Totoro by Robin Glynn, leaves by Jeremy Shafer

Jo Nakashima made a video tutorial for this adorable Totoro by Robin Glynn. My brother and his girlfriend like Totoro a lot, so I made one for them… and then her sister asked for it when she visited, so I had to make them another one – let’s say, if you have Miyazaki enthousiasts around you, you can fold this model a few times :) It’s not excessively complicated, but looks really good.

Totoro is folded from one sheet of 25cm grey kami ; The leaf, as said before, is one square sheet of 20cm paper. Jeremy Shafer made a video tutorial.

Here you see the back of the leaf.

Heart box by PaperKawaï

Paperkawaii published the video tutorial for this box a while ago. She has other cute models, but isn’t afraid of cutting and gluing – not my thing. This model is pure origami though. Beware, the music she puts on the videos is really irritating, but you can just shut it off, since she doesn’t talk.

It is folded from 2 sheets of 20cm paper (from a nuinui kit).

It is really sturdy, closes and opens well. I’ll probably fold it again :)

Leaves by Jeremy Schaeffer, gorilla by Lionel Albertino

The cute gorilla is by Lionel Albertino, you can find it in “Safari Origami”, ISBN 2844240062. You can download the book because the author re-published it for free, thanks to him! It’s in French, but folding conventions are international :)The book has plenty of other models.

It’s folded from one sheet of square 20cm paper. I really like the mouth :)

The leaves are by Jeremy Shafer. They’re folded from one square sheet of 20cm paper. Here’s the video tutorial.

Elephants by Fumiaki Kawahata and Edwin Corrie

So… a year ago, I blogged about Nick Robinson’s elephants. As I said before, I don’t fold many animals, but there are a few exceptions: I like birds, bats, cats, dragons, and butterflies. And elephants, obviously. So, more elephants!

This cute guy is by Fumiaki Kawahata. Leyla Torres made a video tutorial. I’m not sure about the paper, maybe the 20cm from Avenue Mandarine?

I think the elephant on the right is the one by Edwin Corrie, found in “Origami Animals” by Vicente Palacios (ISBN 9780486478746), page 40 – he has a few diagrams on his website, check it out :)

Both models are intermediate. Step 11 of Corrie’s elephant is a bit tricky, but not undoable.

Butterfly card and hand, by Jeremy Shafer

Jeremy Shafer published a youtube tutorial for this flapping butterfly card. Paper: 35 cm double-sided paper from (don’t try smaller paper on your first try). And yes, the butterfly does flap its wings when you pull on the sides of the card :)

The skeleton hand is found in this video tutorial. Paper: 15 cm kami. People like this model a lot, it’s especially popular around Halloween :)

Both models are high-intermediary. They’re not in his books, but he has many other amusing models to fold :)

Cookie Cutter kusudama by Victoria Babinsky + japanese decoration by Minako Ishibashi

Here are two models I like: a “cookiecutter kusudama” (30 sheets of 7.5 gold paper) and a japanese decoration (6 sheets of the same paper).

The japanese decoration by Minako Ishibashi (right) can be found, for example, in Rick Beech’s book (ISBN 9782215110668 for the French edition).

Papers: left, 7.5cm Showa Grim senbazuru chiyogami ; right, 7.5cm Tant paper.

I really love the stars in this kusudama. The Tant one hanged from my ceiling for a long time.

Cookiecutter kusudama model by Victoria Babinsky ; Jo Nakashima published a youtube tutorial for the cookiecutter.

Pop-up bats by Jeremy Shafer

These adorable bats are very, very popular among all the people I give my origami to. I fold them regularly, because I know people will always be happy to have one – I think it’s partly because of the magic of pop-ups, but they’re also particularly beautiful.

The bat on the right is folded with 24cm double-sided paper. The bat in the middle is from Tuttle Rainbow patterns 15cm. I don’t remember the leftmost paper.

You can find the (beautifully hand-drawned) diagram in “Origami Pop-Ups to Amuse and Amaze” (ISBN 978-1494299026). He also made a youtube video.


Video tutorials

I really prefer diagrams to videos, but some models are not diagrammed, or I don’t have the books… so I’ll take a video instead ;)

Here is a list of the video tutorials that I watch. I’ll also explain what I like or not about them and other video tutorials.

So, the videos that I regularly download and fold are from Jo Nakashima, Paper Kawaii, and Jeremy Shafer. Jo Nakashima makes videos for models designed by him and other people, Jeremy Shafer mostly shows models he designed. No sure about Paper Kawaii, she doesn’t say where the models are from or if she designed them.

So, that would be my first remark: if you show a model, it’s really good to say who it comes from, where the diagrams can be found if it has been diagrammed – so that people can thank the authors, search for more models by them, buy their books… attribution is the first step to keep a sharing community alive :)

The second remark is: always start the video by showing the finished model. Those I linked do that, but some other videos don’t, and it’s bothering, having to scroll through the video to be sure what you’re folding (I usually download the videos, so the photos and text that were published with it are not there when I go around to fold them).

Third: give indications for the paper. Paper size is important (it’s good to recommend bigger paper for a first try, and to say the smallest size possible – for exemple, “This model should be folded from 30cm paper, you can use 20cm paper if you prefer, it’s unlikely to work with 15cm paper if you’re not a miniaturist”).

Of course, the number of sheets and format of the paper are necessary too. Some videos show rectangular paper without mentioning if it’s A4, US letter paper format, or some other entirely. Some videos show all the steps to prepare an hexagon and only then say “we’re going to cut here”. It’s better to say “we’ll fold from an hexagon, let’s see how to cut it”.

Paper texture is important too. I’m especially frustrated with Jo Nakashima with that: he uses gorgeous tissue-foil or such… which is too expensive for me, and I wouldn’t use it for a first try anyway ; and he doesn’t give indications about the texture of paper, like “thicker paper would be better” or ” this can / can’t be folded from kami”. I folded the hot-air balloon from ordinary paper, only to realize at the end that the box at the bottom would not hold with my thin paper, thick paper was a requirement that had not be given at the beginning.

On the other hand, it’s really good to see gorgeous paper in action. I’m half in love with copper tissue-foil paper, just from his videos.

Fourth: in some videos, Jo Nakashima puts a picture on the side of the video with the diagram step where he is at. I really like that, so you can see what he’ll do and fold at the same time as him, instead of watching until the movement is done and then pause. But I guess the models needs to be diagramed first, so it doesn’t work when people film instead of diagraming :)

On the other hand, paper kawaii and Jo Nakashima don’t comment on what they do, while Jeremy Shafer does. It’s really good, so you can follow what happens even when your eyes are on your paper and not on the screen – and know when to pause if he’s gone to the next step before you’re done.

So, in conclusion: thanks to all the people who make video tutorials, and to the authors who authorize others to make videos of their models.

If you follow other video tutorials, please give me links! I’m interested in finding more :)