As a geek mom, crafting is inevitable. Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of geeky crafts to try out with our kids! My nearly seven-year-old and I have recently been playing with different origami patterns. We are still beginner’s, but it’s been a fun activity to share. There are many free patterns available online making it an inexpensive hobby and craft to begin. I found several free available Star Wars Origami patterns to try and thought I would share our results. (I claim no ownership of any patterns or copyrighted materials I have used.)
I got a tip from a friend that scrapbook paper is great to use when you are a beginner, or with kids because it’s generally square, has a colored/patterned side and a blank side, and is usually bigger, so it makes it easier to fold. I used scrapbook paper for these patterns.
For the first patter, I decided to try to make the Millennium Falcon on my own. I wanted to see if it was simple enough for a kid to follow. I found this Infographic pattern, which seemed simple enough for a child or a beginner such as myself.
First steps seem pretty standard for an origami start. Make two diagonal folds. Cool, I can do that.
Pause: must tend to crying infant. *puts down project and tends to fussy baby*.
Half an hour and one calmer baby later…
OK, so far so good. I make some more simple folds following this infographic. But now I’ve reached the “tricky part." Eep. OK, I can do this. It is rather tricky and confusing, but I think I’ve done it right. Not bad, it’s starting to take shape here. Confidence boost!
Wait, now it’s tricky again…paper mangling ahoy! Well, it’s not perfect and a little thick with the scrapbooking paper so it’s not exactly flat...but I’m done! I forgot to take a picture before I started doodling the design, but with a sharpie it turned out recognizable and pretty nice. Rather pleased with the result.
My verdict on this pattern is that it was pretty easy for me to follow along, however the “tricky part” may end up frustrating my 6 year old. This would be a fun project for an older child or an adult who wants to try it out and/or help out the younger ones. I highly recommend trying it out for yourselves.
The next two patterns were found on a YouTube channel called Origami Plus - Easy Origami Tutorials, which has several Star Wars models. We picked the Yoda and Darth Vader projects to try. They were five minute tutorials, so I hoped they’d be simple enough for my daughter and I to do together.
We began by watching both videos we chose to see how it is done, and to visualize how it should look in the end. My daughter declares that they look complicated for us, but we decide to give them a try anyway.
We first attempt to make Yoda from How to make an Origami Yoda from Star Wars in 5 minutes a tutorial by Stéphane Gigandet.
My daughter picked out some green paper, and we set to work. She declares I’m better at folding, so she sets about taking pictures with assistance in pausing the video for each instruction, taking pictures, and adding commentary on how she thinks we should do it. First lesson learned: following a pattern on a video is much harder than written directions for us. I make the first mistake, I was only supposed to fold one half of the middle crease, in the right picture below, that crease on the top left shouldn’t have been there.
As we progress, things go relatively well, although folding the staff part proves a bit challenging. We press on and things seem to be going well.
My daughter even helps with a few folds and poses for a picture with our progress as the folds start to get more complicated.
At last, we complete our Yoda. Folding a standing origami figure like this was new for us. It was a bit difficult in the parts where you have to avoid folding Yoda's hands while still folding the areas behind them. From the front it looks OK if somewhat simplistic, but the sides look less interesting than in the video.
Our attempt didn’t look as good as the video. I would say it was partly due to lack of experience and using the thicker scrap book paper. Part of the problem was also just the difficulty for us to follow a video instead of written instructions. If you decide to try it yourself, I definitely would make sure your paper is quite thin, and I think this would benefit with a smaller sized paper as well, I think the larger size of our paper made our mistakes more visible. We will just have to call him “Yo-durrr”!
My attempt at Darth Vader, aka “Va-derp” was from the video How to Make an Origami Darth Vader from Star Wars in 5 minutes.
It was getting late in the evening, so my daughter went to get to bed while I attempted the last one. Before she retired, she did get me the paper, and cut it into a square for me. However, at the time I did not realize that it may not be a perfect square. As I made the four corners fold, things already were not boding well, there is not supposed to be such a large gap between the triangles. Whoops.
Methinks Vader is going to end up with a limp. But onward we go. Again, with this pattern I deal with having to avoid folding the arm parts while folding the paper behind, and somehow I’m even more flummoxed this time.
Things continue to go downhill for my disabled Vader.
Again, I reach the fold on the other side that I just can’t wrap my head around. I realize I accidentally fold it backwards on this side and have to refold it the right way. Vader is not looking very good. More like an evil cat maybe?
At this stage the video tells me I’ve made all the folds and I just have to refold them in the shape of Vader. All right. Except mine didn’t turn out looking much like Vader, maybe more like a flying nun? I guess I should have paid attention in the beginning when the instructions said it was best done with paper that was black on both sides, too. Well, say hello to my limpy, wrong colored, poorly folded “Va-derp” folks!
What do I think went wrong? The bigger paper probably didn’t help and it may have looked better all black. A lot of it was my personal inability to follow the video. I blame my inexperience in using video tutorials for this more than the guy’s instruction. His more complex tutorial for Yoda looked a lot better in my opinion, but we just aren’t to that skill level.
Origami is a great activity to do with kids, and I really love that there are lots of free geeky patterns available to try out. These will certainly not be the last ones we try! I hope my attempts were at least a bit entertaining and maybe useful in avoiding some issues we had. Happy folding!