Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paper Platypus and Other Adorable Origami

Every year the American Museum of Natural History decorates a giant tree with origami based around a specific theme.  This origami tree is covered with a wide array of different animals both living and extinct ranging from dinosaurs to lions and tigers and llamas. 

Origami Tree Natural History Museum 2009
Yes, that is an origami platypus!!!
It is amazing to see how many different shapes can be created from folding a single square piece of paper.  Just about any imaginable animal can be formed through a complex series of folds.

Here is my attempt at holiday origami.  The fox is my favorite.  If you want to create your own fox, a tutorial can be found here.  

If you are looking for holiday gift ideas, this origami crane ornament is adorable and can be hung on the tree for the holidays or displayed year round as cute glass decoration.  I don't remember where the clear glass balls came from, but I'm sure they can be bought at craft stores.  The cranes were made out of small squares that I cute from wrapping paper.  Aside from that, you need a tiny piece of thread and any medium size bead and you can make your very own ornament.

Crane in a bubble
To make the ornament I folded tiny origami cranes that would fit inside the glass balls.  The cranes need to be small so that they can fit through the opening in the ball.  To attach the crane to the ornament I used a needle to sew the thread through the top of the body of the crane.  I then feed the sting through the opening in the bottom of the body of the crane and strung the bead on the string.  Next I threaded the needle back through the body of the crane and tied the sting so that the crane would remain seated on top of the bead.  After that, I inserted the bird and the bead into the glass ball.  In some cases I had to squish the crane a little to fit it in.  I kept the wings folded next to the body of the crane till it was inside the ball.  Then I pulled up on the sting so that the wings would spread out as they were pushed against the top of the glass ball.

Once the crane was inside the ball I took the opposite end to the sting and I wound the string through the silver attachment on the glass ball.  When the crane was hanging in the correct place in the ball I clipped the silver top back in place.  Since the silver attachment is above the desired location until it clips into place you must be sure to take this into account when placing the crane.

Have fun folding!

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