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Origami Jewelry: Make beautiful paper accessories

Updated on November 11, 2012

Jewelry crafted from beautiful Japanese paper.

Origami Jewelry is jewelry made of folded paper, or paper jewelry in simpler terms.

My first encounter with origami accessories was during a 2004 trip to Japan. I found earrings shaped like paper cranes in a department store called Seibu. The earrings had an all-over origami paper print so I bought a couple of pairs - one for me, another for a close friend. All the while I thought they were made of metal or resin - never in my wildest dreams did I think they were made of paper... but how? Those earrings are so tiny!

Thanks to the internet and some resource books, I learned that origami jewelry is quite simple to make. If you read on, you will find basic steps on how to make paper jewelry and where to buy origami jewelry.

This Squidoo lens was awarded a Purple Star on February 1, 2011, what an honor! Learn more about the Purple Star Program by clicking on the link.

Photo from Flickr user super_okra

Origami from oru meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper" is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The goal of this art is to create a representation of an object using geometric folds and crease patterns using only one piece of paper and preferably without gluing or cutting it.

Perhaps the most well-known form that origami takes on is the Japanese Paper Crane as it is traditionally the symbol for peace and hope.

Follow the directions in the video below to learn how to make a paper crane. You can use this as the charm or pendant for your first project. (You may also follow step-by-step instructions in this diagram if you prefer a static guide).

Photo by Flickr user Andy Schultz

(photos from Flickr user Harugurumi)

Make origami jewelry by following these 3 basic steps.

Step 1: Make the origami charm

There are a ton of forms you can make with origami - choose from any of these free folding instructions. They come complete with diagrams and step-by-step folding directions. 5"x5" to 6"x6" squares work well for pendants, 4"x4" squares and smaller (if you can handle them!) can be used for earrings and bracelet charms. Washi paper has been proven to give the best results. Take your pick from the following origami paper sets.


Aitoh Origami Paper 4 in. x 4 in.
Chiyogami 20 sheets


Aitoh Origami Paper 5 7/8 in. x 5 7/8 in.
Washi Chiyogami 24 sheets


Step 2: Coat your finished product.

Protect the finished product with an all-purpose varnish art spray. Polyurethane has been highly recommended by the experts because it will soak through the paper to coat the entire piece and not just the surface. It is water based and therefore easy to handle but, when dry, it is water resistant. Some picks are below:


DecoArt DuraClear
Poly Varnishes glossy


DecoArt DuraClear
Poly Varnishes satin


Step 3: Attach the jewelry findings (a.k.a. fittings).

Findings vary depending on the piece of jewelry piece you are making - for instance, you will need chains for necklaces, pin backings for pins and brooches, and earring posts or hooks for earrings. Here are tried and tested materials:


Darice Earring Fish Hooks
gold pack of 48


Darice Leather Cords
natural



Darice Steel Pin Backs
gold pack of 60


Darice Lobster Clasps
pack of 12 lobster clasps


More jewelry crafting materials are available at MisterArt.com: The world's largest online discount art & craft supply store

Origami jewelry tutorial links - Guides with step-by-step instructions

Now that I've shown you the origami jewelry instructions (wasn't that easy?), it's time to hunker down and make some! The following are links to origami jewelry tutorials with easy to follow instructions. Have fun!

TIP: Although you can experiment with other paper types, traditional Japanese paper called washi is the best choice for origami jewelry. It is beautiful, durable, soft and easy to fold and suitable for large and small pieces.

Many different types of washi are produced for various purposes. Two good choices for origami jewelry are Yuzen Washi and Mujizome washi.

(source: Origami Jewellery by Ayako Brodek)

Polyurethane to coat and protect your origami jewelry creations

Jewelry making tools and accessories

Origami jewelry tutorials and videos on YouTube - Get step by step instructions for making handmade paper accessories

Now that I've shown you the beauty of origami jewelry and a few basic steps on how to craft them, would you be willing to make some yourself? Or would you rather buy them ready-made?

(bracelet photo from Flickr user effemera)

Will you make your own origami jewelry?

Everything I learned about Origami Jewelry crafting... - I learned from this book.

