Origami is the art of paper folding that originated in Japan centuries ago. The craft involves transforming a single piece of paper into intricate and beautiful designs, without the use of scissors or glue. From simple shapes to complex figures, origami has become a popular hobby around the world. With just a sheet of paper, enthusiasts create a wide range of designs, such as animals, flowers, and even architectural structures. Origami has been found to have therapeutic benefits, aiding in relaxation, concentration, and mindfulness. The possibilities are endless with this fascinating craft, making it a fun and rewarding activity for all ages.

Origami model of a badger

For many hundreds of years, perhaps since the early invention of paper, people have been folding it into simple shapes. Back in the eighteenth century it was a popular art form in Japan and more recently Yoshizawa created thousands of new origami designs.

More recently with the introduction of mathematical principals into origami, it has become possible to represent more complex shapes in finer detail.

Often a simple flat surface and your hands are the only tools you need. However, you could choose to purchase, bone folders to be able to create sharper creases, teasers to make small folds, paperclips to help hold folds, a ruler and embossed to mark out lines. A water spray is handy for wet folding.

Origami paper, which is perfectly square. The paper comes in many different sizes and colours, often white on one side.. Washi is one of the most popular origami paper but there are others to choose from, like foils that you would need to make by hand.

The rules that make a piece of work origami are that there are no cuts (only folds) and that it is from a single square piece of paper.

You can print out a crease pattern that will help you create shapes. These crease patterns follow four basic rules:

1. You can colour a crease pattern with just two colours and the two colour will not meet
2. Mountain and valley folds always differ by two
3. Odd and even angles always add up to a straight line.
4. A sheep can never penetrate a fold

Once you know the rules you can apply them to any piece of paper and start to create your own designs.

In the 1990s, people starting looking a the way you pack circles into a square, as each flap created needs a half circle of paper to create it.

Here are some ideas for origami items that makers can create and sell at craft fairs in the UK:

Origami animals: Make a variety of paper animals, such as a frog, butterfly, or crane, using colourful or patterned paper.

Origami flowers: Create beautiful blooms using origami techniques. Consider using tissue paper or thin, delicate paper to achieve a more realistic look.

Origami decorations: Make paper decorations, such as stars or snowflakes, to hang in windows or on Christmas trees. Consider creating different designs for different occasions.

Origami boxes: Create small boxes using origami techniques that can be used to hold small items like jewellery or coins. You could use brightly coloured paper or patterned paper to make them more eye-catching.

Origami bookmarks: Make bookmarks using origami techniques, which can be sold individually or as a set. Consider using decorative paper or printing designs onto plain paper.

Origami cards: Create cards with origami designs on the front, such as a heart or flower. These can be sold as individual cards or in sets for different occasions.

Origami envelopes: Make envelopes using origami techniques that can be used to hold small cards or notes. Consider using patterned paper to make them more interesting.

Origami mobiles: Create colourful paper mobiles to hang in childrens bedrooms. Consider using bright colours and fun designs, such as animals or stars.

Origami Christmas decorations: Create origami Christmas decorations, such as paper stars or Santa Claus figures, to hang on the tree or around the house.

Origami book covers: Create book covers using origami techniques that can be used to protect paperback books. Consider using patterned paper or printing designs onto plain paper.

Remember, the possibilities for origami creations are endless, and makers should use their creativity and imagination to come up with unique and eye-catching designs that will appeal to customers at craft fairs in the UK.