Jeremy Shafer's Origami Skeleton Hands "Spooky Origami Skeleton Hands"

I could conquer the world with one hand as long as you’re holding the other
Megan Smith


About the origami skeleton hands

Both of my kids are doing an art project on hands at school this term. They are drawing them, painting them, and making moulded models of them. I thought they might like an origami version as well.  I was planning on saving these Origami Skeleton Hands for Halloween as they look a bit spooky, but I’m featuring them now instead.

They were designed by Jeremy Shafer, an American origami designer who uses origami in street performances. Shafer is responsible for some of the most bizarre, entertaining and downright strange origami models I have ever come across. Designs like The Invisible Duck! More on Jeremy Shafer’s designs another time.


Folding Jeremy Shafer’s Origami Skeleton Hands

These hands are surprisingly simple to make and would be suitable for children to do, with a bit of help.  They are basically a waterbomb base folded into quarters and pleated. The paper does need to be quite thin as the fingers end up several layers of paper thick and it can become difficult to form the knuckles.

The hands in the picture above are made from a sheet of 30cm x 30cm kraft paper purchased from The Origami Shop – click here to check availability and prices.  You could also use a tissue paper or tissue foil laminate. Two pieces of paper this size will produce a pair of hands that are about 10cm from wrist to the tip of the middle finger, and about 5cm wide.  It takes about 10 minutes to fold each one, so a pair of Origami Skeleton Hands takes around 20 minutes.



Jo Nakashima has produced a video showing how to fold this design – see below. More of Jeremy Shafer’s designs are available on his YouTube Channel, or click here for more video tutorials produced by Jo Nakashima.


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