I have a good collection of paper craft and origami books but Origami Jewellery: More Than 40 Exquisite Necklaces, Bracelets, Brooches and Earrings to Fold and Wear by Ayako Brodek is certainly one of my favorites.

Origami accessories by Ayako Brodek. Photos are from her website Oricraft.

The jewelry she makes is breathtaking and I'm amazed at how creative the pieces are. If you're thinking of making this a hobby, I strongly suggest that you start with this book. it covers everything (and I mean everything) that you'll ever need to know about the craft!

Supplement your origami education - Books on origami and jewelry making

If you're serious about taking up origami and jewelry crafting as a business (Yes! Why not? Everyone wants handmade stuff these days), it would be wise to do a bit more reading so you can expand your line and come up with something that isn't out there yet.

Origami Resources - Learn from the experts & practitioners of this ancient art.

What to wear when you've become

an origami-folding rock star:

Origami Cranes T-Shirt

Buy this shirt at Poptastic Tees

Want to learn more origami? Need to brush up on your paper-folding? Bookmark the sites I've listed below and you'll be an expert in no time!

Make an origami jewelry box.

Once you've learned how to make origami jewelry, you will of course need to make a matching jewelry gift box to go with it! Watch the video below closely to see how it's done. Impress your friends with your ingenuity & creativity.

Buy origami jewelry - If you have no time to make paper jewelry.

No time to make your own hand-crafted accessories? That's completely understandable of course. And if you're on a tight budget, why not check out these great deals on origami jewelry from eBay shopkeepers.

What do you think of origami jewelry? Now that you've read all I have to say, are you going to try and make some? Do let me know.

(The frog ornament is from the Manzanar Store)

What do you think of origami jewelry? - I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I would love to try something like this, but my fingers are too short and stubby for this kind of very small detailed work.

    • profile image

      victoriapharmacy 4 years ago

      Creative writing in lens

    • StillPlaysWithT profile image

      StillPlaysWithT 4 years ago

      Looks like fun:)

    • JeffGilbert profile image

      JeffGilbert 4 years ago

      boy, this is an amazing page on making origami jewelry. Thanks for the lens, definitely makes you want to consider doing it... ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Origami is Awesome, I miss doing that as a child and sometimes I still do as an adult. I just have as much time as I did as a youngster, but this is an awesome Idea and a Fun one to add!! :D

    • profile image

      KyraB 4 years ago

      Its so pretty and delicate looking! Congrats on the purple star and thank you so much for sharing!

    • profile image

      Auriel 4 years ago

      it's beautiful.

    • profile image

      Elastara 4 years ago

      Interesting lens on origami jewelry! Love it!

    • profile image

      BoutiqueSilverGirl 5 years ago

      Love this lens! I've tried origami Christmas decorations before but never jewellery, what a great idea.

    • profile image

      fashionyahoo 5 years ago

      this is very good, i love it

    • profile image

      WinWriter 5 years ago

      I really liked this lens. It gave me some great ideas and resources to check out. *Blessed *

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I bought crane earrings for my friend the other day, they are so delicate and beautiful. Love the lens, by the way!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      An amazing craft lens! Liked it, blessed it and pinned it! Can't wait to try my hand at origami jewelry.

    • profile image

      Lady_Kakao 5 years ago

      Origami is so much fun :)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I've made fine silver origami jewelry with metal clay "paper". Thanks for this wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      btoteva 5 years ago

      I love oigami

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love origami bridal bouquets but I didn't know you could make Origami Jewelry. Thank you for sharing!

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'd like to try and make an oragami crane with silver PMC paper. I'd need to practice using paper until I could make one without taking a break... The You tube Tutorial is helpful.

    • profile image

      klaird 5 years ago

      Very neat. I've never even thought of making jewelry out of origami. I've featured your lens on my "50 Craft Ideas for Adults". Great Job!

    • profile image

      mumsgather 5 years ago

      I haven't heard of origami jewelry before this. Interesting. They look rather oriental. :)

    • TopToysForKids profile image

      TopToysForKids 5 years ago

      My best friend is huge into origami, keep up the good work! They look wonderful!

