Origami Reindeer from a Brown Paper Grocery Bag

Recycle Your Grocery Bags

I recently visited a very large grocery market in Texas called Central Market. I was with family members who were buying stuff for a Thanksgiving. Needless to say, since we were buying groceries for the whole extended family and friends we had a bunch of grocery bags when we got home. So….what do you do when life gives you a ton of Grocery bags?….Turn them into something useful.

Christmas Is Coming:

Since our next celebration will be Christmas I thought it would be fun to make and give my family and friends an early Christmas gift: Origami Reindeer, from a model I created while experimenting with folding.

Learn the Base Folds:

One of the first things I learned when exploring origami was that almost every fold begins with one of the origami bases. In this model you need two Bird Bases and one Fish Base. The bird bases must be the same size and the fish Base is made from a square one sixth the size of the squares used to make the bird bases.

Let’s Begin:

To start our project you need a brown paper bag, scissors, white glue, and a little patience. First cut out the bottom of the sack and down each of the side panels. This will give you enough paper to make several Reindeer. Take one of the side panels and place it printed down then fold it in half.

Next we will create two squares by folding the ends diagonal and cutting off the squares:

Open the rectangles and cut in half to form your squares.

How to Fold The Bird Bases:

Now we can make the two Bird Bases needed for the body of the deer. Begin by placing one of the squares in the diamond position. Now fold an “X” on the paper with two crossing valley golds. Then, turn the paper over and place it like a book, square position. Now fold a cross by folding the top to the bottom and one side to the other.

Set Up Your Tent:

Now place the four corners of the paper on the table so it looks like a tent.

Squeeze It Into an Inverted Water Balloon Base:

Grab each end of the tent and bend your hands downward. This will collapse the form into the inverted water balloon base:

Open Side Toward You:

Next lay the base on the table so the open side faces you. Squash it flat and then fold an Airplane Point using the top layers of each side to seal the bottom. Turn the paper over and fold the same on that side.

Think of an Ice Cream Cone:

Fold down the part that would be the ice cream at the top of the Cone. Bend it down the flip the paper and bend it down on the other side. This will create a hinge fold and provide a pivot place for forming the petal folds to follow.

Put the “ice cream” part back up. Now swivel the paper so the Cone is up. Pretend that the paper is an alligator’s head. Unfold the top layer and stick your fingers into the jaws on both sides. Bend the alligator’s top jaw back towards you. Reform the Cone shape to form a diamond. Do this on the other side of the paper as well.

Let’s Make the Legs:

Place the Bird Base so that the split end is toward you. Use the middle horizontal crease as your guide when folding the next fold. Bend the left side out diagonally until it lines up with the horizontal crease in the middle of the base. Repeat on the other side up the base. Now, flip the paper and do the same folds on the reverse side to create hinge folds. Again, these folds will let the paper know where to bend when you do the pop folds.

Next, pop fold the side pieces so they go to the inside of the fold like this:

Make the Legs Skinny:

Next we will make the Legs skinnier by folding them in half diagonally out toward the sharper point. Again, Pop fold these inside and repeat on both sides of the top and bottom of the figure.

Make Two of These:

Let’s Start with The Back Region:

To form the back of the deer you need a tail. To make the tail fold the top layer down like this:

Tip the Top:

Next fold down just the tip of the top point like this:

Let’s Finish the Tail:

To form the uplifted tail we need to fold up the tail region vertically. Be sure to bend it up on both sides and clear up under the rump region. Now grab the tip of the tail and bend it up into a hold fold. This should look like this:

Let’s Make The Front of the Body:

Take your other Bird Base and fold down the top layer so it looks like this:

Pull both legs downward and crease the fold down the center axis like this:

Tuck it In:

Now open the fold and fold in the point of the end that has the diagonal layer above it like this:

Bend up the skinny end of the paper to form the neck.

Hood Fold the Neck to the Outside:

Now that the paper is hinge folded it will be easy to pull up the hood to center the body under the neck: It should look like this:

Some Assembly Required:

Yes, just like so many of those toys you receive as gifts, some assembly required! It’s not too difficult, however. Since brown paper is very porous it will require a bit more pressure when gluing and will need to be held a little longer while it sets. Here is how to assemble the body:

Add Glue to Flatten the Form:

The pictures following show you where it is best to add some glue:

Squeeze and Hold!:

After applying the glue, press down on the side and apply pressure for at least thirty seconds to bind the form together.

