. I like the texture of the paper and in the right kind of lighting, this model looks really very pretty.

Paper to Use:
You can give this model a try with paper which is easily shaped. I personally found Tissue Foil much better than Tant paper. Regular kami will not give you the desired look and feel once you are done with the folding. Make sure you have few pins or paper clips handy to keep the lotus formation in shape. I found paperclips to be most helpful in this.

You need two sheets of paper – for the model folded by me above, I used two square sheets, each measuring 30 cms. I chose a Gold color for Buddha and a bronze color for the lotus in which he is seated in.

Gift set Origami Deluxe: Book + 130 sheets

Folding this Model:
The diagrams for this model are available in Vietnam Origami Group’s first published Origami book. It took me around 2.5 hours to fold this model and a little more to shape it properly. This is a terrific design to fold and I am very happy with the way it has come out after completing it.

For those of you who are not aware, Vietnam Origami Group (VOG) has published a second book via Nicolas Terry – #7 VOG 2 Origami.vn. This has great collection of designs to fold, too.

Butterfly (Design by H.T.Quyet)

Butterfly (Design by H.T. Quyet)
Butterfly (Design by H.T. Quyet)

This is a design I folded a few days ago – H.T. Quyet’s pretty butterfly – out of Nicolas Terry’s Tissue foil backed with thin tissue paper for the duo-colored effect.

It is an intermediate level design which has a few sinks involved in the folding process along with shaping the model at the end to get the desired effect.

I found this quite alright to fold and the pic above is that of my first attempt. I started by taking a 20 cm sheet (square) of Nicolas Terry’s Tissue foil and pasting a sheet (similar measurement) of regular plain tissue on one side. I trimmed the edges so that the sheet looked clean and neat.


Paper to Use:

Tadashimori, in is instructional video, has attempted to fold this design with regular copy paper as well as Kami. Since this model requires shaping, one either has to use tissue foil which can be shaped easily or wet fold the model in order to get the desired shape.

This design has also been folded in Elephant Hide paper – you can see EyalR’s rendition here – which has been painted with acrylic paints.


How to fold H.T. Quyet’s Butterfly:

Tadashimori has recorded a very detailed and helpful instructional video on folding this design – with the permission of H.T. Quyet. He has marked out all creases in the video and provides helpful hints on how to make the folds.


Sparkle Kusudama (Design by Tadashmi Mori)

Sparkle Kusudama (Design by Tadashmi Mori)
Season's Greetings Everyone!

Compliments of the Season to all of you!

I have made it a point to have an Origami Star as my Christmas Tree Topper for the last couple of years and have continued with that for this year, too. I usually select a 3D model of a star, and mostly Modular, so that I can place it on the top most leaf / branch sticking out of my tree.

I chose Tadashi Mori’s Kusudama Sparkle to adorn my tree for this year. This is quite easy to fold and it has a pretty solid assembly. I actually found this a lot easier to assemble as compared to my last year’s assembly of Paolo Bascetta’s Stellated Icosahedron which I made for my tree in 2010.

So, back to Tadashi Mori’s Sparkle Kusudama… This is an ingenious model which has a very interesting folding sequence. The best rendition, in my opinion, would be with pearlized or tissue foil paper which has a slight metallic shimmer to it.

Paper to use:
The size of the paper really depends on how large you would like your finished model to be. I the instructional video shown below, Tadashi Mori uses paper measuring approx 9 inches in size – square shaped and single side colored.

I used Pearl Tissue-foil Paper – 40×40 cm (15.75″x15.75″) from Nicolas Terry’s shop. I wanted a shade of dull gold for the star and hence this choice. I cut 15 squares measuring 8 inches each from these sheets of paper (I used 2 in all), and then as the instructions in the video mentioned, cut each of these 15 into half… making it 30 rectangular sheets of paper in all.

If you would like a brighter star, you can choose the Gold colored tissue foil paper from Nicolas Terry’s shop. He even has a silver colored option in case you are looking out for that to match the decor of your tree.

How to fold the Sparkle Kusudama:

Tadashi Mori’s instructions are clear and detailed. Steps for assembling the star are also shown properly and he even uses markers to show the various folds, so you will definitely find it easy to follow.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, too!

Yellowtail (Farmed) (Design by Katsuta Kyohei)

Yellowtail (Farmed) (Design by Katsuta Kyohei)
Yellowtail (Farmed) (Design by Katsuta Kyohei)

I have seen a few folds of this model on Flickr recently which tempted me to give folding this model a try. This is the first design of Katsuta Kyohei I attempted and this is also my first fold.

I have been wanting to fold this design for quite sometime now and for some reason have always been pushing it away – either the appropriate paper, time, and a load of other distractions. Choosing to fold this model on a lazy Sunday was a good decision because it felt good that I actually did end up folding a complex model instead of an easier one.

I am very happy with the way my rendition of Katsuta Kyohei’s Yellowtail Farmed fish has come out; this was my first fold of this design, too. 🙂

Paper to use:
This design makes use of color changes (see the belly of the fish) – so it would be wise to select paper which is duo colored i.e. colored both sides and one side preferably colored a different shade. For my folding, I used metallic Tissue foil paper which is considerably fine and makes it easy to give the final shaping touches. I had purchased this paper from Paper Source a few months ago.

If you do not have Tissue foil with you, I’d suggest kraft paper which is colored on both sides (different colors). The common origami paper will not give it a nice finish once you are done with your folding so that’s why I wouldn’t recommend that you use it. Washi paper might be a good option, but I haven’t given it a try. So, if you do, do let me know.

