How to Fold An Articulated Origami Snake

Scales and All:

One of the unit Origami creatures I have created takes on the characteristics of an actual snake. It even has an articulated body with scales. Whenever I have taught classes of kids Origami and offered them an opportunity to select their favorite fold from a wide selection, they usually choose these.

Begin with a Pinwheel Base:

To begin your snake you will need to fold several body segments using the Pinwheel base as a starting place.

Next you will need to raise each of the four points of the Pinwheel up like a shark fin. Push down on the tops so they look like the picture above. Then you turn the fold over and fold the four corners to the center while letting the flaps from the underside pop out. It looks like this:

If you turn it over the underside should look like this:

You can make as many of these as you like, the more you make the longer the snake.

Add just a tiny drop of glue between the units to hold them in their tucked position. Keep adding body units until you reach you desired length.

Heads or Tails or Both?

Now we need a head and a tail. To make a head choose a square of paper slightly larger than your body units. You will fold it in the same way as the body units and then add three more folds to shape the cheeks and nose.

The tail is the easiest part (unless you want to make a rattlesnake). Start with a rectangle as wide as the squares of paper you used to make your body units. Fold an airplane point on one end. On the same end, fold two more airplane points on top of the one you already made. This will make the tail long an slender. On the opposite end fold a single airplane point to make the flap that attaches to the body of the snake. Again, a small drop of glue will keep it attached.

If You Want to Make a Rattlesnake You will have to look at my blog on the Hexoflexagram. The rattle is just an unglued segment of the flexograms. 

Here Is a Finished Rattlesnake:

Here Are Some More Snakes 

 

Add a Tongue and Eyes:

You can create a tongue with a small thin triangle of red paper. Slit it down the middle and curl the sharp end. Glue into the slot under the snake’s nose. You can either add eyes with a felt tip pen or cut out pieces of paper to form the eyes. You can also add “wiggle eyes” that you get from the craft store.

Snakes Are Often Feared But They Get a Bad Wrap!

It’s interesting to see people’s responses to snakes. Though these paper ones are less fearful, the real ones are often greatly feared. If you know the first mention of the snake in the Bible you get a little insight into this response. It’s interesting to see that mankind is responsible for the fearful aspects of this creature. Before the fall of man into sin the creatures were considered just another part if God’s wonderful creation. It was the result of Satan’s possession of the snake and man’s disobedience to God’s command that the snake, as well as all creation, was cursed. I look forward to the day when God removes the curse in the new creation. In the meantime, we can still enjoy observing and learning more about these beautiful creatures.

Wrap Your Paper Snake Around Your Neck or Arm:

Since the body naturally curls it will easily wrap around your neck or arm. Share your creation with others.

Now That’s a Wrap!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Origami Penguins: Make It Your Own

Modify to Get What You Want:

 

One of the exciting things about Origami is that you can take an existing form and improve it. Several variations are possible.

From 2D to 3D

 

  The original model.

 

 

 

3-D Model:

 

 

 

 

 

The original penguin fold I learned several years ago was pretty basic and it was a flat 2-D model. It worked well for flat surfaces like greeting cards. I desired to create a 3-D form that could be placed on a flat surface to mimic a penguin standing on ice. It took several attempts to arrive at a model that seemed to represent a more realistic penguin model.

 Here was one of my first attempts. I made a smaller one and inserted it into the larger one to imitate an adult caring for its young.

 Here was another model.

 This model has a rounded belly.

Cut an Iceburg 

If you take a piece of white paper and cut an irregular shape, you can create a base. You can also make the base 3-D by placing rectangles on each edge and folding them down. You can also use a sheet of plastic foam or styrofoam for your icebergs.

Party Favor or Place Marker:

When mounted on a sheet of paper, these make great party favors or centerpieces for the table. You could also put names on them to indicate seating arrangements. I suppose you can think of many more ways to use them.

Do You Want To Fold One?

Start with a square of two-sided paper: black and white. Put the white side up to begin.

Next , fold a crease down the middle with the paper in the diamond position.

Now, fold an air-plane point on the top meeting in the middle.

Think of a Teepee for the next fold. Fold up the two sides of the black so it looks like an open door on a teepee.

Then fold the paper like this to the corner points on each side:

Next, pop fold the top part under the back like this:

 Repeat on the other side wing.

Turn the paper over to the black backside.

Fold the paper like this to form the head. It is like a zigzag:

 

Now, fold the form in half like this:

Pinch the head and pull back. Then squeeze the paper to hold the shape.

