This year, Christmas will be celebrated on 25 December. I only mention that because if you’re anything like me, Christmas seems to take you by surprise most years. I’ve put together some suggested gifts for the origami lovers in your life. Hopefully, these origami gift ideas will leave you with one less thing to worry about as we get to the last page in the calendar.
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Prices can vary frequently so I recommend you check the websites for current prices and deals.
General suggestions for Origami gifts
Here are some ideas for the best origami gifts regardless of age or folding ability.
Everyone that enjoys origami gets through quite a lot of origami paper! There is a huge range of origami paper packs of paper available, but the quality does vary. The colour is painted on some cheap papers and can come off some papers when it’s folded. This leads to unsightly white lines across the final model, which is disappointing. I tend to like the packs made by Folded Square as the paper quality is slightly better and the colour doesn’t come off as easily. Folded Square’s boxes look attractive as well, so they make good origami gifts.
Box of Origami Paper, 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in), 500 sheets, mixed colours.
This is standard origami paper, or kami. It is white on one side. Kami is available from anywhere, but what I like about this is the clear acrylic box the paper comes in. As well as preventing the paper from getting creased in the corners, as the paper gets used it makes a handy portable storage case for doing origami when travelling, as it will hold both paper and completed models.
This is a fantastic selection of different papers of varying sizes for use in origami models. There are 30 different sheets in this pack.
1000 cranes box
Almost everyone that enjoys origami is familiar with the story of Sadako & the thousand cranes, and most of them have considered making their own 1000 cranes at some point. These boxes contain a thousand patterned pieces of paper in a variety of colours.
Cutting Board, Craft Knife, Metal Ruler
I recommend this every year, and every year someone asks me why I’m suggesting something for cutting (especially after my post about the paper-cutting debate) as an origami present! Sometimes you have to cut the paper to size, and sometimes paper needs to be trimmed to make sure it is a precise square. It’s much easier to cut a straight line with a craft knife and a metal ruler than it is with a pair of scissors and you need the board so you don’t damage the table underneath. A big board is good, so that you don’t end up buying another one later. Just slide behind the sofa when you’re not using it.
Origami Society Memberships
Origami Society Memberships make a great gift whether the recipient is just starting out in origami or more experienced. They cater to all levels!
The BOS publishes a bi-monthly magazine and arranges conventions and mini-meetings around the country. They have a good supplies shop and an excellent library. Read my reviews of the BOS Autumn Convention, the 50th-anniversary convention, and the London Mini-Meeting, November 2015
Various grades of membership available, check BOS website for current prices
The origami society for the United States of America. They have a very good magazine shop, and resources. They organise conventions and a range of informal folding sessions. Read my review of the OrigamiUSA 2016 convention.
Various grades of membership, check OrigamiUSA website for current prices
Origami Crane Necklace
Like I have mentioned before on this blog, origami is great to help you improve your mindfulness. Journaling also helps mindfulness, so why not put the two together.
Origami Expressions Designed Products
I have turned some of my origami art into products through the website RedBubble.
You can find more of my products here.
Origami Gift Recommendations for Children
Origami Bugs Kit, Michael Lafosse & Richard Alexander.
This is a kit containing 2 booklets, covering 20 projects to make. 96 sheets of origami paper are included, preprinted with patterns appropriate for these models. It is a similar kit to Lafosse & Alexander’s Butterfly Kit, which I reviewed previously.
Origami on the Go: 40 Paperfolding Projects for Kids who Love to Travel.
This is a really interesting book as it focuses in models from around the world, but also different parts of the world where these models come from. There are 100 sheets of paper included with the pack. Models are accessible from 8 years and up.
Golden Venture refers to a type of origami design that uses lots of identical modules arranged to make the model. Golden Venture designs always use the same type of module. The individual modules are easy to fold and slot together to make the final model. That makes this type of origami ideal for beginners or children. There are many different designs available, but this White Swan is a classic model.
One of the popular hashtags on Instagram related to origami is #origami365 – the idea is to fold one model a day for a whole year. This kit contains instructions for 12 different models and 365 sheets of paper – one for each day – perfect for those that have made an origami new years resolution. This looks like a perfect Christmas present for someone that is either just starting out in origami, or might like to do so.
Fashion Origami Kit.
