Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tutorial: Cutting Easy Squares

I use quite a number of paper squares for some of my origami projects – boxes, envelopes, Christmas decorations, seed packets, seedling pots, flocks of birds, bunches of flowers ..... This is how I cut them easily and accurately, and most importantly quickly. It is especially good for recycling magazine pages which often have a raggedy edge and would otherwise involve measuring and fiddling.

Start with any piece of paper with at least one right angle and two straight sides.


Fold the right angled corner in half, lining up the two sides that had formed the right angle, precisely.  (In the example, fold the left hand side down to meet the bottom edge).

If a square with particular dimensions is desired, measure the desired side length from the folded point along the lined up straight edge. (In the example, measure along the bottom edge from the point at the left hand side)

Line up the matched edges with the bottom edge of a paper cutter, the grid lines of a cutting mat or one side of a t-square.  If a measurement was marked, line the mark up with the cutting line.  (In the example line the bottom edge of the paper against the bottom edge of the cutter)  CUT!

A perfect square to play with!

Tutorial: Origami Treasure Envelopes

These cute envelopes have a gusset so there is space inside to hold small items – buttons, beads, seeds, coins, paperclips.....whatever your treasure. When they are open the contents are easily visible without having to tip them out, which makes them very suitable for craft items.

A square piece of paper is needed. I recycle magazine pages with pictures, patterns or colour schemes that I like - the heavier weight of most magazine pages make nice sturdy envelopes, but any paper can be used. The samples for the tutorial use copy paper and origami paper because they were easier to photograph clearly.

Score centreline: fold in half, side to side, then unfold.
Fold sides into centre line created by middle fold. Unfold.
Fold top corners down to middle, lining edges up with centre line.
Fold sides in to meet at centre fold.
Score (fold and unfold) along the lines marked in picture:  Fold tip to baseline.  Fold baseline to midline just made.  Fold each bottom corner to the midpoint of the opposite side.
Fold bottom up. Match bottom corners to inside corners.
Push in sides and squash flat.

Fold top triangle down to form flap.
Fill with special treasures.
Seal with a sticker or tape, or tie closed with ribbon or string.