Lessons From Origami

On the weekend in the interests of Family Fun I decided to get out the origami books and paper. We picked out some things to make at random, and got folding. I was the lead folder, and I pressed forward with trusting and expectant eyes following each move. Trouble was, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I keep getting stuck on the tricky bits …. Can’t do! Can’t Do! Lets try another one.

Origami has a lot in common with assembling flat packed furniture. It seems like a perfectly straightforward exercise to put together a computer table. Here are the pieces, here are the instructions. Should be possible for a reasonably intelligent person to work out. Only somewhere along the way, I get stuck. The instructions or the illustrations are just missing that extra level of detail you need to know what they really mean.

Is that the front or the back? Does that mean fold the whole section to the back, or fold it inside? Is that the symbol for cut or a fold? How am I meant to get that in there? Why doesn’t it look like the picture?

I remember now that although I like the idea of Origami, I actually find it quite stressful, because I get stuck and confused. I decided to try a different approach to picking things out at random. I choose the easiest instruction book with the best instructions, and started at the beginning. I did a little each day, stopping when I started to feel bored or stressed, which was after making two or three things. I got through the whole book, and am now on the next one.

Origami is one of those things that takes time and patience to master. Start easy and increase the level of difficult gradually. Do little and often. Learn before you teach. Stop if its driving you crazy. If all else fails, search for video instructions on the internet.

Hopefully we will be able to have some folded paper Christmas decorations this year.


  1. Linda said:

    P.S. Not sure what to advice on flat packed furniture as you can’t do that for 5 minutes a day for the next six months!

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