How to Make Cool Things From Paper

    by Sumiko Russell

    About the Author

    Sumiko Russell has been writing professionally since 2001, focusing on topics ranging from inner-city youth projects to budget shopping. Her work has appeared in "Teen Voices" and online at Sumiko obtained a Bachelor of Arts in humanities from Florida International University.


    You can do a lot more than just type documents and jot down notes on a plain sheet of paper; you can create cool things from it. You can create origami art or even cut out shapes to make as ornaments during the holiday season. From an origami crane to a cut-out snowflake, you can make cool things from a sheet of paper to decorate your home or give to a loved one as a gift.

    Things You'll Need

    • Square-shaped paper
    • Scissors
    • Pencil


    Fold the paper into a triangle, making a crease as you fold it and making the points meet. Unfold the paper and do the same for the other side.

    Turn the paper over, fold the paper in half making a tall rectangle, and do the same for the opposite side. Lay the paper down on the table with the creased edge facing you.

    Bring the ends together so all of points of the paper meet one at a time and flatten it out. You will now have a diamond-layered shape. The open end of the diamond should face you. In origami, this form is called a square base.

    Take the top layer and make a half fold on both sides to make two small, right triangles. Flip the paper over to do the same to the other side. You should have what looks like a mini kite.

    Fold the top piece over and make a triangle fold where the two halves meet. Unfold it to expose the creases so you have a diamond shape, and touch the creased line with the tip of your index finger to hold it down. In origami, this form is called a bird base.

    Bring the top of the first layer down toward your index finger to expose the grooves in the paper, and fold the paper so you have two triangles and press the paper down. Turn the paper over and do the same for the other side. This is the base of the crane.

    Hold it so you can see the mini triangle in between the triangle folds, fold the top piece over exposing the second layer and fold the bottom piece up so it touches the top points of the paper. Open the top layer like a page in a book and do the same for the other side.

    Fold the bottom piece up so you now have a triangle with all the points meeting and pull out the middle piece to make a 45-degree angle. Make a crease with this fold and do the same for the other end of the crane but don't fold it.

    Put your index finger inside of the fold, bring it down to make a mini triangle, and fold it. This is the head of the crane.

    Put your index fingers inside of the flaps of the wings to spread out the wings. Pull the tail of the crane to flap its wings.


    Fold the paper in half, making a long rectangle. Position the paper so the fold is facing away from you.

    Fold the paper 1/3 of the way using the center of the fold as a point and do the same for the other side so it covers the first side. With the tip of the triangle facing away from you, press down the edges of the layered shape.

    Fold the triangle in half, hold the tip of the triangle and cut the end of paper that extends past the triangle.

    Make a snowflake to use as an ornament for the holiday season.

    Draw a simple design on the triangle and cut the outline with your scissors. Unfold the paper to reveal your snowflake.

    • You can purchase different colored paper from your local craft store.
    • If you are making snowflakes with children, do not allow them to use scissors without adult supervision. Use safety scissors to reduce the risk of injury.


    • “Absolute Beginner’s Origami”; Nick Robinson; 1999
    • “Genuine Origami”; Jun Maekawa; 2007
    • “Snowflakes: Creative Paper Cutouts”; Cindy Hingham; 2009

    Photo Credits