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What is Origami?
Origami is the art and science of folding paper into 2- and 3D objects. In his work “The Complete Book of Origami(1),” author Robert J. Lang explains that this art dates back to the 6th century A.D., when the science of paper-making was carried by Chinese Buddhist monks to Japan. Initially only used for ceremonies, easy origami designs soon became a mainstream occupation and hobby. Today it is possible to make Origami thank you cards that fit any occasion.
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The Origami Flower
While the crane is the quintessential example of origami, its shape and form do not easily lend themselves to mailing. Origami cards made in the shapes of flat star-shaped flowers are simpler to mail and nevertheless touch on the symbolism of the art: the handmade aspect of the crafted card accentuates the message of the sender. The choice of the paper and color all figure into this equation.
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Origami Folding Instructions for a Flower
- Purchase five sheets of origami paper or scour your shelves for recycled paper. The latter not only allows the artist to go green in the endeavor, but the combination of differing colors and textures results in an irresistible presentation.
- Fold a sheet of paper in half on the horizontal line and cut to produce two rectangles. Fold them in half to produce squares. Cut along the line. Ensure that the lines of the squares are neat. Repeat for the other four sheets.
- Take one square and fold it along the diagonal line. This results in a triangle.
- Crease the upper corner. Make sure the crease does not take place at the halfway mark but only at the upper third of the triangle corner!
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all the squares.
- Place the creased triangles one inside the next. This results in a star-shaped flower. It features an exterior star shape – made up of the long triangle portions – and the interior star that is made up by the upper folded portions resulting in shorter triangles.
- Glue a pompom, button or gold star to the center. This prevents dislodging of the triangles during mail transit.
Optional: The Stem and Leaves
- Take a sheet of paper and cut it along the vertical line. Fold over the resulting strip to shorten the rectangular shape. Fold it in half. Make sure the stem is not too short or long for the size of the star flower.
- Attach the stem to the back of the flower with a bit of glue.
- Fold smaller rectangles from discarded paper. These become the leaves. Glue then along the stem as you see fit. Once again, keep the sizing congruent with the head of the flower
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Easy Origami Messages
While the presentation of the card surely matters, the message is just as important. Origami thank you cards are a good choice for use with wedding thank you cards sayings and also for expressions of gratitude for birthday and graduation gifts. Consider printing a star-shaped sticker with ‘thank you’ imprinted on it in a flowery script and affixing it to the center of the flower instead of the pompom. This makes the Origami thank you cards excellent for any occasion. Pair it with a brief handwritten note to accompany the creation and drop it into the mail.
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(1)Google Books. “The Complete Book of Origami by Robert J. Lang” (accessed May 8, 2010)