Origami is a wonderful way to sneak some playtime into your workday. There is something very relaxing about the careful manipulation of paper into some creature or object. I was fascinated by origami when I was very young, but my fine motor skills weren’t really up to the task. My cranes looked like camels and my camels looked like smashed air conditioners. I didn’t really become adept at any of the origami forms until I graduated college and entered the workforce. The single driving force for my origami skill was the dreaded staff meeting. I used to have a terrible time staying awake during staff meetings, and so I would memorize a particular origami animal and then quietly fold it under the table. For whatever reason, the familiar and careful motions involved in creating the origami would not only keep me awake, but actually helped me focus on what was being said. By the end of the meeting, I would have small menagerie of animals and boxes.

I don’t have trouble with staff meetings anymore, so my origami is strictly recreational now. I still have some favorites memorized.

This is one of my favorites. It’s a simple form and the box is really very cool. The center of the paper ends up being the center of the bottom of the box. It’s a quick and easy box that looks great and the lid can be shaped to make it even more interesting.
This one is made from a whole bunch of modules fitted together. A friend and I made this one from a page from an old wallpaper sample book. It took a little while, but it was wonderful just to sit and chat while we were making the pieces. It wasn’t easy getting all of the modules together, but it really turned out great. It has lived on my desk for about four years now.

If you’re interested in getting started in origami, I would recommend just buying a book and some paper and give it a try. Some of the folds can be a little tricky to understand, but if you want to watch something being folded, try origami-videos.com. Check out your local library or bookstore for books on origami, or check out some of the books available from Amazon.com below.