Origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, is a popular pastime the world over. And what could be more fun than making an origami cat?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your own origami cat. Just follow the simple instructions and you’ll be able to create this cute little feline friend in no time!
What is origami?
Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which transforms a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. The word origami (from Japanese oru [“to fold”] and kami [“paper”]) has become synonymous with the art of paper folding, even though it is actually just one type of origami. Origami can be divided into two main types: pure origami, which involves only the use of paper, and modular origami, which uses multiple pieces of identical paper to assemble more complex structures.
The history of origami
There is no certain origin of origami, however, the first origami that is known to be similar to the origami we know today was the folding of paper shoji in Japan. Paper shoji was used in architecture and was mainly for sliding doors. The first recorded use of paper folding for entertainment purposes dates back to 1797 when Japanese acrobat Yoshizawa Akira created a paper crane. From there, origami spread to Europe in the mid-1800s and has since become a popular pastime all over the world. There are now many different forms and designs of origami, from simple animals to complex geometric shapes.
The different types of origami
There are several different types of origami, and each has its own unique characteristics. Below is a brief overview of some of the most popular types:
Single-sheet origami: This type of origami uses only one sheet of paper, and the finished product is usually fairly small. Single-sheet origami is the most popular type among beginners, as it is relatively simple to learn.
Modular origami: Modular origami consists of multiple pieces that are assembled to create a larger object. Usually, each individual piece is made from a separate sheet of paper. This type of origami can be quite challenging, but the results are often very impressive.
Tessellations: A tessellation is a repeating pattern made up of shapes that fit together perfectly without overlapping or gaps. Tessellations can be made from many different materials, but the paper is one of the most popular. Tessellations can be found in art and architecture all over the world.
How to make an origami cat
- Start with a square piece of paper, colored side up. Fold the paper in half, hamburger style.
- Now fold the top two corners down to meet in the center.
- Next, fold the entire thing in half “hot dog” style. Unfold and flatten back out.
- Turn the paper over so the colored side is facing down. Fold each side into the center so it looks like an envelope.
- Make a horizontal crease about halfway up on each triangle flap created in Step 4 — this will be where you eventually fold the ears. Unfold and flatten back out.
Tips for making origami cats
Origami cats are a popular choice for both beginning and experienced folders. They are not too difficult to make, and there are many different designs to choose from.
Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect origami cat:
- Start with a square piece of paper. If you don’t have a square, you can always fold one.
- For a traditional origami cat, use white paper. However, you can also use colored or patterned paper for a more unique look.
- Be precise when folding the creases. This will make it easier to assemble the cat later on.
- Take your time when folding and don’t rush. Origami is all about accuracy and patience!
Variations on the origami cat
The traditional origami cat is a simple design that can be modified in a number of ways to create different effects. Try one of these variations the next time you want to make an origami cat.
To make a standing origami cat, use a square piece of paper and follow the instructions for the traditional cat design. When you get to the end, tuck the remaining triangle flap underneath the body of the cat so that it stands up on its own.
For a more challenging design, try making an origami Cat’s Cradle with two sheets of square paper. Follow the instructions for the traditional design, but when you get to the end, leave both triangle flaps sticking up. Place one hand underneath each flap and twist them both in opposite directions so that they form the shape of a cradle.
Another way to vary the traditional design is to use two sheets of paper instead of one. Follow the same folding instructions, but when you get to the end, glue or tape the two halves together before tucking in the triangle flap. This will create a 3D effect that adds depth and interest to your origami cat.
For a fun twist on the classic design, try making an origami fortune teller cat. Cut a square piece of paper into four equal strips and fold each strip in half lengthwise. Follow the folding instructions for making an origami fortune teller (also called a cootie catcher). Once all four strips are folded into fortune tellers, glue or tape them together at their edges to form a square with eight triangular flaps sticking up around the perimeter. These will be your Origami Cat’s paws! Now follow the instructions for making an Origami Cat’s head and body and attach it to your fortune tellers using glue or tape.
Finally, if you want to add some embellishments to your origami cat, try using patterned or colored paper instead of plain white paper. You can also add googly eyes, pipe cleaners for whiskers, or pom-poms for tails!
The meaning of origami cats
In Japan, the meaning of an origami cat depends on the type of cat you make. A black origami cat is said to bring good luck, whereas a white origami cat is said to ward off evil spirits. Interestingly, calico origami cats are thought to have the power to grant wishes.
There are many different ways to make an origami cat. The most popular method is to use a square sheet of paper, but you can also use a rectangular sheet of paper if you prefer. Once you have your paper, follow these steps to make your origami cat:
- Fold the paper in half lengthwise to create a long rectangle.
- Fold the top corners down to meet in the middle, creating two pointed ears.
- Fold the bottom corner up so it meets in the middle, creating a pointed chin.
- Flip the paper over and fold it in half again lengthwise. This time, only fold it halfway so there is a small gap at the top.
- Turn the paper over and fold each side toward the center, stopping when you reach the halfway point (the small gap). This will create four triangular flaps.
- Take one flap and fold it up so the point meets the top corner of the triangle (this will be one ear). Repeat with the remaining flaps until all four are folded up (you should now have two ears).
- Now take each ear and fold it down toward the center of the head, making sure that the points meet in the middle (this will create a prominent forehead). Once both ears are folded down, flip the paper over and repeat steps 5-7 on this side as well (you should now have two front legs and two back legs).
How to care for your origami cat
Origami cats are fun and easy to make, but they require a little bit of care to keep them looking their best. Here are some tips on how to care for your origami cat:
- Avoid handling your origami cat too much. The paper is delicate and can be easily damaged.
- If your origami cat gets wet, let it dry completely before folding it again. Wet paper is more likely to tear.
- Be careful not to use too much glue when assembling your origami cat. Too much glue can make the paper stiff and difficult to fold.
- Store your origami cat in a cool, dry place. Humidity can cause the paper to warp and discolor.