Papercraft and origami guides and tutorials

Papercraft modeling flowers scissors mug acrilic paint
Photo via Sachi Serrano (Tiny Workshops)

Paper is one of the cheapest and most readily available materials for crafting, and papercraft and origami techniques let you turn these 2D sheets into stunning 3D shapes and figures.

Here’s everything you need to know about papercraft and origami, plus how to get started!

What’s the difference between origami and papercraft?

Most people are familiar with origami, which is the Japanese art of folding a single sheet of paper into an intricate three-dimensional design. It typically uses a square sheet of paper with no cuts or glue. Kirigami is a similar technique that does allow for cuts.

Papercraft, on the other hand, requires cutting, folding, and gluing. It typically uses either colored paper or printed templates to create interlocking pieces that assemble into a finished model.

There are other techniques, such as paper quilling, that use many of the same techniques. Check out our list of paper quilling kits and essential paper quilling tools to learn more.

What are some beginner origami projects?

Papercraft Creative Hobbies

The most quintessential origami project is the paper crane, but there are plenty of beginner-friendly projects to suit your interests. Here’s a short list:

  • Stars
  • Hearts
  • Boats
  • Boxes
  • Hats
  • Butterflies
  • Fish
  • Elephants
  • Flowers
  • Envelopes

What are some beginner papercraft projects?

Papercraft flowers patterned paper
Photo via Sachi Serrano (Tiny Workshops)

There are an infinite variety of papercraft projects to tackle, from super simple designs to large, intricate designs that use several pages of patterns.

Here’s a short list of papercraft projects for beginners:

  • Airplanes
  • Flowers
  • Masks
  • Animals
  • Puppets
  • Jewelry
  • Lanterns
  • Pop-up cards
  • Mobiles

What supplies do I need to get started with origami and papercraft?

Bone folder origami
Photo via Sachi Serrano (Tiny Workshops)

Origami is one of the easiest creative hobbies to start, since the only thing you need is some colorful paper and maybe a bone folder! Check out our favorite origami kits to get started right away.

As for papercraft, you’ll need a few more things to create your first models:

  • Cardstock
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Tweezers
  • Glue
  • A decent printer
  • Metal ruler
  • High quality printable templates
  • Art pens for decoration (optional)

If you want to try other techniques like pop-ups or card making, you may also want a craft punch board, corner rounders, and other paper punch tools. There are also great card making kits if you want to take the easy route!

Want to take the hard route? Try making your own paper with these paper making kits!

How can I learn papercraft and origami?

Origami book crane
Photo via Sachi Serrano (Tiny Workshops)

There are tons of origami tutorials online, but the best way to learn is with a quality origami book. Nowadays there are tons of great options, from animals and flowers to jewelry and home decor!

As for papercraft, there are a few courses available on platforms like Domestika, but most papercraft designers make their designs and instructions available online for free.

Where can I find some papercraft and origami inspiration?

The best way to get inspired for your next origami or papercraft project is to follow designers and creators on social media. Platforms like Instagram and YouTube are the best places to start.

Papercraft in particular is very reliant on finding good designers, since they typically offer free PDF downloads of their designs on their websites!

Not sure where to start? Check out some of our Tiny Workshops interviews with papercraft designers and origami artisans below!

Tiny Workshops papercraft and origami interviews