How to Make Things at Home With Paper: Origami to Create With Your Child

By Willow Breckenridge | Feb 3, 2021

When a lazy Sunday afternoon stretches ahead of you like a lengthy Netflix nap, what can you do to keep your little ones entertained? Better yet, how can you do so without exposing them to yet-more screen time or spending a bundle? 

Why not teach your kids origami? They will have a blast showing their friends how to make fortune tellers and hearts when returning to school. Here’s how to make things at home with paper that will impress your tykes and keep them occupied for hours. 

1. Boat

Hopefully, you didn’t let your kiddos see the remake of Stephen King’s “It” when it hit the big screen. Of course, if you have older children who live for scary movies, you can use the reference to draw their attention to this craft. 

Unlike many origami, this one begins with a rectangular piece of paper — a sheet of printer or notebook works fine. Start by folding it in half lengthwise, then double it over again, only enough to put a small crease at the top center of the paper by the first fold. 

Use that line as a guide to fold down the top two corners. Then, fold up the bottom edges and bring the corners of this “hat brim” toward one another. You’ll have a square as a result. 

Next, take one lower corner of the square and fold it into a triangle, followed by the other. You’re left with a smaller square. Use a finger to spread the sides of the boat open, give her a coat of wax and prepare to set sail. 

2. Heart

It’s one of the great laws of nature — the sun will rise in the east, and middle-school kids will pass notes. Your tween will go gaga when she can fold her “do you like me, check yes or no” request in the shape of a heart. 

Here, too, you’ll start with a rectangle. Fold the right corner down until it becomes even with the page’s left side and crease it, opening it and repeating by pulling the top left corner to the right. Next, push either corner in and fold up the bottom lip — it will somewhat resemble the beginning of your boat. 

Then, flip the paper over. Fold the bottom corners of the top triangle — there’s one on either side — to touch the tip. Then, fold the bottom sides to meet the center — you’ll look like you built a tiny house. 

Then, flip the paper again. Fold the bottom two corners into the center. Take the larger top triangle and tuck it into the creases created by the edges, then fold the rearmost triangles and tuck them into the larger center one. Voila — you have a heart-shaped paper that conceals the secret love within.

3. Fortune Teller

What does the future hold? Only one of eight specially-designed fortunes your child creates with their origami fortune teller. 

For this craft, you’ll need to start with a square — if using notebook paper, make one by bringing the right top corner to the left edge and cutting off the excess. Begin by making a triangle both ways, creasing the paper as you do. Then, unfold everything — you should have a giant X. 

Then, fold each of the four corners to touch the center of the X. You’ll now have a smaller square. Flip the paper over and repeat the process, bringing each corner to the center and creasing with your nails. 

Finally, you’ll fold this even smaller square in half one way, then the next, to make creases. The next part sounds trickier than it is. You’ll have four flaps on your fortune teller — insert your fingers into each one. You should be able to make it open and shut both ways by moving one hand. 

At long last, it’s time to pen your fortunes. Print four things on each of the outside flaps — many people choose four colors. Then, number the front of the inside eight flaps and write a small fortune on the back of each. The sillier you can make each fortune, the better. 

You can play the game in multiple ways. Many participants ask the other party to pick a color, then two numbers, before revealing their fate, but you can invent an original twist if you like. 

Learn How to Make Things at Home With Paper With These 3 Origami Crafts

If you have some time to fill, why not use it to teach your kids origami? The three crafts above will fill your entire afternoon with fun. 

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