If I Only Hd a Head!

Now we need to make the head. Using the smallest square of paper, (it should be one sixth the size of the squares used for the body pieces), we will turn it like a diamond with the printed side up. Fold an Airplane Point on one side. Open it and do the same on the other end of the paper. Now, turn the paper over and pull the two point together like this:

Here is the Finished Fish Base:

Open the Sharp Pointed End:

Split One End to Form the Horns:

Fold the two outer edges down and flip the ears forward. Bend the horns up on each side of the paper. Fold them in half diagonally to make them skinnier. Add bends to shape the antlers. Flip the ears back so they surround the base of the antlers. Pinch the ends of the ears to shape them.

It’s Time to Get Our Heads On Straight:

Now that you have finished the head you only need to glue it on to the neck. Adjust the position that most captures the characteristics of a deer. Squeeze the cheeks until the glue dries……and…….you have a deer.

Time to Consider the Significance of the Deer:

Every time I fold a deer I am reminded of the song entitled, “As the Deer”. Maybe you have heard it to. The lyrics are taken from Scripture and read, “As the deer panteth for the water. So my soul longeth after Thee. You alone are my heart’s desire. And I long to worship Thee…”

The Scripture from which this song derives is Psalm 42:1-5:

NIV “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God.”

I don’t know where you are in your relationship with the God of the universe, but I can tell you, in knowing Him and accepting His free gift of salvation, your soul can be fully satisfied just like King David was when he penned these words long ago. He has been satisfying souls with the living water since the beginning of time.

Make More and Share:

After I made a bunch of deer I gave several away. Some actually went back to the market where we got the bags. Others went to a work site where several employees were begging for a deer to put in the work cubical. Others went to friends and families. I just folded up a bunch more to give to some students that are taking my origami class at the Library. It’s amazing how many people you can meet giving away origami creations. Who do you know would enjoy one? Why not make a large herd of deer to give away. Spread some cheer!

Three-D Origami Star Ornament

Something New From Something Old:

I love to create new things from old things. In this blog post I have found a new way to combine the units I featured before in the *Eco-Balls and *Octo-Wreath blogs. You can see how to make both the solid and swivel units in those blogs. For this project: It will take six units: two of them swivel units, and four solid ones.

*. See Sept. 17th and 18th of 2017 to see the former blog posts.

Make the Units: Follow the directions in the earlier blog posts.

After folding and gluing the units you will need to form two three piece units. Place a swivel unit in the middle and glue two solid units to the ends like this:

Square It Up!:

Next, you will glue the two flat square surfaces together after flipping one over to match the other surface. Notice that the center part of each of the three-piece units is a flattened square.

Add a Loop: or…Try “No String Attached”:

Take a sewing needle and thread it. Insert the needle through one of the tops of the star and form a loop so you can hand it from a tree or use it in a mobile. These stars are also attractive with no strings attached as center pieces.

Old Things Become New:

While I was creating this new project I thought back to how God, in His mercy, has transformed my life since I accepted His free gift of salvation.

As much as I delight in creating new things from the old, I am reminded of God’s wonderful plan of redemption. He takes our old sinful lives and transforms us through salvation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here!” I Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Said another way in the New Living Translation:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has come.”

I hope you have come to know Christ as your Savior and LORD as I have. If not, He offers this free gift to all who believe in Him.

John 3:16 says it like this:

“For God so loved the world that He gave a His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

An Origami Challenge for You:

Can You Find More Ways to Combine the Units?:

Here is a challenge to all my origami friends. Can you find other ways to combine these units? I would love to see your creations. Origami is fun because you are always discovering new ways to fold paper using the techniques and folds you have made before. If you find a new way, send me a picture so I can add it to this blog.j

Here’s Another New Combination:

Triangle Pyramid Creations

Horn Toad

In one of my earlier posts I showed you how to fold paper pyramids. In that post I showed you some of the creations you could construct by combing the units. This past week I have been trying to create some paper creatures to show my class Some of the possible things you can make with pyramids.

