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!
Table of Contents
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.
What are some beginner origami projects?
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:
What are some beginner papercraft projects?
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:
- Pop-up cards
What supplies do I need to get started with origami and papercraft?
As for papercraft, you’ll need a few more things to create your first models:
- Craft knife
- Cutting mat
- 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?
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
Leah’s unique approach to mixed media embroidery creates stunning results that you can emulate at home.
Legendary papercrafter Ninjatoes has been making custom papercrafts for over two decades.
One square sheet of paper with no cuts is all Juho Könkkölä uses to create these incredible figures.
Sharing a small home office hasn’t stopped Alex from getting creative with her fun and colorful printable paper toys.