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My fondness for folding began when I was a teenager.  I remember being super sick with bronchitis and stuck in bed for weeks.  On a recent trip to the local craft store (I’ve been making all kinds of jewellery and other crafty stuff since I was 6 years old) I purchased an origami how-to book.  I can’t remember why I wanted to give it a try, but I suddenly had plenty of free time on my hands.  So I folded the days away.  In no time at all I was totally surrounded by freshly folded cranes, butterflies and other popular origami creations. Then I got better and went on to other things.

Over the years I’ve picked up some pretty cool origami books and kits.  Nowadays you can find tons of free origami instructions all over the internet.  Check out these free simple to complex WWF cute animal origami printable patterns from the World Wildlife Fund's website.  They even come with a printed piece of origami paper that you can cut out from the instructions.  This butterfly was made from following the WWF simple origami butterfly instructions, but with my own tie dye style origami paper. 

Origami Butterfly on Cloudy Day Paper

Pinterest is my favourite place to find everything origami.  I recently started a Pinterest Origami Me board where you can find all of these blog examples and much more.  Sunshine on a Cloudy Day just started posting on Instagram the other day, but I've already found some fantastic origami arts to follow.  Since I opened my retail businesses I’ve found myself doing origami on a regular basis.  It’s amazing how much origami skills can come in handy when you are wrapping and shipping gifts and packages.  Keeping an origami mindset makes wrapping peoples packages a real joy, and I think it shows.  And as I continue to learn new folding techniques, I keep finding new and creative ways to apply origami to my businesses and everyday life.

Origami is the art of folding.  All you need to do is learn how to replicate basic folds and techniques and learn how to follow origami instructions.  There are tons of books, posts and YouTube video instructions out there for you to explore.  The key is to have crisp accurate straight folds, so you will need to work on a hard flat surface and you will need a bit of patience.  You will also need origami paper, or you can cut your own to size.  If you are just getting started, there are tons of origami books and kits available to choose from.  The Joy of Origami by Margaret Van Sicklen is one of those books that has everything you could possibly need to get started, including lots of funky origami paper.  And you don’t have to stick with just origami paper – you can make origami art with printer paper, napkins, towels, toilet paper, etc.  You can make some really cool monetary creations out of paper money, but you can’t do it with Canadian bills anymore.  Who wouldn’t want some origami money?!  Here’s a Money Bunny I made in minutes – with some basic origami skills you can make one too! :)

Money Bunny on Pencil Crayon Drawing by KPO

Here is an example of a simple practical origami idea that uses one piece of ordinary 81/2” x 11” paper.  Featured in The Joy of Origami and in TuikToku's blog post "how to maximise your used paper", the origami 8 page notebook is a super easy piece to make. You can quickly turn a sheet of paper into a totally useful small notebook.  Or cut a sheet of paper into quarters and make 4 mini notebooks.  

Origami Notebook Mod Podge Keith's Label & 1/4 Mini Notebook

Origami Notebook on Lined Paper

Then decorate your notebook any way you wish!  You can sketch a design (I can't draw, so I got my boyfriend to help with his art), decoupage the back and front with pictures from a magazine, paint it, stamp it, colour it, put stickers on it, or just use it as is.  In minutes you can have a handy note book for your shopping lists, poems, doodles, creative brainstorms, blog titles, tweet ideas, etc.

Origami Notebook Mod Podge Tattoo Magazine Cut Out

Origami Notebook Tyger Cat Sharpie Pen Drawing by KPO

And if you want to get even more notebook pages out of your sheet of paper, try out this 16 page notebook folding method as shown in this YouTube video by Sammiboi96.  Or make a few notebooks, then staple them together though the center spine.  Paper Kawaii is a great site for sweet origami ideas with video demos.  For more great origami ideas you may also want to check out Origami Way, Origami-Instructions.com, Origami-Make.com, Origami-Fun and The Origami Resource Center.

I hope you’re excited to dive into the wonderful world of origami.  If you tried before and did not succeed, just try and try again.  Or give up spectacularly like BuzzFeed does in this vine post on how to make an origami cat

My origami cats came out a bit better – I hope yours turns out better too!

Origami Black and Orange Kitty Cats

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