Category: New Product

Angels for Dillion Origami Doll Bookmarks for a CauseSo a little while ago I was browsing My Craft Corner (a fun crafting community that I frequent) and I came across a forum post soliciting donations for a little boy named Dillon.  I have known about Dillon and his big sister (a fellow Etsian named Jennie @ Odeleya ) since I had joined MCC a few months ago.  He is a little boy who has undergone an amazing amount of surgeries to try to correct intestinal issues, and despite his handicap, he still brings tons of joy and love to his family.  When I saw a thread called “Donate for Dillon,” I really felt that I wanted to do my part as a member of the crafty-community.

I am not made of money and so the one thing I can donate is my creativity and time (the latter which has been in high demand recently!)  And so, I created two bookmarks (Dillon & Angelica) whose proceeds will be promptly donated to Dillon through MCC (they are organizing the donation).  They are $6 a piece and are 2 inches wide and 6 inches tall.  I decided to go with an angel theme since I remember Jennie calling him that one time.  If you want to read more about Dillon, you can find information here and here.

origami doll bookmark

Angelica: purple & white marbled washi paper kimono and purple obi, yellow crepe paper hair and, white cardstock wings

Dillon: cerulean blue washi paper kimono and white & purple marbled obi, yellow crepe paper hair and, white cardstock wings


New Hair Color Chiyogami Doll Well, everyone… If you have been to our shop recently, you might notice two little dolls who are quite out of the ordinary!  Based on some of your feedback, I decided to start adding additional hair colors to our origami dolls.  Right now there is only Blonde (Marielle) and Redhead (Sherona), but this will also include our first Brunette as soon as the brown crepe paper gets here…   They are both in the hinasama style with chiyogami kimonos.  I sat down and thought long and hard about who my buyers were and why they would be interested in our dolls in the first place.

If purchasing for a project, why not have a doll that looks like you?  I do not think I will ever have the time to offer personally customizable dolls for everyone, but I want to offer enough of a variety that people do not feel limited by the doll’s appearance.  I have no doubt that our traditional black-haired models will continue to dominate both my production and my sales, but options never hurt anyone!

I am currently on the market for different color cardboards for different skin tones.  I am really picky about what paper I use and I have yet to find something thick enough and pretty enough to get the job done.  I am also playing with wire to try my hand and making little glasses for dolls to wear.  Eventually, I want to be able to make a “Christina” doll that looks like me!

If you are interested in buying, you can purchase the dolls on Etsy or on Zibbet.

Future Directions

Hi everyone!  As my little adventure into Etsy selling becomes mildly successful (42 sales to date!), I have to consider new directions I can take my shop.  Although I think my pendants and earrings garner me endless compliments when I sport them, it has become painfully obvious that they are much harder to sell on an online marketplace.  I do not know if this is because the jewelry market is so over-saturated, or that the photographs really cannot capture how vibrant and pretty they look in person.  On the other hand, I have had a surprising success with my origami dolls!  I have been having at least one sale a week (and each “sale” usually consists of more than one doll).  I want to introduce diversity in my products to appeal to the largest possible audience.  And so, I am putting that decision into your hands.

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Shiori Ningyo Bookmarks

Here is another photo of my new bookmarks that I finally listed! (Sora, Tamiko, Yuuna)!  I was so pleased how they came out that I took a trip to Michaels a few days ago and picked up more cardstock and ribbon to make more!  The stack I bought was “Far East” inspired, and although I hate how Asian countries are often lumped into one amorphous entity when these kinds of products are sold, the paper was textured and quite pretty so I could not resist.  I guess this is one area where my ideological leanings show, but it bothers me when all Asian countries are treated as the “same” when there are a lot of signicant differences between them.

Anyhow, most of the paper is inspired by Chinese designs so I have decided to take the sheets that are more China-specific and create bookmarks with origami floral arrangements.  For those papers that are more abstract and ambiguous, I want to use them for the Japanese Shiori Ningyo (Bookmark dolls).  I think I can offer three bookmarks together as sets for $11.00 a piece and still make out okay on costs and time.  When I get some of the new designs finished, I will post some photos!

Family of Japanese Chiyogami Origami Dolls

Well… I posted that first batch of six dolls and I am incredibly pleased to say that five of them have already found happy homes!  This is the largest measure of success I have had on Etsy by far!  So with that, I decided to create more dolls in more colors and styles… and now I present you with the little army who lives in a plastic box on my coffee table.

I went from having dolls in kimono and dolls with kimono and haori jackets to including smaller ones in a style called “hinasama” and then bookmark style “shiori ningyo.”  Since I had so much success with the first kit I tried, I bought a different kit to learn how to make the bookmarks that you can purchase here: Amazon.  The instructions are in English and Japanese for those who cannot read Japanese, and it comes with all the supplies you will need to make four bookmarks.  You can see two of the ones I made from the kit in the image above, and I have been applying the diagram to all sorts of paper to make bookmarks in vibrant colors and styles!  The good thing about this is that you can be creative with your background, or add die cuts and all sorts of scrapbooking embellishments to personalize your bookmark.

I have been having a blast folding these between teaching, grading, and researching!  It is such a therapeutic and relaxing process and each one has his or her own little personality. I’ve even taken to naming each one… Such a geek!

Japanese Chiyogami Paper Dolls

Chiyogami Paper Doll - Masami Detail

So I am finally adding another product to the shop: paper dolls.  Although they definitely involve folding, I guess you wouldn’t consider them “true” origami since they do require a fair bit of glue and a tiny bit of cutting.  Nevertheless, they look cute!  I saw them being sold in the origami section of the grocery store near me, and on my latest trip to Michaels, I came across a kit from the company Aitoh.  Needless to say, I picked up the kit and was on my way to making flat, cute, chiyogami people.

