“You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
A big screwed up ball of Christmas lights isn’t the only thing that can be stressful at this time of year. Right at the top of the list is what do you get for that one relative who has absolutely everything? How do you find something imaginative and different that they might like to try their hand at?
The good news is that there’s always a wide-range of origami-themed gifts available to suit everyone from the complete beginner to the seasoned expert. I even have a few suggestions for kids. 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.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosure below for more information.
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 goes 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.
Folded Square Origami Paper
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.
There are two boxes of Folded Square Paper I recommend. One is the Contemporary Colour collection (see it here) which is coloured on one side and white on the other and the Contrasting Colour collection (see it here) which is double-sided with different colour combinations.
Box of Origami Paper, 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in), 500 sheets, mixed colours.
This is standard origami paper, or kami. It is different colours on each side. Kami is available from anywhere, but what I like about this is the clear plastic 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.
Check the price here.
Origami Paper Discovery Pack
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!
Membership of the British Origami Society
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 a London Mini-Meeting.
Various grades of membership available, check BOS website for current prices here.
Membership of OrigamiUSA
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 here.
Origami Crane Necklace
Origami is becoming more and more stylish! You now see it in tattoos and jewelry! If you are looking for an origami gift for her, this crane necklace is it!
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 is a great skill for kids to learn. Not only do they get the fun and reward of creating something for themselves, but it fosters an interest in art, as well as teaching creativity, patience and dexterity. There are even some educational programmes around the world that use origami to teach maths and geometry. Kids will find these origami gifts both entertaining and educational.
If you are looking to get your child started with origami, be sure to check out my advice for origami for kids.
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.
Check the price and read more reviews here.
Origami on the Go: 40 Paperfolding Projects for Kids who Love to Travel
This is a really interesting book as it focuses on models from around the world, but also the 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.
The Awesome Paper Airplane Book for Kids by Stefania Luca
This Paper Airplane Book is aimed at children aged 6-9. It contains instructions for 15 paper airplane designs of varying difficulty, and comes with paper to make them with. The planes are grouped as either Dart Planes, Glider Planes, or Stunt Planes, according to how they behave when you throw them.
Origami Gift Ideas for Beginners
Origami is suitable for anyone of any age of course – not just for kids. These recommendations are for someone who is just starting out, or has only a little experience.
Origami Made Simple by Me!
I wrote Origami Made Simple for the absolute beginner or those that like folding easy origami designs. It includes 40 models – 30 of the models are traditional designs (like the origami crane) and another 10 are my own creations (like the Five Fold Penguin or origami teapot). The book progresses in difficulty with each chapter, starting at 10 steps or less, up to a maximum of 25 steps.
This book doesn’t come with paper though, so make sure to pick up some of the origami paper on the links above.
Simple Origami: As featured in the Herald
This is a booklet of easy models that were featured in a local newspaper, put together by Penny Groom. It is produced by the British Origami Society.
Classic Origami for Beginners Kit
This kit contains all the paper and instructions to make 45 traditional origami models. It’s also written by Michael Lafosse, who is one of the most experienced and widely known origami experts in the world.
Origami Gifts for Intermediate Folders
An intermediate level folder is someone who has mastered some of the traditional models and simple designs from modern creators, and wants to try something harder but isn’t yet ready for, or doesn’t like folding some of the complex or even supercomplex creations available. A typical intermediate level folder is going to be comfortable with most origami techniques so these suggestions will be fine.
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.
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, The Thinker, Andres Segovia, and the origami peacock. If, like me, you like Elias’s models, you’ll love this book.
Animal Origami for the Enthusiast, John Montroll
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.
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
An advanced folder is someone who’s prepared to tackle pretty much anything! Someone who is happy with lengthy, complex folding sequences, steps that might look slightly unorthodox in the diagrams, advanced folding techniques and lots of detail in the final model. This origami presents will challenge them!
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! Origami Design Secrets is quite possibly the definitive work on origami design, taking the reader from the simplest principles of modifying existing designs, right up to complex techniques for creating highly detailed models. As well as detailed explanations of design techniques, there are diagrams for 26 amazing models that use the techniques examined in the book.
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.
Books Published by the Origami Shop
Nicolas Terry has been setting the benchmark on how origami books should be presented for a few years now, and in all honesty I could recommend any of the works he has published. They are all beautifully presented, colourful, with good quality paper and the range of models in every book shows that each set has been well curated. I’ve listed a few here, but in all honesty, you can pick any of them and you won’t go far wrong.
Origami for Interpreters by Roman Diaz
VOG: 50 hours of Bending
Some of the most startling and dramatic models in recent years have come out of the Vietnamese Origami Group (VOG). This is an interesting collection with a variety of techniques on display. Buy it for the Chef Rat and the Horse (shown on the cover) if nothing else.
Origami Nature Study by Kato Shuki
This is one for fans of complex models! Number 9 in the Passion Origami series. 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.
Subscription to Tanteidan Magazine by the 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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