    • TopToysForKids profile image

      TopToysForKids 5 years ago

      My best friend is huge into origami, keep up the good work! They look wonderful!

    • profile image

      ladykida 5 years ago

      Too cool! Now I have something to look forward to with using all my findings! Great lens, thanks!

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 5 years ago from SE Michigan

      I love folding origami, but never thought to make it into jewelry. How very cool!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I may or may not be making origami for the next few days :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      It's quite amazing - what can be created out of paper - by folding it! :)

    • profile image

      VIGMetals 5 years ago

      Great Origami ideas! PRECIOUS METALS!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great ideas. I'm very impressed at how adorable the finished pieces look.

    • profile image

      NaturalVamp 5 years ago

      Very beautiful dahling.

    • fionajean profile image

      Fiona 5 years ago from South Africa

      Great lens - blessed - excellent application of origami

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 6 years ago

      Nice Lens, Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.

    • profile image

      evierose 6 years ago

      great lens i can only make a frog!!!

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 6 years ago

      Great Idea! My daughter was pretty excited to see this.

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 6 years ago

      Great Idea! My daughter was pretty excited to see this.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens !

    • profile image

      cstoll 6 years ago

      This is a great lens - very creative and with great photos and videos. :)

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 6 years ago

      I love the idea and look of origami jewelry..it is so beautiful and lightweight! I have so enjoyed seeing all of the ideas you have brought together, better than sugarplums and lollipops!

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wow, looks fantastic! Great lens.

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 6 years ago

      This looks stunning. Very nice lens.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I never would have thought of this in a million years. It's unique, refreshing and absolutely adorable. I think I'll gather some origami supplies and get started. Added your link to the Fashion Jewelry Squidoo Angel lens.

    • cyoulookn1 profile image

      cyoulookn1 6 years ago

      Great Lens ! Check out some of mine !

      Sincerely,

      Philly Rich , CEO

      www.mallcat.com

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      Your pieces are truly beautiful-and even more original which in my opinion makes them even more valuable.

    • profile image

      Heard_Zazzle 6 years ago

      Gorgeous jewelry. Loved this lens.

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 6 years ago

      Great idea for a lens and a very interesting lesson in making origami jewellery.

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      Origami jewelry looks very intriguing! I've occasionally made origami cranes and other simple shapes, but never considered that it could be made into jewelry! I'd probably buy it ready-made.

    • profile image

      Cardtouche 6 years ago

      All I need is the washi paper and the polyuthurene stuff and I'm on my way! I have to say though that I'm not expecting great results as my origami up until now has not been that fantastic. I can manage a kusudama flower and a ninja star but that's about it. :-)

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 6 years ago

      I so love this lens, great ideas for me and my daughters. I am so going to be doing this very soon.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 6 years ago

      My daughter and I love it. She is sitting with me and now wants to make her own. Thank you for sharing. We are off to visit your origami dresses. I think she will want to make one as well. :)

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 6 years ago

      Blessing's worn off. Have another :-)

    • pixelposy profile image

      pixelposy 6 years ago

      Fun and different!

    • photofk3 profile image

      photofk3 6 years ago

      Nice lens, I enjoyed reading it.

    • AbigailsCrafts LM profile image

      AbigailsCrafts LM 6 years ago

      Nice lens :D

      Origami jewelley is a lot stronger than you'd think - I have a waterlily brooch I made (you can find the tutorial here http://abigailscraftshowto.com/2010/03/waterlily-b... ) and it still looks good even after being worn lots and even bashed around in the bottom of my bag!

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Love your Lens, very informative, thanks.

    • joanv334 profile image

      joanv334 6 years ago

      Thanks for the tips!

    • wvclaylady profile image

      Shannon Williams 6 years ago from Davisville, WV

      Oh my goodness! This stuff is amazing! Thanks for another wonderful lens! I never would have thought paper could make such beautiful jewelry!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      Wow - such creative and skillful hands to be able to make these! This will be a real challenge for me to do but I'd like to try. Thanks for the instructional video. Hey, Ive just finished my second lens on a 3-step plan to achieve your Goals and New Years Resolutions.When you have a moment, I would love to hear what you think. If you have a suggestion- please let me know. Im learning as I go and so appreciate your help. Sundae ;-)

    • CashInTheHand LM profile image

      CashInTheHand LM 6 years ago

      I think that this was an amazing idea, thanks.