 

Now let’s form the head and beak:

 

 

Lay the  bird on its side. Next, fold the tail end diagonally up to shape the belly pocket:

 Pop fold it in:

Now, let’s form the foot:

Now, let’s open the belly pocket: put one finger in front to open the pocket. Put another finger in the back to push forward widening the body and forming the belly bulge:

Put a dab of glue on your iceburge and place the penguin where you want it.

 

Create a whole colony.

These amazing creatures like to live in large colonies. God gave them the ability to live in places other creatures would freeze. This allows them to raise their young with few predators to bother them. The fathers incubate the eggs and raise the young while the mothers are out to sea gathering food. Soon the mothers return to assume the responsibility of raising the young allowing the fathers to return to sea to eat after such a long time of going without eating.

Learn More About These Amazing Birds:

I am always amazed at the great design of our Creator, God, Who gave each creature the ability to reproduce after its own kind and survive in unique places. Each creature is a testimony of His greatness. Why not read the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis in your Bible. You can also learn much more about the various types of penguins by doing research on the internet or reading books about them from the library.

Sonobe: The Origami Unit That Changed the Art Form

Over the hundreds of years that origami has been developed one unit caused a stir in the origami world. It opened a whole new three-dimensional way of viewing the art forms that could be created using multiple units combined together.

 The Sonobe Cube

 

The Sonobe Base:

 

Where It All Began:

It all began, (we think), with Mitsunobu Sonobe when he first published a cube form made from his units in 1968. Once this came out many other origami enthusiasts decided to experiment with module unit Origami. The Sonobe base unit was the key since it could be combined in many ways.

Joshie’s Jewels

Soon thereafter, a new form was developed using only three Sonobe units. Toshie Takahama, in 1970, developed a hexahedron that became know as the Toshie Jewel. It is actually used as a jewel in necklaces and other ornamental structures. In order to form these units the central axis must be inverted so that the middle point goes outward, just the opposite of the former form. This was exciting because it suggested the base could be varied to create more construction possibilities.

The Octahedron Was Formed Using 12 Pieces:

After Joshie’s Jewel came more elaborate designs like Steve Kimbal’s 12 piece Octahedron ball.

These lovely forms were ideal for mobile applications in that they could be hung from a string allowing for circular motion. When strung on string many can be combined to form interesting hanging forms.

This Was Only the Beginning!:

Since the 70’s and 80’s, many new forms have been developed including forms using 30 pieces, 90 pieces, 270 pieces and more. Some create elaborate geometric shapes that have inspired architects and others in building forms. Others have experimented with variations in the forms to create wonderful patterns.

Here Is A Thirty-Piece Form:

 

 

New Surface Treatments:

Once the basic parallelogram shape was established it became obvious that many different color patterns could be developed using two-sided paper. By altering the surface color patterns some amazing designs become possible.  I have only experimented with 6 of these so far, but am interested in finding more and even developing some of my own. Below are a few variations combined in a similar cube form.

You Can Find More Examples:

If you are interested in exploring  Sonobe Unit Origami, I encourage you to go on-line and see what others have done with this exciting base unit. Some have even designed patterns for hanging on a wall or even becoming a wall. There seems to be no end to what you can do with this origami creation.

Strength In Unity:

As I work with these amazing paper constructions, I am reminded of the need for others. In I Peter 2:5, God’s Word tells us that each believer in Christ is like a living stone that must be combined with others to form a house, His Church. “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” As I form each structure it has no integrity or strength until the last unit is added to the mix. When altogether you can actually make the structures better by adding pressure to the outside, just like a snowball. When together we can withstand the pressures that come our way from the outside and even become stronger.

 

Here is a side-to-side comparison of a twelve piece and thirty piece ball.

Slithering Snakes: Origami Serpents

SSSSSS-Snakes!

 

One of the interesting things you can make with the left over scraps of paper is snakes. These were all made with left-over strips of paper from other origami projects. All you need is a long strip of paper and knowledge of how to fold pop and hood folds, and snakes are in your future.

Bend Them Any Way You Want To:

As you can see in the above photographs, you can make the folds bend in many ways to create just the look you want. Some are just up and down diagonal hood and pop folds. Others, like the pink one, are developed by combining folds that bend back over previous folds and then back out again. Experiment and you can create several different snake types. I even made some with Cobra Hoods.

Stick Your Tongue Out!    Add A Tongue and Eyes:

If you take a small piece of red or pink paper and slit it down the middle, leaving only a tiny section still attached, you can make a tongue. Curl it up and add a drop of glue and insert it into the head to make the tongue. The eyes can either be added with a felt tip or you can cut smaller pieces of paper and glue them onto the form. You can also add spots by using hole punched paper. Just a tiny drop of glue holds them in place.

