Origami Jewelry Made Easy

Origami is one of my favorite paper crafts. I really enjoy the meditative nature of making precise folds to produce a beautiful paper sculpture. So I was really excited to come across Julián Laboy Rodríguez’s Origami Jewelry Motifs.

ABOVE: Origami charm bracelet from Origami Jewelry Motifs

My first exposure to origami was back in the early 1990s. I was watching the TV show Northern Exposure. Two of the characters were getting married, and several of the townspeople were making 1000 origami cranes for the wedding. This was the first time I’d heard about folding 1000 paper cranes for good luck. I was intrigued, and I immediately went in search of an origami pattern and started folding. I never did get to 1000, but I made a lot of cranes — and many other origami designs.

Origami jewelry made easy with the great book, Origami Jewelry Motifs

Some of my origami cranes

Unfortunately, my origami skills have languished over the years. But Origami Jewelry Motifs gave me a reason to try the craft again. I had never even considered that you could create origami jewelry from tiny little origami models.

I knew that I couldn’t jump right in to folding a crane from a 1.5″ piece of paper, so I started with an easier pattern: a butterfly. And I used a larger piece of paper: 3″. My first attempt was a success! I had a reasonable facsimile of a butterfly in no time.

Origami jewelry made easy with the great book, Origami Jewelry Motifs

My origami butterfly

Moving on to the 1.5″ crane didn’t go as smoothly, but I’m determined to keep trying. I’m used to folding somewhat larger models, so I need a bit more practice. Once my skills are back up to speed, I’d love to fold a tiny pair of origami crane earrings.

Origami jewelry made easy with the great book, Origami Jewelry Motifs

Origami crane earrings from Origami Jewelry Motifs

I’m also dying to try the origami lily and would love make a charm bracelet of different origami creatures and flowers.

Even if you aren’t interested in making tiny models for origami jewelry, Origami Jewelry Motifs is still a fascinating book. It contains instructions for 30 different models, including flowers, animals, and even some holiday-themed designs. It also has helpful advice on the best paper to use and suggestions for useful tools. (For example, I need to find some toothpicks before I try folding another tiny design.)

What’s your favorite origami model? I’m still pretty partial to the crane!

Happy folding!
Lavon Peters
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine

Get Origami Jewelry Motifs in print or digital format in the Interweave Store, and subscribe to Beadwork for more jewelry-making inspiration.


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