Tutorials on Making Kirigami

Dana Hinders
Use books as resources for Kirigami.

If you enjoy making origami things, you may find yourself in search of tutorials on making Kirigami. These paper crafts have many similarities, so it's not surprising that understanding the basics of Kirigami can be useful in helping you to develop your origami skills as well.

What Is Kirigami?

While origami is often described as the art of folding paper, Kirigami is the art of cutting paper. Crafters may work from a specific pattern, folding and cutting according to the directions; or, they may choose to take a more free form approach and experiment until they find a design that is pleasing to the eye.

One of the most common forms of Kirigami is the paper snowflake. Paper dolls are also quite popular, as are pop-up cards and projects such as dragonfly Kirigami.

Kirigami Books

Kirigami books are useful references for paper crafters, since these titles typically are organized with a section of general tips and then instructions for making various types of projects. If you want to make something specific, such as an animal pop-up card, it's usually pretty easy to find what you need by just searching the book's index.

You can find recommendations for Kirigami instruction books by reviewing the LoveToKnow Origami Kirigami Instructions slideshow. Many of these titles should be available at your local library. If not, you can typically ask the librarian to request them for you through the interlibrary loan system. There is no charge for this service and you'll generally receive your books within one or two weeks.

Online Kirigami Resources

Unfortunately, Kirigami has not gained the widespread following that origami enjoys. Therefore, it's a bit more difficult to find online resources for learning more about this fascinating paper craft. However, Easy Cut Popup is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about Kirigami. This site offers several helpful tips for beginners, as well as a free pattern for you to try. If you find that you need a bigger challenge, a large number of intermediate and advanced level patterns are also available for you to purchase.

If you're planning on crafting with your children, you'll want to visit the Scissor Craft website. This site includes printable Kirigami projects and helpful instructions for creating designs such as:

  • Bunny
  • Camel
  • Cat
  • Chick
  • Rooster
  • Cow
  • Deer
  • Person
  • Dog

Video Tutorials on Making Kirigami

For some people, it's easier to learn a craft when they can actually see someone doing it. Written instructions and photos are useful as references, but sometimes diagrams can be hard to interpret or you might run into a problem that prevents you from finishing the project. This is where video tutorials come in handy.

YouTube, best known for its collection of funny video clips, actually has several origami and Kirigami instructional videos. For example, the YouTube video featured on this page explains how to make a Kirigami Christmas tree with a star on top.

WonderHowTo is another good resource for locating video tutorials on making Kirigami. The Frugal Café has an article with instructions for making four different types of Kirigami Christmas ornaments.

Tips for Kirigami Success

Regardless of which method you choose for learning more about Kirigami, you'll get better results if you keep in mind a few basic tips.

  • Take your time! Kirigami, like origami, requires patience and practice. Rushing through the steps of a project just increases the chance of careless errors.
  • Read all the instructions before you start the project to make sure you understand how all the steps build on each other. Once you cut your paper, you can't correct a mistake.
  • Use glue sparingly. In most cases, just a drop is all you need.
  • A bone folder is helpful for making neat creases.
  • Thinner paper is easiest to cut, especially if your project requires folding the paper into multiple layers.
Tutorials on Making Kirigami