Interlock is a non-profit organization that provides space for its members and the local community to develop and share their interests in science, technology, art, and culture.

recycled paper origami

Giftmas origami balloons made out of wrapping paper.

One way I kept on an even keel during the recent holiday season was by taking every opportunity I could to practice making these origami cubical “balloons” using scraps of wrapping paper. I made in excess of a dozen, and that was the high point of my recent kick to practice enough to be able to do this pattern from memory.

From a maker-theory perspective, even with the digital revolution and the move to e-texts to replace things, like books, that have traditionally used paper, paper as a material is still ubiquitous and cheap. Its ready availability means that one can cultivate the maker state of mind just about any where–I started out on this recent origami journey after lunch one day a couple of months ago, using the coated-paper basket liner at a burrito place.

Paper fast-food tray liners and place mats do pretty well in a pinch, and making something then and there is a great way to entertain a youngster or to open a discussion with an indulgent friend, co-worker, or even a stranger, about the fun to be had as a hacker and maker.

Amongst different types of paper, paper sold as “origami paper” can be a little more hard to find and more expensive. I also try to resist that tendency projects have to lead off with “first, go out and buy something”. So I set out to figure out a way consistently to convert randomly-shaped scraps of paper into squares suitable for use with traditional origami patterns.

More recently, at my last turn on door duty for Interlock’s “Do Night” I worked on expanding my repertoire a little bit, learning how to make these open-topped boxes. Also, Reggie was a pretty ggod sport about taking some instruction from me about how to fold up his own balloon made from wrapping paper I pushed on him.

So far, I’m not that enthused about making little animals. Also, I had my paper airplane phase as a kid, so that doesn’t hold a lot of appeal for me at the moment. Mostly, pure geometry, as in the balloon-cubes, and potentially useful knick-knacks, like the candy box, are what I’ve been after. With the holidays gone, my interest may fade for a bit. We’ll see.

from on January 22nd, 2012Comments0 Comments

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