This kit contains instructions and paper for making a range of origami models related to fashion and clothing, such as a shirt, a tie, a dress, high-heeled shoes and boots. The models are easy to make and of a consistent standard throughout.
Animated Origami Kit.
This kit contains the instructions and paper for making a range of origami models that will perform some sort of action when pulled or pushed in the right way, for example birds that flap their wings or peck, to frogs that jump, or mouths that snap shut. 100 sheets of paper included. All the models are easy to make.
Origami Gift Ideas for Beginners
Simple Origami: As featured in the Herald
Origami Kit for Dummies, Nick Robinson.
This is a very good starter kit for someone that has done no origami. There is a good range of models (75 in all), many of which are simple, but some are slightly more challenging so the reader can progress their ability. The kit comes with 25 pieces of origami paper.
Easy Origami (Dover Origami Papercraft)
There are many different books available for beginners, but I keep coming back to this one as one of the best origami gifts for beginners. It is written by one of the most prolific origami designers there is, and includes several traditional models that have been around for so long because they are easy to make!
Origami Gifts for Intermediate Folders
Origami to Astonish and Amuse
This book is a good origami Christmas gift for intermediate folders. Jeremy Shafer is known for his whimsical approach to origami design and this book contains classics such as The Invisible Duck, and The Unfortunate Bunjee Jumper and The Man Swatter. He also designed the origami skeleton hands and this origami suit which I wrote about on this blog.
Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art, Second Edition
This is a must-have for anyone who is looking to go beyond the simple stuff and try something challenging. As I’ve got two copies of this! As well as detailed explanations of design techniques, there are diagrams for 26 amazing models.
The Origami of Neal Elias
Dave Venables has been curating and publishing Neal Elias’s works through the British Origami Society for many years and this is the culmination of those efforts. I’ve featured several of Neal Elias’s designs on this blog including the Last Waltz and the origami peacock. If, like me, you like Elias’s models, you’ll love this book.
Animal Origami for the Enthusiast, John Montroll. Ability: Intermediate
This is an absolute classic, and a must for everyone’s origami collection. It’s not a new book – it’s been around since 1985 – but this is a testament to the book’s popularity and Montroll’s position among origami designers. There are 25 models in the book.
Passion Origami Collection. Ability: Intermediate to advanced
This is a collection of eight books produced by Nicolas Terry of Origami-shop.com. They are in ebook format. All Passion Origami books look stunning – to my mind, Nicolas Terry has set a new benchmark in how origami books should be presented. There is a wide range of models here from several designers, including Roman Diaz (my personal favourite), Quentin Trollip, and the Vietnam Origami Group. These books are aimed at the intermediate to advanced folder. The collection is not cheap, but frankly it is worth every euro, dollar or pound spent.
Origami Ninjas and other Paper Sorcery by Paul Hanson
Regular readers of this blog will know that I gave away a copy of this book. Origami Ninjas contains a range of Paul’s designs that are not available anywhere else. Read more about the book and see my interview with Paul Hanson here.
Origami Presents for Advanced Folders
Spiral Origami Art Design by Tomoko Fuse
This beautiful book is an exploration of Tomoko Fuse’s spiral designs. Readers of this blog may remember that I have featured some of her designs – the origami navel shell and one of her origami boxes. I’ve been meaning to get a copy of this book myself for a couple of years now. It’s definitely on my Christmas list this year.
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Origami Nature Study (Preorder) by Kato Shuki
Number 9 in the Passion Origami series. As with all books in this series, the designs are challenging and the quality of the book looks to be first class. It includes step-by-step instructions for 16 Origami animals ranging from the intermediate Diplodocus and Dragonfly to the super-complex Greater Kudu and Giganotosaurus. It is also available as an ebook.
Click the picture to check availability and prices.
Works of Hideo Komatsu, Hideo Komatsu. Ability: Advanced
I have to declare a slight bias here: I love Komatsu’s models (you many remember the origami squirrel) – hint, hint Santa! This book is in both Japanese and English. It contains 20 complex models.
Subscription to Tanteidan Magazine. Japan Origami Academic Society. Ability: Advanced
Tanteidan magazine is aimed at the skilled folder. Each issue contains diagrams (usually for a complex model), a crease pattern and a range of essays around the subject of origami. One not to miss for the serious origami enthusiast.
I’d love to hear your views on these origami gift recommendations. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!
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