I encountered this little basket in a couple of children's origami books, so it should be easy for adults and children alike.
Start with a square piece of paper and fold it in half from corner to corner. If you are using origami paper, the color on the inside of these first few folds will end up on the outside of the basket. (The paper below is dark pink and pale pink and the basket will end up being light pink).
Unfold, and then fold again from the other corner to the other corner and unfold again. You are doing this to create creases.
Now fold from side to side in both directions and unfold again. Your square piece of paper will now have creases crisscrossing it from corner to corner and side to side.
This next part is tricky so I've provided a few photos. Fold it back in half again from side to side, grasp the two sides in your hands, and sort of squeeze them together so that it all comes together as shown below.
You'll end up with this square.
Put it down on the table with the open edges and corner at the top, make it nice and flat, and then take the top corner of the top layer and fold it down towards the bottom corner.
Press down on the crease.
Next, as though you were turning the pages of a book, take the right corner of the top layer and bring it over to meet the left corner.
Repeat the steps you just did above - take the top corner of the upper layer and fold it down to the bottom corner again, and then "turn the page" - take the right corner of the upper layer and fold it over to the left.
Smooth out the paper and press down on creases after each step. The folds you just did should now be on the inside. Both sides of your square should look like the photo below.
Now, take the right corner of your top layer and fold it about two-thirds of the way towards the left.
Repeat this step for the left hand side, overlapping the two sides, and then tape down to secure.
Turn over and repeat again on the back side - fold each side in towards the other so they overlap and then tape in place.
It's best to use the smallest piece of tape you can.
Next fold the bottom corner up and press on it to make a crease, then let go.
Now, gently grasp the basket on both sides and open it up. The last crease you just made helps form the bottom of the basket.
Use your fingers as needed to help sharpen the creases and give the basket some shape, especially around the bottom and the sides. Tape the bottom in place.
Now take the two handles and secure them together at the top with a little bit of tape.
You're done! Use a craft punch and contrasting paper to decorate as you like, or leave it as is. Little ones love these baskets for carrying tiny toys, acorns, pebbles, and other treasures.
I thought it would be fun to share a few simple origami projects and ask - is there anything you'd like to see more of? I'm already preparing a tutorial for the baskets below for next week:
These are from a Japanese book on children's origami I have and are pretty straightforward.
These star boxes are popular among children and are quite easy:
if you tuck the ends under and secure them, they make pretty cool looking bowls:
Origami for the home is my new favorite thing - here's another kind of bowl:
and yet another which you may already know how to do - I know I learned this as a child growing up in the U.S. It's one of those little things children make and write on to tell fortunes. Using pretty paper and turning it upside down makes a huge difference, doesn't it?
Are you wondering what those little balls are? Those are snacks for babies and children - they melt in your mouth and are considered safe for little ones. They're plain, but a bit sweet. The flowers are just little plum-flavored rice crackers.
I've also finally mastered tiny boxes, which are so much fun! There are lots of variations of those; here are 2 of my favorites. These here are very simple, classic boxes with a lid (I know they're a bit crooked!)
and this one is sort of similar to the origami cube I showed you a few days ago:
What I like about origami is that once you master a few basic folds and get a few projects under your belt, you begin to develop an intuitive sense for how other projects should go. You may even begin to develop the ability to create new projects of your own, although that hasn't quite happened to me yet. I love the feeling of doing multiple folds that seem to be going nowhere and then suddenly seeing it all fall into place at the end. I think that children learn a lot from experiencing that sort of magic.
They're pretty addictive because they're like little puzzles. I'm never quite sure until the end if all the pieces will fit together, yet miraculously enough, they do. It's very satisfying. Kids love these cubes - both creating them and playing with them. They're lightweight and great for stacking or creating designs with.
You'll start with 6 pieces of square shaped paper. I used standard origami paper about 15 x 15 cms or 6 x 6 inches, but you can use any size, as long as it's square.
One tip: when doing origami, fold as precisely as possible and press down on the creases and folds to make them nice and sharp. That's particularly important with this cube. (I'll be doing other tutorials for simpler origami designs to do with younger children that are more forgiving).
Fold it in half to create a crease, then open again.
Now, fold each side down to the crease and press down hard.
Now you have a rectangle. Turn the paper over (very important; you want the open fold to be on the bottom) and fold each corner towards the center so that you create a trapezoid. First one corner to the middle of the opposite side
then the other corner in the opposite direction.
Next you will fold the corners of the trapezoid to the center on the opposite side so that you form a square. Make sure to press down on the creases hard.
Now release those corners. Repeat the above steps for each piece of paper until you have 6 pieces that look like this.
Now comes the fun part - assembly. Take two pieces and insert a triangle from one paper into the opening on the square of another paper.
Then insert a second triangle into the other side of the same opening. Each opening in each square accommodates two triangles from other adjoining squares. Keep inserting triangles into squares until all the sides are connected and a cube is formed.
Here's an example of the same cube in different colors, and what it might look like once you've fitted three together. They will be loose but will stabilize as you add more panels.