Kirigami Buildings

Kirigami Patterns for Beginners

Kirigami Buildings

An Intermediate-level Kirigami Project

For those creative types who love crafting and want to learn about different art forms from around the world, there is one great form of paper art that begins with a simple piece of paper and a cutting tool. Kirigami is the ancient Japanese art of paper cutting and has become a very popular art form in the crafting world today. Truly a wonderful creative technique, kirigami can be used to create any number of things including greeting cards, stationery, hanging mobiles, gift decorations and more. You’re probably already familiar with one popular form of kirigami—the snowflake.

For anyone who has never tried kirigami, start with a piece of paper (any size or shape), a pencil, and either a scalpel knife with a cutting mat or a sharp pair of scissors.

First, fold the paper in half and start drawing from the folded edge. Feel free to try a simple kirigami pattern or an outline of half an image. For a first try, it’s fun to try a heart, cloud or star shape.

Cut along the lines, making sure not to cut off the folded edge since this is what will keep both pieces together. When you’re done, open the kirigami and use it as a decorative item for anything you like. Paste it to a greeting card, attach it to gift wrap or string it up with other kirigami designs for a mobile.

When you become more comfortable with simple kirigami, feel free to try more intricate patterns and images like a group of flowers, butterflies, dragons and more.  Play around with the cutouts to see what looks best for you. Secure them to paper with contrasting colors, cut out textured paper, or even try it with fabric.  The whole point of this craft is to have fun and let your creative juices flow!

Miho likes to write about crafts, Tokyo life, and her pursuit of a more positive lifestyle. She regularly provides Japanese style crafts, sewing, and eco how-to projects through her blog at http://www.mihosuzuki.com.

Free Kirigami Patterns for Beginners:

Printable Kirigami Patterns for Children: You can find about 50 free kirigami patterns on this page that are designed for young children. These would make great projects to work on with a kindergarten to second grade student on a rainy day.
 
Kirigami Gift PatternFree Kirigami Gift Pattern: This is a very simple gift pattern that is suitable for an adult who is beginning to learn kirigami.
Kirigami Flower Garden CardFree Flower Garden Card Pattern: This kirigami flower card is a little more difficult because it has a lot of curves. It would make a good second project.
Butterfly Kirigami PatternFree Kirigami Butterfly Pattern: Now that you’ve tried one of the easier patterns, you’re ready for a bit of a challenge. Try making this beautiful kirigami butterfly card.

More Kirigami Patterns:

Kirigami MenagerieKirigami Menagerie: This book contains 38 different kirigami animal patterns to photocopy, cut out, and fold into cute little paper animals.
Kirigami BookKirigami: This book will provide a wonderful introduction to the art of kirigami paper cutting.
Kirigami Snowflakes BookSnowflakes for all Seasons: This book contains 72 kirigami snowflake designs, including special designs for holidays not generally associated with snow, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween.

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