Book Review: Japanese Origami for Beginners Kit

  • 01 of 03

    Book Review: Japanese Origami for Beginners

    origami book with vase
    Rita Shehan

    Title: Japanese Origami for Beginners Kit: 20 Classic Origami Models
    Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
    Format: Paper craftKit With Dvd
    Date Published:10/27/2015

    A Great Papercraft Gift

    Are you looking for a gift for a paper crafter in your life? Would you love to give them a present that brings smiles and delight? You just might want to consider an origami gift kit. Japanese Origami for Beginners, by Tuttle Publishing, is an origami kit is that is intended for novice paper folders, but...MORE advanced crafters might also enjoy learning the 20 classic origami folding projects.

    A Bit About the History of Origami

    Origami has a long history. Based in Japanese tradition, Origami is the art of folding a square piece of paper into a recognizable shape. Every origami paper craft is made by creasing and folding the square sheet of paper never using scissors or glue to construct the paper form.

    The art of Origami paper folding has been around for centuries, and this kit focuses on 20 classic paper folds. These origami projects are as fun and relevant today as they were centuries ago.

    The traditional origami paper folds are rich in history and symbolism. Did you know that the most recognizable of all Origami crafts, the crane symbolizes long life? The Japanese believed a crane could live 1000 years, so when you give someone, a folded paper crane you wish them a long life. At least as long as the crane. Provide them with a thousand folded paper cranes and you wish them eternal life.

    The Contents of the Origami Folding Kit

    The kit contains three items a book, origami folding paper and an instructional  DVD.

    The book: Japanese Origami for Beginners is 96-page full color 8 1/2 x 9 1/2 printed book which is made up of three topic sections.

    The first section covers a brief history of origami. The article is well written and surprisingly thorough. If you want to learn more about the origins of this ancient craft, the book serves as a good starting point.

    The second section is devoted to 20 traditional origami folding projects. Each project features a full-color photo of the finished project, a drawing of the completed folds on the paper square and step by step drawings.

    The third section is a glossary of origami folding symbols. These symbols are standard in the world of origami and are used by origami artists all over the world.

    Origami Papers

    The kit contains 72 sheets of 6" x 6" folding paper. Each sheet has a color design printed on one side with a solid color printed on the back. There are two sheets for every printed design.The paper is adequate for beginners learning the craft, but it is a bit on the flimsy side.

    Instructional Dvd

    The DVD features  20 step by step instructional videos. The videos are about the same quality that you would find on YouTube and are quite thorough. My one complaint is that the tutorials are a bit too fast. One has to stop and start the video to understand the steps. However,  if you start and stop the video often enough, you can complete the project with relatively few problems. A video plus is that the tutorials use the same papers as the photos in the book.  It makes the videos a bit easier to follow.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    What is Included in the Gift Box

    contents of origami box
    Rita Shehan

    Contents of the Kit:

    • A full color, 96-page book with step-by-step drawing depicting the folding instructions
    • 20 traditional origami projects
    • 72 sheets of 6'' x 6'' folding papers
    • Each paper has one printed side and one full-color side
    • Instructional DVD with 100 minutes of video instruction
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Three Origami Projects From the Book

    three finished origami examples
    Rita Shehan

    Every craft book review should have some examples of projects made first hand from the tutorials. I chose to try three origami folding projects: a star box, a masu box, and a traditional butterfly.

    The two boxes were relatively easy to make following the video tutorials. The drawings in the book can be complicated to follow and produce a certain amount of frustration.  The step by step videos are quite easy to comprehend, and you will have cute paper boxes in no time. These boxes would be ever so...MORE cute as party favor containers or packaging for small gifts.

    The Realistic Butterfly was a bit harder to complete. I am a complete novice at origami, so I had to stop and start the video many times to follow the steps. Once I had a firm understanding of the folds, the butterfly became easier to reproduce in further attempts.

    A quick tip* Skip the diagrams in the book entirely and go straight to the video tutorials.


    I would highly recommend giving this kit as a gift to someone crafty that is interested in learning beginning origami. The box has a beautiful design and gives the kit an upscale look. The cost of the kit is very reasonable and contains everything needed to get started.

    Want to Learn More About Origami?

    If you discover that you love the art of origami after trying this kit, you will find many more origami articles and tutorials here on Make sure to take a look at these:

    Origami Boxes

    Little paper boxes come in handy! The next time you need a quick gift box or storage container construct it from craft paper. Crafters always have stacks of wrapping, scrapbook or art papers on hand. These are just four examples of delightful origami box tutorials that you can find on


    Learn How to Make an Origami Square Snack Box
    Origami Sanbo Box Tutorial

    Origami Cake Box Tutorial (Very Cute!)

    Origami Hexagonal Dish Instructions

    Origami Animals

    You can find over 34 tutorials on that teach how to make origami animals. Make sure to take a look at the following.

    Make a traditional crane

    An Easy Origami Fish

    The Cutest Origami Puppy Face