You Can Vary The Sizes:

Depending on where and how you want to use them, you can make them any size depending on the piece of paper you start with. I recommend you start with a long strip of paper. Once you reach the size you want you can cut off what’s left and have a snake just the right length and shape.

Use Them To Illustrate a Story:

It’s interesting to note how many stories involve snakes. Usually the snake is the villain! One of the most interesting stories is found in the Book of Genesis at the beginning of your Bible. It is the story of the Garden of Eden and the fall of man. We also see snakes on a pole as Moses raised them up to ward off the plague that was harming the Children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness. The serpent being lifted up was a type of the future raising of Christ on the Cross. All who looked on the serpent in faith were healed. (Have you ever seen the medical symbol with a snake on it?) All who turn to Christ as their salvation receive eternal life. In the New Testament we read the story of Paul in the Book of Acts, who was bitten by a poisonous snake after surviving shipwreck and an amazing storm. After he was bitten, the natives of the island where they landed stood around waiting for him to die believing that he was bitten at the direction of an angry god because he was a prisoner. Little did they know that he was only a prisoner for sharing his faith, not for a terrible crime like many of the other prisoners on board the ship. Of course, our loving God (not the angry pagan gods) was quick to use this as an opportunity to allow Paul to share his faith with others on the island. As a result of this snake encounter many came to know the Savior as LORD and Master of their lives.

Isn’t it interesting to note that God can use even creatures despised by many to teach us important lessons. Take some time to look at some of the snake types and recognize their creative beauty. So many interesting patterns and behaviors. Just remember that the reason so many despise them had to do with man’s original sin in the Garden. Even snakes were created with a purpose!

Origami On The Tree: Keep It Simple!

Update on Earlier Post:

In an earlier post I showed you how to make  Eco-balls and suggested they might look good on a Christmas Tree as ornaments. I decided to try it this year and mix my origami balls with some of the other ornaments on the tree. Here is what it looks like:

Take A Closer Look:

Let me show you a few close-ups of some of the ornaments.

 

 

Use Large Sheets of Scrapbook Paper:

My wife suggested we choose some colorful scrapbook paper to get colors that would go well together. Since the paper is a little thicker than copy paper it holds its form better and makes durable ornaments. These should last for years if boxed up after Christmas with the other ornaments.

Simple Is Beautiful:

Sometimes just keeping your ornaments simple creates a wonderful look. Origami is wonderful for Christmas Ornaments, don’t you think? Why not make up some of your own to hand on your tree?

Origami Fainting Goats

Got Your Goat

I recently went to a new coffee shop here in Spring Hill, Tennessee called The Fainting Goat. I was immediately interested in the name and looked it up on line and discovered that there really were fainting goats here in Tennessee. When I went to the shop for coffee the first time I was inspired by the t shirts and ball caps with goats on them. I went home and decided to create my own origami goats. I actually used a base from a pig model and worked to modify its head to be Goat like. Here is the finished product:

I added some horns to make them more goat-like. Today I took several to the coffee shop and they thought they looked pretty authentic. I guess You could even make them faint by blowing on them. Ha!

Be Inspired

Origami is such a wonderful medium. Don’t be afraid to experiment. I often see something and think of how I could fold it up with paper. Think of the many origami bases and you can probably choose one that fits the subject the best. Some models may require more than one piece (compound folds), but many can be made with a single sheet of paper.

 

Share With Others

I have discovered that giving Origami to others is a great way to make friends as well as encourage others to enjoy the hobby and art forms of origami. Today I also took one of my Christmas trees and gave it to the librarian as I checked out some books. I also often use Origami to tell others the stories from the Bible while sharing my faith.  Just about everybody loves Origami. Why not fold some up and find some one to share with.

From Pig To Goat:

Above you can see the pig fold on the left that was used as a base to create the goat. The only part that needed to be modified was the head region.

Waxing Eloquently: A New Way to Treat Origami

 

Wax Covered Origami

I recently experimented with encaustic wax while in Texas. We took some of the Stars I made from recycled paper and painted over them with hot wax.

Melt Some Wax:

After selecting your origami star, heat up the wax.

Select Your Colors:

Next, you select the colors you want to use and cover the form with several layers of wax brushed over the surface.

Create Texture:

After the coating with a thin layer of wax you can create texture. By letting some of the wax drop onto the surface after painting them with a coating of wax I was able to develop a nice texture.

