When it comes to origami instructions and ideas, “easy” is a relative term. For some people, even the simplest origami shapes can be very difficult to create, even when they followed the instructions to the letter. It is, therefore, important to find an origami idea that really is easy, and that you find instructions that simplify the art of creating origami. When people talk about making something from paper, the first objects that come to mind are typically paper airplanes, boats and hats. While these objects aren’t considered origami, they do provide a good primer for beginners who must first grasp the concept of creating a three dimensional object from a simple piece of paper before they can actually learn to make origami.
As a starter origami project, consider making an easy origami shape like the fish, the star box or the ever-popular origami crane. Cranes and other birds are particularly popular among origami enthusiasts; the traditional crane, aside from having symbolic meaning, is one of the most easily recognized origami objects. It is considered a beginner project because it uses simple folding and creasing techniques. You can take an ordinary piece of square paper and turn it into aviary art in fewer than ten steps.
Geometric shapes are also relatively easy to create because they have identical sides which really streamlines the process of creating the shape. If you are able to master a few simple steps, you can then repeat those steps to finish off the project. Boxes are popular, easy geometric origami ideas because they have a dual purpose. Not only is an origami box fun to make and fun to look at, but you can actually use it to give a gift or to conceal hidden treasures, thus the duality of purpose.
There are some controversial origami techniques that are definitely simple but leave many people wanting for more. These lack-luster projects include the snake which is an origami project that involves nothing more than the rolling up a piece of origami paper in a tubular shape and then bending it and twisting it to mimic the look of a snake. While this technique is definitely simple, and definitely technically origami, it illustrates the point that, when you are new to origami, it is important and beneficial to challenge yourself to do something that is more difficult than simply rolling a piece of paper. When you work hard to create your first origami shape, there is a sense of pride in trying to create it, regardless of whether or not it comes out like it is supposed to. It’s better to raise the bar, do difficult projects and maybe not quite make it, rather than to keep your projects very simple and to create perfect origami every time.
Animal faces are a good example of an easy, yet somewhat challenging, origami idea. Origami faces are considered intermediate origami techniques because so much depends on the details. If you follow the instructions and diagrams to the letter, you will be able to create your first origami project successfully; however, if you have to correct a few mistakes or practice some folding techniques repeatedly before you achieve a mastery level of understanding, do not be alarmed as this is normal.
Modular origami, also called unit origami, is another fun and challenging origami idea which requires two or more pieces of paper that are then folded into a shape called a “unit” or a “module”. Many units are assembled together to form the final origami model. While each of the units are relatively simple to reproduce, it may be challenging to think of those parts as pieces to a puzzle rather than the traditional one piece folding methods of origami.