Origami is one of the most enjoyable arts and crafts activities you can do — and all you really need is a piece of paper. Although most origami projects use square sheets, you can also do projects designed for rectangular paper, like the standard 8 1/2" x 11" printer paper or other paper you probably already have on hand. So grab a sheet or two and get started with these fun and easy origami ideas!
Simple Origami Projects Using Regular Paper
If you don't want to use plain copy paper for your designs, printable origami paper or scrapbook paper works well for this type of paper folding.
Basic Origami Box
This simple box measures 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" when finished. It's a great model to use for storing small office supplies or craft items.
- Place your paper vertically on the table. If your paper is printed on one side, you will need to start with the printed side facing the table.
- Fold the top lefthand corner down so it is touching the first of the three creases you made in the previous step. Repeat this folding process with the remaining three corners of the project.
- Fold the middle edges back over the folded corners.
- Place your hands on the middle creases and carefully open your origami box. Pinch the sides to reinforce the creases to help the box hold its shape.
This envelope measures 5 1/2" x 2 3/4" when folded. You can also create a booklet-style mini scrapbook that fits perfectly inside this envelope.
- Start with the white side face up if your paper is patterned on only one side.
- Fold the bottom point of the paper up to meet the center crease.
- Using the creases you made in the previous step as guides, carefully open your paper and press it flat. This forms the bottom part of your origami envelope.
- Fold the top left and right corners of the paper in towards the center to make a triangle shape. This is the top flap of your envelope.
- Tuck the top flap into the bottom opening to close the envelope. If desired, you can use a sticker as a letter seal to make sure the envelope stays closed.
The origami heart makes a lovely decoration for a handmade greeting card or a pretty scrapbook page embellishment.
- Make a waterbomb base on the top portion of your paper. To make a waterbomb base, start with the reverse side of the paper face up.
- Fold the left and right sides of the top triangle layer up to touch the top of the project.
- Fold the left and right sides of the paper in towards the middle vertical center. Fold the bottom horizontal edge up to touch the bottom of the diamond shape created by the folds from the previous step.
- Flip the paper over. Fold the top layer down to make an upside-down triangle shape. Fold the bottom left and right corners up and tuck them into the pockets created on the upside-down triangle shape you just made.
- Make two diagonal folds with the points at the top of the model to round out the heart shape. Fold the corners and tuck them into the large upside-down triangle shape you made in the previous step.
- Flip the paper over to reveal your adorable origami heart.
The word "origami" is actually Japanese for "folding paper."
More Fun Origami Projects With Rectangle Paper
Here are some more origami projects using 8 1/2" x 11" paper that you may wish to try, accompanied by video tutorials:
- Greeting Cards: This classic thank you card features a simple and clean pull tab card.
- Christmas Trees: This Christmas tree design is made by cutting paper into a square shape. Continue to fold until it's compact. Afterward, make slits on either side of the compacted paper.
- Shirt and Tie Card:It will be fun to make this cute shirt and tie card as a special Father's Day gift for Dad.
Get Creative With Simple & Fun Origami Projects
If you are feeling artsy, take out a sheet of copy paper and create your own origami project. By modifying basic folds, you can easily create your own unique origami designs.