Origami Leaf 1


An Origami Leaf
Begin with a 2 1/2-inch square (6.35 cm) of paper, colored side up. Fold the square diagonally to make a triangle.
Lift the bottom corner up to the hypotenuse aligning the edge with the fold. Open the model and fold the other corner to the center. Take care to make a point sharper than I managed.
Bring top and bottom corners to the center, again taking care to make the point as sharp as you can.
Bring the long point partway toward the other. Crease. Then bring the point back down to make a sort of step.
This is an enlarged view. Push your finger under the top layer and maneuver the edge (marked with a white line) to the center line.
The top layer becomes a sort of a pocket as you place the edge on the center line. Flatten.
Repeat the procedure on the other side. Notice that the section becomes very narrow.
Fold the corners up to round out the bottom edge of a leaf. Press the creases firmly.
Use a pencil to curl the top of the leaf. Turn the model over and voilá: an elegant leaf.

14 thoughts on “Origami Leaf 1

    • Yes, good for table or package decorations, cards, whatever.

      My neighbors brought over a dish filled with tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper from their garden. The wanted to know if we would object if they decided to keep chickens! (A recent city ordinance allows folk to keep hens if neighbors don’t object.) Of course that sounded great to me. I’ve considered a goat to keep down the weeds in our yard, the the city is not so progressive yet to allow smelly, obnoxious animals within city limits yet.

      It seems bad luck to return an empty dish, and the (expensive) foil wrapped chocolate leaves didn’t seem to fill the dish very generously. LOL

  1. I remember being about 10 or so and absolutely infatuated with making origami. My goal was to see just how small I could make them.

    It’s neat to see someone post about it!

    Thanks for sharing and bringing back a few memories.

    • Oh yes, I used to do that! I made dollhouses for each of my nieces, with origami clothes, toilets, furniture, and gardens with 1/8-inch flowers! I even made dollhouses to go into each dollhouse, with a dollhouse inside.

      It has been some while since I did anything like that!

  2. Oh Tess! How fun! I remember my first trip to Japan, and way back then, businessmen still wore white shirts and blue suits… and smoked like chimneys in the conference rooms. While waiting for someone to join us, I had commented about some origami that I had seen around Tokyo, and all of a sudden, they all lit up like little boys! Each one clear up to the CEO, had a favorite that was their pride! The next thing that I knew, they had prepared plain paper to the proper size, and fingers were a flyin’! Later on, I went to Itoya in the Ginza to get supplies! A wood “creaser” that sort of looks like a little envelope opener, comes in really handy. I have to admit that I am extremely clumsy. Five years ago, I had a very painful skin allergy. Just sitting at the kitchen table with my origami paper, and a few books from eBay, I learned many models. The boxes with lids were easier than they sound, and very gratifying. Origami requires precise concentration… it was better than any medicine that had been prescribed.

    • I’m picturing the businessmen “all lit up like little boys!” I have a big smile; it’s such a human-personal image. I’m sure there is a more poetic way to describe that!

      Tomoko Fuse has been one of my favorites for, what 25 years? I remember her articulated lizard from one of her early books. It was sort of modular, and so charming. Then her boxes: triangles, squares, hexagons, octagons—with lids folded with different geometric designs. So elegant. Then her spirals and ‘quilts’ (I don’t recall what she calls them, tessellations at any rate) She is a darling: I met her at an origami convention in North Carolina. A very good teacher. All the geometry she can do with a square and lines!
      Then there is Robert Lang. Google him: he made a U.S. flag from one sheet of paper:

      True genus there! He makes such complex and realistic bugs and has applied origami to some very practical purposes.
      His brother lives in E. Lansing so he’s stopped in A2 occasionally. He’s crazy intelligent but also a nice guy. YIKES!
      And Paul Jackson. David Brill. Robert Harbin. and back to Florence Temko, whose books got me started.
      So many others as well…

      Sorry, I get carried away!

      The best creaser is the side of your thumbnail, but yes the wooden ones are great tools. I’ve seen them made from bone as well.

      But, you know, when they make gallon milk jugs, there is a piece which gets popped out from between the handle and the bottle. You can sometimes find them in grocery stores inside the refrigerated doors, under the carts of milk containers. The plastic is smooth and has some give. You know, pressure sensitive. In the last year or so, the stores seem to be doing things differently so those punch-outs are harder to find…

  3. Hey Tess, Thanks for the info about Robert Lang! Wow! I love the little leaf, They would be very sweet sprinkled on a Thanksgiving table… if I have the time to make them!

    • Mr. Lang is amazing!

      You can do it! even if you only make one leaf per person: put them on the plates for your guests as dinner favors… LOL!

      It’s unlikely, but possible that I’ll be in LA. I’ve never been to S. CA, but J is now working in Buffalo and the company might want him there on 9 Nov. I might be able to meet you in person!

