Monday, July 6, 2009

Origami Project Update

You know how sometimes you get a vision of a project in your head, and you think "Hmm. I know how I want the end result of my project to look, I have the materials I need, and I've done something like it before. This should be simple!" And then, things go shockingly BAD??? Such was the beginning of the origami project I had in mind this weekend.

If you've not figured it out by now, I have decided to make "Warabe Ningyo", which are Japanese origami paper dolls. I remember making boatloads of these dolls with my mother when I was a child, so I thought it would be easy for me to figure out the "how to's". Yeah, right!!! I now have about twenty headless dolls in wrinkled, crooked, ugly kimonos on my kitchen table. I'm far to ashamed to share the pictures with you :-(

BUT... after experiencing a couple of days of trial and error, I think that I'll finally be able to begin posting tutorials for a couple of different style dolls over the next few days. Please remember that making these dolls takes practice, patience, and a sense of humor, but not a lot of skill.

Here are a couple of things I learned while I was experimenting with the doll project:

  • This is not a project that can be done while reclining on the couch watching reruns of "Wife Swap" with a little dog on your lap. Origami must be done at the table!

  • Do not use "real" (translates as "expensive") origami paper for your practice dolls. Simply cut white or colored printing paper to size. It hurts a lot less when you toss your rejects into the recycle bin.

  • Use tiny drops of white glue, applied with a toothpick. Do not use old/super-thick tacky glue applied with a bamboo skewer. (What kind of a slacker would do this? Three guesses.)

  • A 1" circle craft puch would save a lot of time in makng the doll heads. (Note to self: go to the craft store! OK. I don't really need a reminder to go to the craft store...)

If you want to prepare the "ingredients" to make your own Warabe Ningyo so you're ready to follow along when I post the "recipes", here's what you need:

  • black crepe paper for hair (the sheet kind, not streamers)

  • white cardstock - cut out several 1" circle heads. If you don't have a punch, use a quarter to make your pattern

  • origami paper - if you don't have any pretty paper on hand, you can print some cool patterns on plain old printer paper and cut to size. (Yup, I tried it. It works just fine, and the patterns are simply beautiful!) The following sites have amazing selections of free origami patterned paper: Creative Park Chiyogami , The Khans' Origami Paper , and Origami Club .

I hope you're looking forward to making Warabe Ningyo with me. The dolls will make great bookmarks, framed wall art, or as embellishments on note cards or scrapbook pages.

Hugs and blessings~



  1. Oh, that is super cute! I'm gonna try making them (once you post how to!)....LOVE it!

  2. will you post the instruction for warabe ningyo too??i love to try it..


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