It Takes Some Patience !

One thing I have learned early on is that it takes a lot of patience and time to create a unique form. Since we have several known creations to use as models found in God’s creations we can try to mimic them or try to capture some of the design features while modifying them to fit our purposes and materials. As I strive to create a believable creature I am reminded how far from the real living thing that my model has achieved. God’s creatures are wonderfully made and designed to function. They are alive! Even though my forms are far from His craftsmanship I can appreciate the creativity and pleasure of creating a form. Here is another of my creations:

The Triangle Tarantula

It’s interesting to consider how each creature is created according to a specific symmetry pattern. In each of these models we see bilateral balance. Each time I added a pyramid element to one side of the figure I had to add one to the opposite side to create balance. As I have studied art and science I have encountered symmetry in every creature formed. Each symmetry type has its advantages. Animals with bilateral symmetry prove be the fastest. Consider the horse, falcon, and cheetah. Animals with radial symmetry, however, are slow moving but able to defend themselves from all sides as well as seek their prey in any direction. Consider the starfish, sea anemone, and sea urchin. As you can see, symmetry plays an important role in all design.

Shape Signifies a Creator

Each building block must be designed to go with the others to fulfill its purpose. In this creation all of the building blocks were triangular. Some were three- sided units while others were four-sided. Notice that they are rigid. Now think of your body. It is also created from building blocks. These are cells. Rather than just two types of building blocks, God has used many. We have skin cells, nerve cells, bone cells, muscle, and more. Rather than being rigid forms these are pliable. They can move, bend, and carry out various functions. And..they are living and able to grow and reproduce more when they have out-lived their usefulness.

On Display for All to See

Each time I share a blog post I am reminded that it will be seen by many. Each person reading a post will have individual responses according to their personalities, worldview, and interests. I love sharing the things I am interested in and for which I have a passion. Think now of God’s creation. What do you think He wants to display to us? In the Book of Romans, chapter one, the Apostle Paul made several interesting statements about creation. The very character of God can clearly be seen in what He has created.

Why Not Try to Make Some Creatures of Your Own?

Since I have already shown you how to make the four-sided pyramids in an earlier blog, let me show you how to make a triangular pyramid.

Start With A Sheet of Paper

Fold the right hand side to the left but do not crease it all the way to the top. Just press on the bottom of the paper to create a crimp mark.

Then take the right hand side and bring it in to the crimp mark. You are now going to make another crimp mark a third of the way up the right side.

Now use the bottom crimp mark as a hinge and fold the bottom left hand side up to touch the crimp mark that is about a third of the way up the paper. Set the crease.

Then bring the other side up to the diagonal edge of the first side so the paper has an airplane point at the bottom.

Now to the Cutting

Take a pair of scissors and make a horizontal cut from the top of the fold on the right hand side all the way go the left.

Now open the paper and cut off the side panels and you have an equal-sided triangle.

Helpful Hint: Save the Side Panels to Make Smaller Pyramids

Now to Fold From 2-D to 3-D

Take the triangle and fold the bottom right hand side to the left and crease. Twist the triangle to the right and repeat two more times. Thus will divide the pyramid in half three ways and create a crease mark for a reference for further folding.

Now Let’s Get to the Point

We are going to fold an airplane point on each of the three points of the triangle.

Back to the Top

After folding the point, bring the sharp end back down to the blunt end and set a dark crease. Repeat this on each point. Hint: Don’t forget to fold end to end on the last point even though from the top it looks like it has already been folded. The crease is only on one layer and needs to travel to all levels. Easy way to check it: Look in the center of the large triangle and you should see a small triangle in the creases in the middle of the paper. If one side of the smaller triangle is missing that indicates the point that still needs to be folded back from sharp to blunt end.

This Will Do In a Pinch

Open up your folds and pinch the middle of each of the three sides. It should pop up to look like this:

You Are Now Ready for Glue

To finish the pyramid you need to add glue. Hint: A little glue is better than a lot. Adjust your glue bottle so you can create a glue line about as thick as a pencil lead. A little glue will set almost immediately while more glue takes a lot longer to set as well as it oozes out and damages the appearance of the finished form. Apply a thin line of glue like in the following picture. The only part of the pyramid that touches is the edge.

