It's easier to create objects out of folded paper if you have clear Japanese origami diagrams. Sometimes written origami instructions can't quite capture the complexity of these projects.
Advantages of Diagrams
You've probably heard that old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words, and with origami, this is especially true. Some projects, especially those that are quite complex, require pictures. You need to see what a shape looks like at every stage in the folding process in order to be sure you're staying on track.
There are several advantages to using diagrams to learn origami:
- If, like most people, you're a visual learner, then diagrams will be the most effective way for you to comprehend instructions.
- Unlike videos, origami diagrams are arranged in steps. This allows you to create the structure at your own pace without having to pause a video and catch up.
- Many diagrams transcend any kind of language barrier. Since words are less significant than the pictures for each step, an English speaker could follow a diagram made by someone who speaks Japanese.
The only potential pitfall involved in diagrams is that they don't do well at showing movement. Since there is so much specific movement involved in folding paper shapes, this can be problematic for some people. Consider looking for diagrams that feature arrows and even written instructions to help you understand each step.
Where to Find Japanese Origami Diagrams
Since diagrams are such a great way to demonstrate origami shapes, there are many options available online and in print. Look for pictures that are clear and easy to follow, and make sure each step is diagramed. There's nothing worse than having to guess at the steps you need to take to make you project look like the next picture.
Origami Diagrams Online
The Internet is a great resource for diagram-based instructions. Dozens of websites offer diagrams for creating everything from an origami rose to a folded paper dragon. Many sites even offer free diagrams.
If you're looking for diagrams online, try the following sites:
- Origami Resource Center has hundreds of diagrams for great origami projects. You can browse by shape or type of paper.
- Mike's Origami has a collection of diagram-based origami instructions from all over the Internet.
- Origami-Instructions.com is another great resource for picture-based origami directions. Although each step features a photo, rather than a diagram, you'll find this site helpful.
- Origami Diagram has more than 50 simple origami projects, all presented in diagram form.
Origami Diagrams in Print
While there are lots of great options online, it's sometimes easier to find what you need in a book. You can purchase the book online or in a local store, or you might consider checking the title out from your library.
The following books regularly receive positive reviews:
- The Complete Book of Origami: Step-by-Step Instructions in Over 1000 Diagrams by Robert J. Lang and Robin Macey
- Animal Origami for the Enthusiast: Step-by-Step Instructions in Over 900 Diagrams/25 Original Models by John Montroll
- The Joy of Origami by Margaret Van Sicklen
- Origami to Astonish and Amuse by Jeremy Shafer
Diagrams aren't your only choice for learning new origami shapes. Also consider the following methods:
- Video tutorials
- Informational articles
- Photo-based instructions