Origami Jewelry: Make beautiful paper accessories
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.
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:
Poly Varnishes glossy
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
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!
- Origami Lucky Star Earrings
Learn how to make lucky star earrings. Learn how to convert origami into wearable jewelry. Easy projects
- Matching Origami Lucky Star Bracelet
Learn to make an origami Lucky Star Bracelet. Free instructions to make origami jewelry: earrings, necklaces, chokers, brooches, bracelets, barrettes,, hair pins, and finger rings.
- Origami Fluted Diamond Earrings
Learn to make a fluted diamond earrings. Free instructions and tips to make wearable origami jewelry.
- Matching Origami Fluted Diamond Necklace
Learn to make this lovely origami Fluted Diamond Necklace. Free instructions to make wearable origami jewelry: earrings, necklaces, chokers, brooches, bracelets, and finger rings. Project ideas....
- Origami Leaf Choker Necklace
Learn to make an origami leaf necklace (choker). Free instructions to make wearable origami jewelry: earrings, necklaces, chokers, brooches, bracelets, and finger rings.
- Matching Origami Leaf Bracelet
Learn to make an origami leaf bracelet. Free instructions on how to make wearable origami jewelry: earrings, necklaces, chokers, brooches, bracelets, and finger rings.
- Origami Shell Necklace
Learn to make an Origami Shell Necklace! Free instructions to make wearable paper jewelry including earrings, necklaces, brooches, barrettes, hair pins, and finger rings.
- Origami Fan Brooch
Learn how to make an Origami Fan Brooch. Free origami instructions on how to make origami jewelry: earrings, brooches, bracelets, hair clips, necklaces and more
- Origami Ring Brooch
Learn how to make an Origami Ring Brooch. Free instructions to make origami jewelry: earrings, neckaces, bracelets, rings, and brooches.
- Origami Flower Barrette
Learn how to make a flower barrette. Free instructions on how to make wearable origami jewelry.
- Origami Butterfly Hair Pin
Learn to make an origami butterfly hair pin. Free instructions to make origami jewelry: earrings, necklaces, brooches, bracelets, and rings,
- Origami Finger Rings
Here's an affordable way to give rings to your sweetheart: origami rings made with paper! Make it with gold foil paper, with dollar bills, or pattern imprinted papers. Looks great!
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)
Buy jewelry findings from Amazon
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:
- The Origami Resource Center: List of Instructions and diagrams
A comprehensive list of free origami instructions and diagrams. Models range from easy-intermediate to advanced.
- The Origami Resource Center: Origami Jewelry
Features a few tutorials and links to other origami jewelry resources on the web.
- Origami Crafts by OriCraft: Ayako Brodek's website
Origami Crafts by OriCraft. Ayako Brodek's website, gallery, and shop.
- Paper Folding
A fun site to learn about origami, the art of paper-folding. Learn to fold, see the origami insects and dinosaurs, learn about origami history & origami and math, and much more.
- ORILAND - What Origami Can Be
Oriland is the biggest, newest, and most imaginative paper world ever. It was created and folded by artists Yuri and Katrin Shumakov entirely from paper without cutting and gluing. Come and explore the paper realms of fancy
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)