Those little trays on the back of an airplane’s seats are perfect for making some fun paper folding projects. Origami is a traditional Japanese art form, which is widely taught all over the world.
Most packets of origami paper have some kind of project printed on the back or inside of the packet. You can also find video instruction on YouTube and in all kinds of books.
The only material you need is a square piece of paper of 10cm or bigger. Some projects don’t have to use perfectly square paper, such as the jumping frog project further in this article, so you can use pages from a magazine if no other paper is available.
Origami is a portable and mindful thing that anyone can do and practice. It can also be a social activity and transcends language barriers.
Mindfulness and origami
In and of itself origami does not have to be a mindful activity. Very complex folded paper projects can be stressful to even intermediate-level paper artists to make. To incorporate a mindful practice to an activity—any activity, you only think about the step you are doing in the moment and nothing else. If your mind wanders to another thought or worry just acknowledge the thought (“I remember that situation. I want to think about this origami project and step right now.”) and return to the project. Avoid giving any kind of judgement to your spontaneous thought.
To keep in the present moment, feel the paper and make deliberate, crisp folds.
Making a paper cup
I first learned how to make a paper cup back in the second grade, so this project can be done with young children or by yourself. A paper cup is a useful and recyclable thing, so we’ll show you how to make one here.
1. Put the origami paper on the table.
4. Fold the other base corner to the center of the opposite side.
5. Fold the front top flap down and tuck it inside the outer pocket.
6. Turn the cup over.
7. Fold the back flap down.
8. Open the cup.
This cup will hold water! Before you use it, it can also be a bookmark. After it is wet, it’s not such a great bookmark for a while.
Making a jumping frog
A jumping frog is a great ice breaker with a new friend or a child in the aisle ahead of you. In many cultures frogs are lucky and are a symbol of prosperity. You can make an origami frog with almost any kind of paper. It has a few more steps than the paper cup project, so we embedded a YouTube video, so you can watch and learn!
Watch the video!
You can also use written directions with illustrations to fold a frog.
What kinds of origami projects do you like to make? Continue the conversation on the TripCompanion Facebook page.