      I could fold you some leaves if you like, whether or not I get to CA. Send them to you by mail. Would you like that? Use my email contact up to next to Mikey to tell me your addy! Don’t worry, it is unlikely that I’d get to LA in person! It just sounds warm.

      We are running into the date for closing on this new house. House? CA? House? CA?, mmm, well, it has to be House!

      But sending some leaves, that would be fun. Let me know!

  4. Oh Tess this reminds me of a book I found in an op shop (thrift shop ) a while back called The Poetry of Leaves – actually about ikebana but the title could easily apply to this post. Your leaves are each a haiku. I love that you practice so many different arts – Japanese cooking, haiku, origami. I read once that until the 60’s in Japan prisoners were taught all the gentle arts and were released back into society as tea masters, calligraphers, poets…

    I love the image of your dollhouses with origami furniture and a dollhouse inside a dollhouse with dolls. Beautiful!

    • I read once that until the 60′s in Japan prisoners were taught all the gentle arts and were released back into society as tea masters, calligraphers, poets…

      That sounds lovely. It is something to wish for; is it “swords into plowshares?”

      The dollhouse funhouse dollhouse inside a dollhouse with a dollhouse inside.

      The toilet was an origami lily folded with iridescent paper, p3tals curved inward. silly puns like ‘dust bunnies’ under the table……..;

      Sometimes I think I was much smarter and more energetic than I am now. Well, my eyes were certainly sharper!

  5. I badly want to make these leaves now. But will my fingers do it? I’m a very basic enthusiast – my favourites (being things I can actually make without tears), finger rings, Ninja stars, cranes, butterflies, star boxes and an origami envelope. I used to send all of my notes to school in these when my boy was small. The teacher loved it. Now of course he’s in high school and we send a text if they’re absent. How boring. Actually we live across the road from the school so I’ve toyed with throwing a paper aeroplane into the schoolyard with “Gabriel is not at school today” written under the wing. Perhaps a Ninja star?

    We are visiting Japanese friends on Tuesday for the Melbourne Cup, (yes, I know we get a public holiday for a horse race) and I have been thinking of Spring things to take in the picnic basket. Wonder if I could make a jam jar of origami Sakura?

    Tess I want you to make a tiny dollhouse for your new house…like a little shrine. Ahhh but I know you don’t have time but I’ll imagine it. Okay? ((-:

    • What was your origami envelop like? I used to know several by heart.
      Your origami experience sounds to me that you could easily fold this model! If you can not, then my diagrams are not useful.
      Text messages and email ar e efficient. But when I collect the mail from the end of the street box. the handwritten letters are the first I read.
      Love the aeroplane idea!

      The dollhouses were fun. Not sure I could do them again (eyes lots older. ugh). Also, I don’t know if the nieces still have them.

      So I agree, it will be best for you to imagine.

      Oh, and have faith in me, that the projects were nice.

      They were full of serndipity and puns.

      I’ll join you in the imagination…

  6. The envelope starts with a rectangle folded short sides together and then opened and bottom right folded up to middle to make a triangle with a blank rectangle above it. Turn 180 degrees and do the same. Now fold down top right hand rectangle to meet op of the bottom triangle. Turn 180 degrees and do the same. tHen fold up bottom left hand corner and tuck under flap above. Turn 180 degrees and do the same. Now you should have a self closing envelope. What I love about this one too is that you can reopen it and write on the interior. Do you recognise it from these sketchy instructions? Origami really needs diagrams.

    First star
    low slung
    begins it’s sketchy diagram.

    On the other hand your instructions for the dainty leaves were perfect. The first like a bamboo shoot and the second with that aha curl to the tip. I have made a bunch now. No tears – but a little help from son with the stem.

    I will be thinking about your dollhouse with its origami furnishings and dainty jokes forever.

    You make me smile Tess ((-;

  7. ☛ ☛ “The envelope starts with a rectangle folded short sides together and then opened and bottom right folded up to middle to make a triangle with a small tall rectangle to the left and a big short rectangle above it. Turn 180 degrees and do the same.” ☚ ☚
    I think you are missing a step here:
    ☛Fold the small tall rectangle in half lengthwise. Rotate 180° and do the same.
    ☛Fold the top right triangle down so the the small tall (half) rectangle tucks under
    the top of the other small tall (half) rectangle.
    ☛Fold the bottom triangle up so the blunt corner tucks into the flap.

    Origami really needs diagrams: I’m not sure if you are missing a step or if I am not understanding your directions. The origami group here used to do “origami” by telephone where the teacher would describe the folds to make but not illustrate them. Good way to learn how to describe complex directions and shapes!

    I still have a simple dollhouse on display at work. Really, some digital photos would be nice to have—the pictures I took of my nieces houses didn’t turn out very well.

    Caroline, you cheer up my days too!

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