 

Adding Pigment:

After letting that dry we rubbed over them with a pigment. Next you use canola oil over the surface and then rub off pigment except where it stays in the nooks and crannies. Here is what the finished product looks like:

Waterproof and Rigid:

Once coated the stars became rigid and shiny. If you add a thread loop you could use them as Christmas ornaments. They would also make cool mobiles. You could just use them as set apart art forms or mount them in shadow boxes.

The Blue and Yellow One Has a Yellow Bottom and Multi-colored Top. I dropped yellow over the blue base color. It works best when the wax cools a little but is still runny.

Origami Christmas Trees

 

A Favorite Christmas Fold

One of my favorite folds is the Origami Christmas Tree. I love to make these every year to give away and to put on the mantle to create a small forest of trees. I have often used them while giving a devotional about the true meaning of Christmas in which I describe how the tree relates to the first coming of Christ. He actually came to die on a tree for our sins. The Bible has a lot of other things to tell us about trees as well. Check it out.

An Easy Fold

This project is actually quite easy if you take the time to make your creases heavy and carefully.

Let’s Start!

You start with an inverted water balloon base.

To make it you fold an X on one side of the paper, then turn it over and fold a cross in the center of the paper. Interestingly the “X” is the second letter in the Ichthus which is the symbol of Christianity. IXOYE in Greek means, “Jesus Christ God’s Son Savior”. When people write X-mas is isn’t necessarily to remove Christ from Christmas since the “X” means “Christ”.

Start With Several Squares of Paper

In order to form a symmetrical tree you need to start with several squares: large to small. You can make as many layers as you like. The more you have the taller the tree.

How to Make the Tree Base

Using the Inverted Water Balloon base you next squash it flat with the open side down.

Fold Up Each of the Four Points on the Bottom

 

Next We Will Create the Smaller Branches

You can already see the basic tree form in the previous fold. To enhance the look we will create four smaller branches in between the four larger ones. Flatten the base and fold the top layer both to the right and to the left as shown below. This will create a “rabbit ear” fold.

This Will Do In a Pinch!

To create the small branch all you have to do is pinch it out like this:

Repeat this process on all four sides and then use your fingers to squeeze the form into the shape of the tree again so it looks like this:

Start Large and Work Down

Next, take your largest unit and place it on the bottom. Take the next largest one (or one of the same size, if you have made two or three of each size), and continue to add them as you go up. In order to hold them in place you put 8 tiny drops of glue on each surface at the top. Don’t use too much glue! A tiny drop will hold it and set more quickly than a big drop. Pinch the outside to get it to hold its position on top of the previous unit. Squeeze and hold and the glue will set almost immediately. Continue to stack units to create your tree.

Start Your Own Forest

 

 

You can also make a trunk for your tree, but that’s another story.

Here Are Some Fun Ways to Use Them:

I often like to give trees away around the Christmas season. I once made several trees and gave them to a neighbor who took them to a hospital for the elderly and gave them out to the older patients who were not able to have a real tree in their rooms. They really enjoyed them. I made several for my daughter-in-law to use at a Christmas tea for women. She used them as center pieces and then let each lady take one home after the event. They make great center pieces for the table as well as fun decorations for the table top. I suppose you could add a string and make them into a mobile. How will you use them?  Have fun and be creative. Remember that this is the season for giving so make a lot of them!

 

 

Here is another type of origami Christmas tree:

Origami Octo-Wreath and Candle Holder

It Has Come Full Circle:

In a recent post I showed you how to make Eco-Balls from an eight-sided base unit. While experimenting with this base I discovered an even more delightful way to combine them to create a full circle wreath.

Divide and Conquer:

In order to create this form, however, I had to alter half of the  the eight-sided units I used to create the ring. It takes 18 units to complete the wheel. To form the linking unit I only glued it part-way leaving those units divided into two swiveling halves. Then I took the solid units and glued them in-between.

 

 

It Takes Patience and Time:

Though this project is time consuming and requires a little patience the end form is worth the effort. It can be made any size you desire according to the size of the original squares of paper used to fold the units. It could easily function as a wreath to use on a doorway or as a base to surround a candle. In what other ways could you find to use it?

Let It Shine:

Two Is Better Than One:

In the candle holder above I used two rings: one large and the other smaller. You can also use just a single wreath as below.

The wreaths can be stacked to create a pleasing form that could also be placed around a potted plant or flower vase.

If you haven’t already viewed my earlier blog post on the Eco-balls, you can look there to see how to fold the base units. Let me know if you find other ways to use this form.