Instructions for Origami with Printing Paper


Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding and it is traditionally done with perfectly square sheets of paper. Origami is possible, however, with rectangular printing paper if you cut it into a square shape. You can make printing paper into a square without using a ruler just by folding it and knowing where to cut. Using this method allows an origami artist practice folding objects in the customary manner without having to acquire authentic origami paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Printing paper
  • Scissors
  • Position the printer paper on a table. Place it in a horizontal orientation.

  • Fold the lower left corner up to the top edge of the paper. Make sure the left edge of the paper lines up exactly with the top edge, forming a large triangular flap. Crease the fold so that the flap stays in position.

  • Notice the rectangular end of the paper on the right side beyond the edge of the triangular flap. Fold this rectangular section over the edge of the triangle and crease it into a straight, vertical line.

  • Crease the vertical fold and unfold the rectangular flap. Unfold the triangular flap as well. Smooth the paper flat with your hands.

  • Cut the rectangular section off the printing paper with scissors. Alternatively, you can cut the section off with a sharp craft knife guided by a metal ruler or other straight edge.

  • Throw the rectangular part of the paper away and you are left with a square sheet of paper. Fold your origami object using the square piece of paper.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use this procedure to make any rectangular sheet of paper, such as giftwrap or even magazine pages, into a square as long as the paper has right angles.
  • Instead of discarding the cut-off rectangular strip, use it to make another smaller square of paper by following the above steps.

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  • Photo Credit origami image by legrodu95 from
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