Kirigami is the Japanese art of paper cutting. It’s a wonderful craft that only requires a piece of paper and a couple of cutting tool like scissors and scalpel knife. The beauty of kirigami is the fact that it is not restricted with rules or too many instructions, which is perfect for virtually anyone to try and it can help recycle many everyday items like paper, cardboard or even plastic sheets.
There are several different ways to fold a piece of paper for kirigami, with the most basic being a simple fold down the middle of the paper. Whether the fold is lengthwise or widthwise, the end result will always be a mirror image of what is cut out.
One Fold Kirigami Butterfly
1 – Fold a square or rectangular piece of paper in half.
2 – Starting from the folded edge, lightly draw half a circle (for the head) and one butterfly wing.
3 – Cut along the line, making sure to keep the middle fold intact.
4 – Unfold.
One fold kirigami may seem quite basic, yet any pattern will look quite professional since both sides will match perfectly. These simple silhouettes are a lovely addition for picture frames or they can be strung up as garlands.
Two Fold Kirigami Flower
To move on to something a little more difficult, try folding a piece of paper twice for a more intricate design.
1 – Fold a square piece of paper in half lengthwise to make a rectangle.
2 – Fold it lengthwise a second time to make it square again.
3 – Starting from one of the folded edges, draw half a petal.
4 – Draw another half of a petal on the other folded edge but making sure to keep both petals attached at one point.
5 – At the top folded corner, draw a semi-circle.
6 – Cut along the lines and unfold.
These two fold patterns are fun for creating paper coasters, ornaments and gift tags. Experiment with various cuts to create unique designs or to add more details to existing shapes.
Kirigami is a great hobby for anyone wanting to find a use for scrap paper around the home. The simplicity and inexpensive materials make it a craft that many children can try, just as long as safety scissors are used. To try something even more interesting, try combining various textured papers and layer them on greeting cards for a one-of-a-kind creation.
About the Author: Miho loves to create and show others the simplicity of crafts. Her blog, Mihosuzuki.com, offers a wide range of kirigami templates and other craft projects for everyone in the family.