How to Make an Origami Awareness Ribbon

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Awareness ribbons are worn for a variety of reasons and come in a rainbow array of colors according to the cause or issue they support. Traditionally awareness ribbons are made from a single piece of ribbon, but this paper awareness ribbon is just as easy to make and wear as a typical awareness ribbon and can be made in unique and modern designs by implementing the use of markers and crayons as well as magazine pages and various other non-typical material. Awareness ribbons are an important way for people to show support for things they believe in subtle and non-threatening ways. Some causes may be represented by more than one color, while others share the same color. For example, red represents both AIDS and Drug Abuse Awareness, while teal represents Ovarian Cancer and Sexual Assault.

Things You'll Need

  • Origami paper
  • Printer paper
  • Construction paper
  • Flat surface
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape
  • Safety pin
  • Make a square sheet of paper. If you’re using origami paper, you’re paper will already be in a square, but if you’re using construction paper or printer paper, you’ll need to adjust it. Fold diagonally to form a triangle and cut off the remaining edge.

  • Fold you square in half. Unfold and cut on the center crease that you made with the fold, so that you have two equal sides.

  • Taking one of the sides, fold it in half and unfold once more. Now, using this new center crease as a guide, fold the top and bottom sides up to meet this center crease.

  • Edge fold the corners of each side, bringing the points in and lining the outside edges with the center fold.

  • Fold the paper in half, so that the open edges from your folds are closed inside the new fold. Crease all the sides using your nail or the side of a pencil.

  • Fold the paper in half to determine the center. Unfold and, using this center line, fold the right arm over and down so that its top edge crosses the center of your middle crease. Repeat it on the left side, so that the left arm crosses over the right arm. Adjust as necessary and crease to flatten.

  • To wear the paper ribbon, carefully run a safety pin through the back layers of paper and secure it to your clothing or bag.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use appropriately-colored construction paper for your awareness ribbon or use markers to decorate them.
  • Check a list of awareness ribbon colors and the cause or issue they support.
  • If your ribbon won’t stay flat, use a bit of tape to secure the arms in place.

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  • Photo Credit Jillian Downer
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