The kit (which you can buy on Amazon), shows you how to make eight dolls in three different styles and comes with all of the necessary goodies to get started.  I was surprised that the paper was such good quality!  So now that I have “mastered” the technique, I can apply it to some of the paper I have laying all around my apartment.  The diagram is pretty simple and I am confident that I can modify it into some different poses as well.

I like the dolls for several reasons.  They make an awesome addition to any Japan-themed scrap-booking project, great package and card embellishments, and (for my purposes) fun fridge magnets.  I am in my kitchen more than anywhere so I figured it would be a good place to display them…  I’ll be adding them to my shop as well, but I encourage you to check out the kit if you are interested in making your own.

You can purchase the boy pictured here (Midori) or a girl in a pink kimono (Mariko).

EDIT: Midori is now being featured on TryHandmade!

Ah my lovely blog, it has been a while! I am back in California (a bittersweet return to say the least), and already back to the daily grind that is teaching and researching. So I took a hard look at my blog, and I made a decision: since my origami is the focus of all my posts here, why not make my work just as visible? The previous layout could only handle small thumbnails. So, in that spirit, I have remodeled the blog to reflect these new principles. Clean. Smooth. Photography. I have already got the Twitter and Etsy feed back up, and I will slowly add more supplementary content as time allows. But cheers to revamping and recycling!

A while ago I kept talking about how I was re-purposing some comic books for my pendants and above photo is one example. This particular pendant is recycled from a GameStop promotional comic book for the MMORPG video game Aeon. Working with comics is rewarding. I see the cool patterns and designs on each piece of paper, but the folded units always surprise me. My favorite unit has to be the one with the protagonist’s mouth (so threatening!) Although this particular pendant is not for sale yet, I will try to have it up in the near future.

This isn’t the first time I have toyed with video game material though!  Does anybody recall this pendant?  I folded this from an ad for the game Star Ocean I found in the magazine Game Informer.  They products are always so cool and they have such a variety of colors!  More to come soon.  I am making the conscious effort to most more frequently!

Busy for the Holidays

Well I cannot believe that Halloween has come and gone, and I am left preparing for Thanksgiving!  My real life responsibilities have taken over full-throttle so my time to fold has been severely reduced.  However I have a plan to make it through this season saving money and saving my sanity.  What is this you may ask?  Origami ornaments as decorations and gifts.  Patti commented on a previous blog post that she has the same idea this holiday season as one way to conserve some much-needed cash.

Origami Pendant/ Ornament - Holly Jolly

So using the same model that I usually do (10 and 18 mette rings), I have gone into full holiday swing!  I bought some great red wire for the project and I have been having a blast making gifts for my family.  This one is made from chiyogami, but I have also been experimenting with foil and tissue paper as well.  The result is surprising nice!  If you work with 2″ square pieces of paper, the result fits nicely into a small organza bag.  They are just big enough to be used as a tree ornament and just small enough to wear.

But don’t let this limit your imagination! These can be done with various materials… Even paper cranes made out of wrapping paper look particularly pretty for the holidays. What can be better than a dose of handmade to celebrate!

Origami Earrings - Decadence

Very excited to report that even though my week has been full of bumps, I did finally finish a few earrings I have been working on for a while. I made five pairs using an inverted mette modular unit and I think they look great! I am a sucker for big, colorful earrings and these are a great model. They are extremely lightweight as well and despite their size, I can barely feel them on my ears! I tried a few different papers–origami, chiyogami, upcycled book pages–and I am really pleased with how each came out!  Each pair takes a whopping 20 pieces of paper.

Origami Earrings - Cherry Blossom Dreamer

I’m going to make some smaller models in the future (these are around 2″, but I think 1.5″ might be better for some people) and see how it turns out. I have some on the drying rack as we speak! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to hit the craft store this weekend and pick up some wiring. This week is going to be busy… I start teaching AND it is my birthday! Hopefully I will stop back in later in the week.

Origami Pendants

Ahoy!  I come bringing gifts!  (Not really… just a new blog layout…)  The columns of the previous one were not big enough to really post my work so I thought this might be a better solution.  I am still lukewarm towards it though… comments?  complaints?  I finally did get those pendants done so I thought I should show up and pimp my work!

Origami Pendant - Book Worm

This happy pendant was upcycled from an old dictionary bound for the trashcan.  It can’t hurt to be a little greener!  The pendants are modular and are made out of 18 pieces of paper each.  They aren’t hard to make, just time consuming. If you want to try yourself, please head over to Paper Unlimited where the whole thing has been diagrammed beautifully!  The original model was by Mette Pederson.  Mine are done out of 2″ paper, so the end result is a ring with a diameter of about 2 1/2″.

Origami Pendant - Cherry Blossom Picnic 2

After experimenting with wire for a billion hours, I finally figured out a nice method to string beads through the center to give the pendant a little extra oomph!  Once that was learned, off to the bead store I went in search of the perfect center beads.  I picked up a few of these awesome flat ones specifically for these pendants (although their price-tag made me cringe!), and some colored jade drum beads.  So far, the results have been stunning!  Although, to be honest, these pendants look good with or without the beads.  I made 10 pendants in all, 2 I am keeping for my own wear and the other 8 were listed today over at Etsy!  I am excited… My little shop is slowly coming together!