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Rules for the all-thumbs

The whole point is to fold; after a bad start with stiff paper, I realized that the best results can be obtained with paper that is easy to fold and crease. The first few constructions below are very forgiving, but the ones beyond that require accurate folding. It is not difficult to be accurate if the paper size is comfortable: use the biggest square you can get out of a full A4 sheet (or US letter). Once your hands are set, you can begin to use smaller sizes of paper.

Ultra simple constructions

When is something to be called ultra simple? When even I can make a passable construction at the first go it has to be simple.


Moving shapes and toys

The eight FOLD way

After learning these simple models take the time out to learn the eight ways to fold (counting the valley and mountain folds as one), and the virtues of the six bases.

NameFold (pictures from Peacetree)
Valley fold: (see simple box) Valley Fold
Mountain fold: (see simple box) Mountain Fold
Petal fold: Petal Fold
Rabbit-ear fold: Rabbit-ear Fold
Squash fold: Squash Fold
Inside-reverse fold: (see simple bird) Inside-reverse Fold
Outside-reverse fold: Outside-reverse Fold
Crimp fold: Crimp Fold
Sink fold: Sink Fold

Elementary constructions

These are called elementary by every other page that I'e come across, and who am I to say that they are not? But they are harder than the ones before: calling for more accuracy in folding.


Traditional Movers and boxes


Since Origami does different things with a sheet of paper than Euclid, it can get different results; among them constructions which trisect an angle or find the cube root of two. See the paper A mathematical theory of Origami constructions and numbers by Roger C. Alperin (New York Journal of Mathematics 6, 119, 2000).

For completeness

An origami page would be incomplete without a mention of Akira Yoshizawa, (March 14, 1911 to March 14, 2005) the originator of "wet folding", and John Montroll, the inventor of the dog base and the insect base.

Origami quotes

The biographer's tale, by Anita Byatt
The maelstrom was made of a kind of bravura and exaggerated origami, a funnel of scissored and foaming navy-blue paper with spiring silver coils and feathery snipped and streaming froth.

Sourendu Gupta