Why Can’t I Fold Paper?

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Don’t forget to visit me at the Scribes – There is that Leviathan – about the Titanic.

Everyone has things they are good at. I’m pretty good with ย most crafty type stuff: drawing, painting, needle arts, but there is one thing I stink at. One art that completely eludes me – Origami.

Why can’t I fold paper? What is the deal? No matter how hard I’ve tried, I can’t fold neatly. The end result isn’t pretty!

It all started when I bought an origami book and fancy paper on my honeymoon. After many frustrating attempts, I shelved the book.

And there it stayed, until my oldest son hit seventh grade. ย He discovered the book and lo and behold – the origami gene was strong with him. A bit too strong. I bet there haven’t been many mothers who’ve received phone call that their son was spending too much time on origami in English class.

Lucky for me, he’s an amazing origami artist. He’s able to read those enigmatic directions and produce some awesome shapes.

He’s designed his own flowers.

And he can reverse engineer if needed.

He recently made fifty cranes for our friend’s fiftieth birthday. Here’s the speed version:

Now if he could just find a profession to use this talent . . . life would be grand!

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28 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Fold Paper?

  1. I suck at origami, too. Your son is very talented in the origami ways, indeed. I stick to what I am best at, art that does not require the folding of paper or the use of paint.

  2. What a smart kid Casey! I bought a book on napkin folding designs which is based on origami and could only manage the simple designs… all this left side, right side, fold in, fold out… now I am thinking maybe it’s my very bad sense of direction! Maybe I need your son’s help!

    1. It’s funny, he is really good with math and plays the trumpet too. There’s probably a connection there! I’m awful with math and could never learn an instrument either! We have other talents, right? I know he’d be happy to help you! Too bad we are so far away from each other!

      1. I have read somewhere that origami was used in math classes in some places to help explain geometry and other math topics. It may be connected- or its just a way of physically showing something 3d instead of something flat. Useful and practical!

        I can make origami, but struggle to follow book step by step pictures/drawaings/instructions. I usually manage to get results from watching youtube.

      2. Hi immortal fire! I’ve heard that too. My husband’s grandmother likes to send my son newspaper articles about the ties between origami, math and science! When I was an intern at the Smithsonian, one of the curators loved to fold origami with dollar bills.He was extremely technical oriented too. I don’t think it’s coincidence that these guys are all good at paper folding.

  3. Very cool! My husband just took up paper-folding, and I’ll have to share your post with him. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Nice! I hope your husband has fun. There are so many shapes out there. One of my son’s favorite books is all mythological creatures. I have quite a collection of bugs,flowers, animals, geometric shapes and more!

    2. Ok – so far everyone had said that a husband or son likes to paper fold. Is this a guy thing? I’m sure there are girls who do it too. I hope!

  4. Cool. My husband lived in Japan for almost 9 years and he’s pretty good at it, too… and the skill eludes me totally. Enjoyed your post!

    1. That is awesome that he lived in Japan. I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t do origami. I don’t feel so lonely now ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Fun post!
    My son does origami, too! ๐Ÿ™‚
    My facility with all things tactile is dim at best. I admire people who work intricacies with their fingers.

    1. I admire those people too Ann! When I started looking up origami for this post, my son and I had those jaw dropping – oh wow – moments. There is some incredible paper artwork out there!

  6. I have never tried it, but my son is good at it as well. I do remember back in high school we folded notes down into tiny little triangels and passed them to our friends in the hall … that was before we could text and the worse things a student did in high school was pass notes, chew gum or smoke in the girls/boys room. LOL I’m dating myself now.

    1. I remember passing notes too. And remember how embarrassing it was when they got intercepted? Not that it happened to me. But I used to cringe when my friends got caught. Now, instead of your class knowing, every body and their mother can find out!

  7. I’m very impressed. I think I’d have an easier time eating the paper than folding it.

  8. Has he read Origami Yoda? It might be young for him, but he might get a kick out of it. Me, I failed cutting and folding in kdgn. Thank God for the invention of gift bags!

    1. No. We will check it out! Thanks for the tip. I’m really starting to think paper folding is a guy art. Not one woman has said they can do or like doing it. Interesting….

    1. Thanks Raven! He’s made much more complicated shapes – like a three headed dragon (with a million folds!). And thank you for letting me know origami isn’t a completely male dominated hobby. I was starting to wonder ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Hey! Don’t give up on the women! xD You know I like origami, Casey. I may not be as much of a whiz with it as your son, but I still think it’s lovely, and I’d like to learn more :3

  10. I love to do origami. I started when I was young. An aunt went to study in France and had a Japanese room-mate who taught her origami. She came home and taught me and my sisters. My son also is good at it too. I bought a book when he was young and we had a lot of fun making stuff. Recently I found a website for origami that you make with the papers from the Netflix DVDs – so of course I had to try them. Now, I have Netflix birds hanging around. I know you are crafty – don’t give up.

    1. Hi Carol! Glad to hear that origami isn’t all male dominated! I will have to tell older son about the Netflix origami – that is so cool! Say “hi” to your son for me!

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