Place glue between each of the three sides then carefully align the edges and bring them together into the pyramid form. Hold it firmly for about thirty seconds and the glue should be dry.

Finished Form

How to Use the Side Pieces

If you want to create some smaller pyramids you can take the side strips you cut off earlier and fold the point at the bottom to the top of the same side and it forms another pyramid. Just cut off the one side strip that remains. The pictures below show the process:


Interlocks Are Great For Legs

If you want to create long slender legs for your creatures you will have to learn to Interlock. If you take one pyramid and put it above another facing the opposite direction the two pyramids will fit together like the cogs on a gear. The gluing is a little more difficult but is done in the sane manner as before, only that you are using the surfaces of two pyramids to come together instead of one. An Interlock looks like this:

Now It’s Your Turn

By using the outer surfaces of each triangle for gluing tabs you can combine the pyramids in many ways to create your creatures. If you look at the two creatures in this post you can probably locate the interlocks and the standard pyramids. Now it’s time for you to try it. I would love to see what you create.

Origami Page Corner Bookmarks: Easy and Fun!


Do You Like to Read? 

One of my favorite things to do is to take some time to read a book. I often challenge my students by reminding them that they can learn a lot by reading, and even improve their writing skills by seeing how others communicate. Of course, my favorite Book is the Bible, and I try to spend time in it each day. Funny thing is, though, it is easy to forget where you left off the day before or the next time you pick up the book you are reading.

One solution to this problem is to make a page corner bookmark.

An Easy, Fun, Project!

If you want to get kids interested in reading, this is the project for you. It is easy and can be quickly done. It also allows kids to come up with their own designs after they have done one with your help.

Let’s Make a Frog Bookmark:

Begin with a sheet of green colored copy paper. Fold it in half. Next, fold the open sided corner diagonally over to the opposite edge to create a triangle that when open will form a square. Since the paper is doubled at this point you will get two squares to make two bookmarks if desired.

See Below for Written Instructions:

Tuck and Fold:


Next, take one of the squares and return it to the triangle shape. Make sure the point of the triangle is at the bottom and it is the open side. Next, fold the right hand corner to the bottom of the triangle. Do the same with the left side. Now, fold the top layer bottom point of the right side up to the top of the form. Do the same on the left side.

Open and Hide:

Now you will open up the two top layers and fold the bottom point (just the top layer) to the top of the triangle. Next, return the two side wings to cover the flap you just folded. The next part is the hardest. Tuck the little flaps on top up inside the open pocket on the bottom of the triangle. Do this on the left and right and it should look like this:


Now for the Fun!

Now that you have formed the frog’s body he needs eyes, a chin, and a tongue. The following pictures show you how to make and assemble the parts to make your frog.

Use the scissors to curl the tongue like you would a ribbon. It adds a little character to your frog’s personality.

Mark Your Spot:

After making your bookmark you can insert the top corner of a page where you are reading to mark your spot. *Some bookmarks mark the bottom right corner. It’s best to add a couple pages into the pocket so it gets a firm grip.

Create Your Own Designs:

After making this bookmark, try developing some of your own. Below are a few I made this last week: Which of the following is your favorite?

*Notice that the fox above and the mouse below are bottom corner markers.

Makes Some for Others:

Now that you know how to make a bookmark, why not make several and give some away?

A neat way to encourage others to read God’s Word, the most important Book that has ever been written, is to give some of these to children and ask them what they have read during the last week. Share with them some of the nuggets of truth you found while reading God’s Word and encourage them to read it too. They might want to start with their favorite Bible story. Show them where it can be found in the Bible and ask them to come back next week and share some of the interesting things they found while reading the Bible.

This makes a fun project for DVBS, Summer Camps, Day Camps, School crafts, something to make and give to people in hospitals and nursing homes. What ways can you think of using them?

How to Fold An Articulated Origami Snake

Scales and All:

One of the unit Origami creatures I have created takes on the characteristics of an actual snake. It even has an articulated body with scales. Whenever I have taught classes of kids Origami and offered them an opportunity to select their favorite fold from a wide selection, they usually choose these.

