You’d never think origami would be the subject of a post on a blog like ours, and yet, here we are! When you look over this list, it’s actually surprising that origami hasn’t caught on with the Instagram crowd that much faster. Lots of small-scale decorative hobbies, like cake decorating and Lego builds, are a big hit on social media already.
Origami is such a cool hobby, leave it to ancient Oriental wisdom to come up with it. In the first place, it’s an inexpensive pastime. You can even practice on your junk mail and turn it into a creative zoo of whimsical creatures. What other hobby can you say you get all the materials you need, for free, mailed daily to your house?
It’s also educational, being a great way to intuit math concepts related to geometry, topology, and spacial intelligence in general. It’s portable; you can carry paper in your pocket and whip it out whenever you have a free moment standing in line somewhere. Start folding figures in a doctor’s waiting room and watch every kid in the room stare in fascination. Leave a creative tip for the barista at the coffee shop. It’s got all the therapeutic benefits of a creative hobby. It’s even a great icebreaker.
For a simple thing like folding paper, this ancient Asian art form, with a history dating back millenniums, has a surprisingly deep culture and variations of styles. The canonical “rules” are to start with a square and fold your model without resorting to glue or scissors. Action origami makes moving models, like jumping frogs or inflating cubes. Modular origami makes models composed of multiple paper pieces, either folded into interlocking shapes or glued together. The various techniques can even combine up to proper sculpting, referred to as “papercraft.”
So with all that material for free, why buy special origami kits? The kits we’ve found are custom-printed paper, with detailed instructions for folding models. That is one consideration: For building something specific, you have to hunt for paper in the right colors and prints. Then you have to track down the right tutorials on YouTube. These kits put a whole set of themed models in your hands for you, and when you’re done, you have a nifty set of models to show off. Of course, we found the geeky themes!
So, get your nimble fingers ready to take this hobby to the next level. And whatever you do, if you have a cat, keep the models away from the cat!
- The power of The Force meets the joy of origami!
- 259 instructional pages (plus folding paper).
- 36 Paper-Folding Projects!
- Ages 9 & up.
We start with, what else, a Star Wars themed origami set. Yoda is a natural origami subject, since you might notice he’s based on Zen master characters already. And of course, the Millennium Falcon looks great when you build it in any medium. Characters like Leia, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, and R2-D2 round out the collection.
Well, of course, Pokemon is a great origami subject. Complete ten Pokemon models with this set, which includes the illustrated paper and 48 pages of instruction. You get Pikachu and his pals to strew around your geek hobby shelf. You gotta fold ’em all!
Work your own creative magic with these models from the Harry Potter franchise. You get a wide variety and scale of models, including Quidditch props, a chocolate frog, a messenger owl, and even an impressive scale model of Hogwarts Academy itself! Total of fifteen models with custom-printed paper and tutorials. Work your wizardry with paper!
- Marvel Avengers Origami & Fun Fold-Ups - 9 Fun Folding Projects!
- Learn how to make: Iron Man, Captain America, Incredible Hulk,
- Cap's Shield, Hulk's Fist, Avengers Quinjet, Arc Reactor
- 36 Character Sheets, 39 Pattern Sheets
Of course, we had to get the Marvel theme in here. This is more of a full papercraft kit, complete with paper and instructions for nine models, plus a sticker sheet for the finishing touch. You get the Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, an Agent of Shield badge, and more. It’s a big pack loaded with creative projects.
Origami Model Airplanes: Create Amazingly Detailed Model Airplanes Using Basic Origami Techniques!: Origami Book with 23 Designs & Plane Histories18 used from $7.01
Of course, paper airplanes are one of the classics of the origami genre, so it fits we’d get one to include here. These, however, are so much more than the simple gliders you were tossing around in elementary school. These are pre-printed papers and instructions for folding 23 detailed models of real life plane models! Models include a F-22 Raptor, F-14 Tomcat, Mirage 2000, and more. These are papercraft models requiring some glue, but the results look fantastic. This is a must-have for Air Force, aviation, and history buffs.
Origami Endangered Animals Kit: Paper Models of Threatened Wildlife [Includes Instruction Book with Conservation Notes, 48 Sheets of Origami Paper,...4 used from $11.45
These are simple models of common animal builds, with custom-printed paper for patterns and designs. They all have one element in common: they’re each on the endangered species list. A portion of the benefits go to wildlife conservation, and this is a great educational aid for kids too. These are also commonly-seen builds that are general enough to do with regular paper once you get good at them.
This cute dog-lovers origami model set has instructions for twenty dog breeds, with enough detail to make them all distinguishable. It’s an in-depth instruction manual for those who are gettign serious about their origami. These even come with a rating on the “paw scale.” Have fun folding up plenty of good boys!