    • journey103 profile image

      journey103 6 years ago from USA

      My goodness, very creative and so pretty too!

    • eclecticeducati1 profile image

      eclecticeducati1 6 years ago

      How adorable!!!! Great lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • MoonandMagic profile image

      MoonandMagic 6 years ago

      Jewellery is supposed to be delicate, this is a wonderful idea!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Beautiful...love those butterfly earrings. Blessed and added to my December blessings lens.

    • ToTheBrimm LM profile image

      ToTheBrimm LM 6 years ago

      This is a great lens.

    • shush lm profile image

      shush lm 6 years ago

      Wow so original! I never new you can make these king of jewelry.

      Maybe you'll like my Jewelry

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      Great lens! I'm giving you my first ever Angel blessing! :-)

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 6 years ago

      This is something I never would have thought up on my own - origami jewelry. Wow. The possibilities are just mind boggling. Now I must find out if this special paper comes blank and can go through a printer. Off to do some researh! Thanks for a great read. Thumbs up.

    • artgoodman lm profile image

      artgoodman lm 6 years ago

      I can't usually get past the first couple folds when it comes to origami. These pieces look great though. Thanks for sharing this great lens.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      Wonderful things, thanks for showing ut

    • profile image

      BodiEko 6 years ago

      awesome lens. I tried making some origami myself but apparently I'm not very good at this hehe

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 6 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      You have a knack for great lens topics. Wonderful!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 6 years ago from California

      What a great idea. I've never heard of making origami jewelry. Great lens with all the information needed to make it. Thanks for sharing! Bear hugs, Frankster aka Bearmeister

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      I've never thought about using Origami to make jewelry! This is really fun!! My husband is especially fond of making Origami things...Might have to put him to work, too! :-D Thanks for sharing!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i love origami. paper crane tutorial is very interesting. it is really an interesting lens . thanks

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      When I visited Japan on business I was fascinated by all the different gift and household items made from recycled paper available in the shops. I have a paper wallet, a rainbow chain of origami cranes, and a folded paper tissue holder for my purse. Love origami and all paper crafts!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      I think it is fascinating. I saw some recently in a store in Arizona and was instantly drawn to it. There was a time when I really got into origami with my kids.

      You have featured some really beautiful pieces here. ** Blessed **

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      Great lens with nice information. I love your pretty pictures. Thumbs up!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      No, I would not have thought of making paper jewelry, but it looks like you've laid out the basics here -- and a good deal more. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • Asinka profile image

      Asinka Fields 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I love this, will try to do this in my free time during the holidays :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like this and want to try it. Will bookmark for future...thanks!

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      My wife likes origami and she will love this lens.

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a great idea. I have done a little origami in the past.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      These look lovely, Cynthia! I want to give it a try! : )

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      That so much fun ideas. I think I will make some models, especially for gifts at Christmas. Thanks for the input.

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      That so much fun ideas. I think I will make some models, especially for gifts at Christmas. Thanks for the input.

    • jim-s lm profile image

      jim-s lm 7 years ago

      I love origami too and enjoy creating new things using paper.

      Thanks for taking the time to collect all this valuable information for us. Cheers!

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      Wow! Another yummy thing to try. Not been a big fan of origami but I think that may be about to change!

      Blessed :-)

    • profile image

      Paperdemon 7 years ago

      I've been making paper jewelry for a few years---you can see it at Paper Demon Jewelry (paperdemonjewelry.etsy.com). I think it's great---so many colors and shapes, and so lightweight! This article is terrific.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I have thought about paper jewelry but have not done any. I will need these tips.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      How pretty. I didn't even know you could make jewelry out of origami! Really lovely lens.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      OMG, this is so remarkably creative and pretty too! LOVE it.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 7 years ago from Croatia

      No comments but: Blessed by an Angel!