Begin with a Pinwheel Base:

To begin your snake you will need to fold several body segments using the Pinwheel base as a starting place.

Next you will need to raise each of the four points of the Pinwheel up like a shark fin. Push down on the tops so they look like the picture above. Then you turn the fold over and fold the four corners to the center while letting the flaps from the underside pop out. It looks like this:

If you turn it over the underside should look like this:

You can make as many of these as you like, the more you make the longer the snake.

Add just a tiny drop of glue between the units to hold them in their tucked position. Keep adding body units until you reach you desired length.

Heads or Tails or Both?

Now we need a head and a tail. To make a head choose a square of paper slightly larger than your body units. You will fold it in the same way as the body units and then add three more folds to shape the cheeks and nose.

The tail is the easiest part (unless you want to make a rattlesnake). Start with a rectangle as wide as the squares of paper you used to make your body units. Fold an airplane point on one end. On the same end, fold two more airplane points on top of the one you already made. This will make the tail long an slender. On the opposite end fold a single airplane point to make the flap that attaches to the body of the snake. Again, a small drop of glue will keep it attached.

If You Want to Make a Rattlesnake You will have to look at my blog on the Hexoflexagram. The rattle is just an unglued segment of the flexograms. 

Here Is a Finished Rattlesnake:

Here Are Some More Snakes 


Add a Tongue and Eyes:

You can create a tongue with a small thin triangle of red paper. Slit it down the middle and curl the sharp end. Glue into the slot under the snake’s nose. You can either add eyes with a felt tip pen or cut out pieces of paper to form the eyes. You can also add “wiggle eyes” that you get from the craft store.

Snakes Are Often Feared But They Get a Bad Wrap!

It’s interesting to see people’s responses to snakes. Though these paper ones are less fearful, the real ones are often greatly feared. If you know the first mention of the snake in the Bible you get a little insight into this response. It’s interesting to see that mankind is responsible for the fearful aspects of this creature. Before the fall of man into sin the creatures were considered just another part if God’s wonderful creation. It was the result of Satan’s possession of the snake and man’s disobedience to God’s command that the snake, as well as all creation, was cursed. I look forward to the day when God removes the curse in the new creation. In the meantime, we can still enjoy observing and learning more about these beautiful creatures.

Wrap Your Paper Snake Around Your Neck or Arm:

Since the body naturally curls it will easily wrap around your neck or arm. Share your creation with others.

Now That’s a Wrap!







Origami Penguins: Make It Your Own

Modify to Get What You Want:


One of the exciting things about Origami is that you can take an existing form and improve it. Several variations are possible.

From 2D to 3D


  The original model.




3-D Model:






The original penguin fold I learned several years ago was pretty basic and it was a flat 2-D model. It worked well for flat surfaces like greeting cards. I desired to create a 3-D form that could be placed on a flat surface to mimic a penguin standing on ice. It took several attempts to arrive at a model that seemed to represent a more realistic penguin model.

 Here was one of my first attempts. I made a smaller one and inserted it into the larger one to imitate an adult caring for its young.

 Here was another model.

 This model has a rounded belly.

Cut an Iceburg 

If you take a piece of white paper and cut an irregular shape, you can create a base. You can also make the base 3-D by placing rectangles on each edge and folding them down. You can also use a sheet of plastic foam or styrofoam for your icebergs.

Party Favor or Place Marker:

When mounted on a sheet of paper, these make great party favors or centerpieces for the table. You could also put names on them to indicate seating arrangements. I suppose you can think of many more ways to use them.

Do You Want To Fold One?

Start with a square of two-sided paper: black and white. Put the white side up to begin.

Next , fold a crease down the middle with the paper in the diamond position.

Now, fold an air-plane point on the top meeting in the middle.

Think of a Teepee for the next fold. Fold up the two sides of the black so it looks like an open door on a teepee.

Then fold the paper like this to the corner points on each side:

Next, pop fold the top part under the back like this:

 Repeat on the other side wing.

Turn the paper over to the black backside.

Fold the paper like this to form the head. It is like a zigzag:


Now, fold the form in half like this:

Pinch the head and pull back. Then squeeze the paper to hold the shape.