The finished model you see in the accompanying image has been folded from 35 cm sized square sheet of tissue foil paper. It has a slightly darker silvery-grey color on the other side which makes it quite alright to use in color changing models.

How to fold this model:
Katsuta Kyohei’s Yellowtail farmed fish diagrams are published in Origami Tanteidan Magazine # 116 – Vol 20, 2009. Other than this source, I do not know of any books in which it has been published. You can purchase the book (Vol 20, Issues 115 – 120) from Origami House Japan.

This is indeed a very nice model to fold and having ~83 steps its for folders who are comfortable with folding intermediate and slightly complex origami.

Where to buy special Origami paper

I guess this is one of the most frequently asked questions after the size of the paper used to fold any origami model. With new and more complex (or should I say intricate?) origami models being designed these days, it is not a wonder that most of us are fumbling with the kind of paper to use.

Lokta / Unryu Paper:

Lokta are handmade from the inner bark of the bush and are made in the Himalayan mountain region. The Lotka paper is very strong, and is an incredible eco-friendly choice. It is made in Nepal and makes a good choice for paper folding. I have never folded anything from Lokta myself, though I have used Unryu.

Unryu paper is also known as Mulberry paper or rice paper and has a characteristic of fiber strands which add to the contrast (in color) and texture.

I have come across the mention of Paper Source as a good online store (here in USA, at least) for both – Lokta and Unryu, as well as a variety of Japanese and Asian papers. You get these in a patterned / printed as well as plain / solid colored form as far as I saw on their website. The size of papers is mostly 20 x 30 inches. They do have a smaller sized collection of papers, too. This store also has a variety of craft ideas, gifts, and projects that can keep you occupied 🙂

Another place to buy Unryu paper from is Origami-Shop itself. They have a collection pack – Pack Unryu Tissue Papers – 9 sheets 40×40 cm – as well as sell these in single colors.

The store Mulberry Paper and More has a good selection of papers – Lokta, Mulberry and Unryu to choose from, too. You can browse through them here.

Tissue Foil:

Pack Tissue-foil Papers - 20 sheets - 30x30cm (11.8

Origami-Shop offers a good selection of tissue foil paper in varying sizes and you can make your choice based on the size you want and the color. They also have a pack collection in which you will get a variety of colors to use – Pack Tissue-foil Papers – 20 sheets – 30x30cm (11.8″x11.8″). You can also select sheets of only a certain color such as Copper or Gold and these are sold separately on the site. You can check them out on under the Paper category / section.

Tant paper is a good selection for intermediate models, too. These can be wet folded and are used to fold a wide variety of models. For those of you who would like to purchase from stores in the USA, please visit Kim’s Crane Tant Collection. They have a good selection of Tant papers and some of the paper packs are exactly the same as that sold in Origami-Shop. You can also purchase specific colors as per my understanding.

Origami-Shop offers the rare pack / collection – Pack Tant 35x35cm — 10 colors — 100 sheets – along with packs of other color shades / hues which are available on the site.

Elephant Hide:

I, myself, have never used elephant hide for folding but from the amazing pictures I see on Flickr, these papers make awesome Tessellations. In USA, you can purchase Elephant Hide paper from Kim’s Crane, yet again. This store has a wide variety of shades / colors and sizes to choose from. Again buying sheets of specific colors is possible. Do check these out at Kim’s Crane Elephant Hide collection.

Foil Paper:

Foil paper 35x35 cm - 12 colors - 24 sheets

These papers are metallic and though they hold creases pretty well, they are not accommodating on errors in folding. Once creased in place, the paper will continue to maintain the marking of a crease even after you have straightened it out. Hence, this paper should be used for those models, which you are well experienced in and probably in which crease errors such as these will not make a big deal (I can’t think of such a model except in the case of a few modular pieces, I suppose). Further, these have a strong shine on the surface, which does not make the overall origami design appealing – especially if the model you have folded is an animal with intricate features.

You can purchase this paper at most origami and craft shops these days. They are mostly single side colored and come in smaller sizes. Origami-Shop has a good selection of foil paper on their site such as the Foil paper 35×35 cm – 12 colors – 24 sheets.

You can also purchase Foil paper at Kim’s Crane this is for those of you residing in USA.

Test Sheets / Tracing paper for test folds:

Test sheets - White - 40x40 cm (15.7

We’ve all been here – not wanting to “waste” our prized paper which we bought from a fancy shop not long ago on folding a slightly complex model which we know has a high tendency of landing up as a crumpled piece of paper in the waste bin.

You can buy regular tracing paper from Michaels or any other stores, which has these rolls available. At times, you can also use copy paper, but the thickness of this paper really limits their use for complicated origami designs.

If you would like something fancier, Origami-Shop has a selection of test sheets, which are available for sale. You can select from their Test sheets – White – 40×40 cm (15.7″x15.7″) – 60g/m² (50 sheets) or their Test sheets – White – 20×20 cm 60g/m². They also have these in 22×22 cm and in a light yellow shade.

Kraft paper:

I usually buy a roll of kraft paper from Michaels. This is a craft store which is located all over USA (at least it looks like that to me!). They have tissue paper (for regular gift wrapping), Kraft paper that you get in a variety of colors at times as well as regular Kami paper and Origami Kits for those who are interested.

I hope this post helps you in your paper choices and sources!