Origami is an art of paper folding, therefore all you should need is a piece of paper and you can start folding away without any problems, right? Well, almost. You might need a few other things that we will talk about in this chapter.
Aside from the materials, we are also going to show you some of the basic folds, and how to read the directions of many of the patterns that you can find.
In origami, you might not just need paper - it always depends on how far you want to take your creations. Here are some of the tools in you should have in the toolbox:
Scissors or blades
Glues and paints and other craft goods
You can almost use any type of paper in any color that you want. But, in order to make your origami fun and not frustrating, it might be best to use standard printer paper. If you use thinner paper, you might tear or wear out the sheets. If you use heavier paper, it might not be the easiest to work with, and the folds get more difficult to make as the paper folds over itself.
Some of the different kinds of paper you might want to use are:
Colored bond paper (standard printer paper in a color)
Colored construction paper
Plain white paper
Commercial origami paper
Colored and plain white bond paper can be bought inexpensively for just a few dollars and most of your basic origami creations can be made with this paper. You can also use construction paper, but it is heavier, and you won't have a lot of luck doing wet folding.
Many experienced origami enthusiasts will use commercial origami paper. This kind of paper is slightly lighter than standard bond paper, but it is actually more durable than its bond counterpart.
One of the other advantages of using commercial origami paper is the fact that it is only colored on one side. The opposite side of this origami paper is white. This is extremely helpful if you are designing or building dual-colored pieces like a zebra, for instance.
This isn't a major item in origami, until you get into more intricate designs. Many experienced origami artists use foil back paper for certain items that you aren't going to be able to fold with regular paper. These items might include: antennae on insect designs, and possibly small legs on any of the other creatures that tickle your fancy.
You can usually find foil backed paper in a craft store and it can quite expensive. Some people make their own (quite inexpensively) but it can be messy, as it involves using craft glue and aluminum foil wrap along with tissue paper to give you the same kind of look.
Scissors and blades
Although traditionalists might have a problem with using scissors and blades to help cut paper, it does have to happen sometimes. With that said, it rarely has to happen when you are doing the actual design of the origami piece.
Many of the origami patterns call for a square piece of paper, and unless you get commercial origami paper, you might have to cut your own to size. A good pair of scissors or an artist's blade and a straight edge will do the trick.
Jeremy Hansen is a recognized expert on everything Origami and author of the book "Origami Secrets Revealed: Everything You Need To Know And More". For more great information like this you can check out his website at m5info.com/origamisecrets.html
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