Now let’s form the head and beak:



Lay the  bird on its side. Next, fold the tail end diagonally up to shape the belly pocket:

 Pop fold it in:

Now, let’s form the foot:

Now, let’s open the belly pocket: put one finger in front to open the pocket. Put another finger in the back to push forward widening the body and forming the belly bulge:

Put a dab of glue on your iceburge and place the penguin where you want it.


Create a whole colony.

These amazing creatures like to live in large colonies. God gave them the ability to live in places other creatures would freeze. This allows them to raise their young with few predators to bother them. The fathers incubate the eggs and raise the young while the mothers are out to sea gathering food. Soon the mothers return to assume the responsibility of raising the young allowing the fathers to return to sea to eat after such a long time of going without eating.

Learn More About These Amazing Birds:

I am always amazed at the great design of our Creator, God, Who gave each creature the ability to reproduce after its own kind and survive in unique places. Each creature is a testimony of His greatness. Why not read the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis in your Bible. You can also learn much more about the various types of penguins by doing research on the internet or reading books about them from the library.

Origami Jewelry Using Sonobe Toshie’s Jewels:


Origami  Earrings Take It to the Next Level:

Origami forms can be taken a step further by using them in jewelry constructions. One of the best forms that works well for earrings, necklaces, and bracelets is Toshie’s Jewel made from the Sonobe base.

First Things First:

In order to begin you will have to fold up a couple jewels which require six Sonobe parallelograms, three unit for each jewel. Once you have formed your jewels, you are ready to go to the next step.

What You Need:

You should have on hand the following items to complete your earrings: earring hooks (I found a package of them at Walmart), some thin silver jewelry wire (also at Walmart), a large needle,  some colored beads, a pair of needle-nosed pliers, some clear fingernail polish or spray on clear acrylic, wire cutters, and a lot of patience.

How to Assemble:

Cut off a couple strands of silver wire. Thread one end through the needle and bend it over. Place one bead on the wire and twist it so the bead stays in place at the bottom of the strand. Poke the needle through the jewel from the bottom up out a top point. Pull the end of the wire out of the needle and place another bead on the wire above the Joshie’s Jewel. Now, thread the wire into the earring hook and twist it to secure the wire to the hook. Cut off any remaining wire.

Seal the Deal!:

After you have constructed two earrings it is time to seal them with a coat of clear acrylic spray, or paint the surface with a coat of clear fingernail polish. This will make the form more rigid and render it water-proof. It also gives it a shiny surface.


Now All You Need is a Pair of Ears!

These make great gifts for birthdays, and other special occasions. You could also just surprise a friend with them or give them to a young person who might want to learn how to make her own. I bet the guys would quickly make friends with a girl by giving her a pair of these. He could also make a pair for his mother, a sister, grandma or a teacher.


Try Other Origami Folds:

There are also many other origami forms that would be delightful in earrings. Butterflies, Birds,  Sonobe cubes and more complex forms. The trick is that they have to be small which requires more skill to fold than larger forms. Take a look on-line under “Origami Jewelry” and you can see many other types of earrings, bracelets, necklaces and more.f

Sonobe: The Origami Unit That Changed the Art Form

Over the hundreds of years that origami has been developed one unit caused a stir in the origami world. It opened a whole new three-dimensional way of viewing the art forms that could be created using multiple units combined together.

 The Sonobe Cube

The Sonobe Base:

Where It All Began:

It all began, (we think), with Mitsunobu Sonobe when he first published a cube form made from his units in 1968. Once this came out many other origami enthusiasts decided to experiment with module unit Origami. The Sonobe base unit was the key since it could be combined in many ways.t

Toshie’s Jewels

Soon thereafter, a new form was developed using only three Sonobe units. Toshie Takahama, in 1970, developed a hexahedron that became know as the Toshie Jewel. It is actually used as a jewel in necklaces and other ornamental structures. In order to form these units the central axis must be inverted so that the middle point goes outward, just the opposite of the former form. This was exciting because it suggested the base could be varied to create more construction possibilities.

The Octahedron Was Formed Using 12 Pieces:

After Toshie’s Jewel came more elaborate designs like Steve Kimbal’s 12 piece Octahedron ball.

These lovely forms were ideal for mobile applications in that they could be hung from a string allowing for circular motion. When strung on string many can be combined to form interesting hanging forms.

This Was Only the Beginning!:

Since the 70’s and 80’s, many new forms have been developed including forms using 30 pieces, 90 pieces, 270 pieces and more. Some create elaborate geometric shapes that have inspired architects and others in building forms. Others have experimented with variations in the forms to create wonderful patterns.

Here Is A Thirty-Piece Form:


New Surface Treatments:

Once the basic parallelogram shape was established it became obvious that many different color patterns could be developed using two-sided paper. By altering the surface color patterns some amazing designs become possible.  I have only experimented with 6 of these so far, but am interested in finding more and even developing some of my own. Below are a few variations combined in a similar cube form.

You Can Find More Examples:

If you are interested in exploring  Sonobe Unit Origami, I encourage you to go on-line and see what others have done with this exciting base unit. Some have even designed patterns for hanging on a wall or even becoming a wall. There seems to be no end to what you can do with this origami creation.

Strength In Unity:

As I work with these amazing paper constructions, I am reminded of the need for others. In I Peter 2:5, God’s Word tells us that each believer in Christ is like a living stone that must be combined with others to form a house, His Church. “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” As I form each structure it has no integrity or strength until the last unit is added to the mix. When altogether you can actually make the structures better by adding pressure to the outside, just like a snowball. When together we can withstand the pressures that come our way from the outside and even become stronger.

Here is a side-to-side comparison of a twelve piece and thirty piece ball.

Slithering Snakes: Origami Serpents



One of the interesting things you can make with the left over scraps of paper is snakes. These were all made with left-over strips of paper from other origami projects. All you need is a long strip of paper and knowledge of how to fold pop and hood folds, and snakes are in your future.

Bend Them Any Way You Want To:

As you can see in the above photographs, you can make the folds bend in many ways to create just the look you want. Some are just up and down diagonal hood and pop folds. Others, like the pink one, are developed by combining folds that bend back over previous folds and then back out again. Experiment and you can create several different snake types. I even made some with Cobra Hoods.

Stick Your Tongue Out!    Add A Tongue and Eyes:

If you take a small piece of red or pink paper and slit it down the middle, leaving only a tiny section still attached, you can make a tongue. Curl it up and add a drop of glue and insert it into the head to make the tongue. The eyes can either be added with a felt tip or you can cut smaller pieces of paper and glue them onto the form. You can also add spots by using hole punched paper. Just a tiny drop of glue holds them in place.

You Can Vary The Sizes:

Depending on where and how you want to use them, you can make them any size depending on the piece of paper you start with. I recommend you start with a long strip of paper. Once you reach the size you want you can cut off what’s left and have a snake just the right length and shape.

Use Them To Illustrate a Story:

It’s interesting to note how many stories involve snakes. Usually the snake is the villain! One of the most interesting stories is found in the Book of Genesis at the beginning of your Bible. It is the story of the Garden of Eden and the fall of man. We also see snakes on a pole as Moses raised them up to ward off the plague that was harming the Children of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness. The serpent being lifted up was a type of the future raising of Christ on the Cross. All who looked on the serpent in faith were healed. (Have you ever seen the medical symbol with a snake on it?) All who turn to Christ as their salvation receive eternal life. In the New Testament we read the story of Paul in the Book of Acts, who was bitten by a poisonous snake after surviving shipwreck and an amazing storm. After he was bitten, the natives of the island where they landed stood around waiting for him to die believing that he was bitten at the direction of an angry god because he was a prisoner. Little did they know that he was only a prisoner for sharing his faith, not for a terrible crime like many of the other prisoners on board the ship. Of course, our loving God (not the angry pagan gods) was quick to use this as an opportunity to allow Paul to share his faith with others on the island. As a result of this snake encounter many came to know the Savior as LORD and Master of their lives.

Isn’t it interesting to note that God can use even creatures despised by many to teach us important lessons. Take some time to look at some of the snake types and recognize their creative beauty. So many interesting patterns and behaviors. Just remember that the reason so many despise them had to do with man’s original sin in the Garden. Even snakes were created with a purpose!