Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Origami Paper Twirlers

Come spin with us and make Origami Paper Twirlers | or  Origami Wind Sockets today. 
Not only did we let the wind run through our hair this weekend, we made these super fun and simple Origami Paper Wind Sockets or Origami Paper Twirlers. They twirl, they whirl and they're just fascinating because of the way they spin.  Mesmerizing.  Come take a spin with us, too!

Let them float on their own or help them f-l-y!

How to make an Origami Paper Twirler or Origami Paper Wind Socket
These are spellbinding by our front door but are also a super fun toy or game. 
Origami Paper Wind Sockets or Origami Paper Twirlers at any age. 

Although this project is super simple, before starting,  I like to have a visual in mind.  It helps me to have a mental picture of the steps before starting. 

There are two key steps to getting the spiral fold:
1. Parallel folds that are horizontally crossing the paper 
2. Diagonals folds that criss-cross (parallel to one another, too) these horizontal folds.  

Are you ready? Let's go.


This is what you'll need:Paper, pencil, straight edge, scissors, hole punch, string, wooden stick or dowel. 
How to:

Using a ruler, mark the paper with equally spaced horizontal, parallel, markings to indicate evenly spaced fold lines that will go from the top to the bottom of the paper. 

Fold 1: Horizontals: Crease the all of these lines you have penciled in. 
These first folds can be thought of as accordion folds.

After all of the first folds are complete, it is time for the second fold

Fold 2: Diagonals:To create the diagonals, fold the upper corner of one section of one rectangle diagonally to the lower corner of the next. 

See example below. When all creases have been made it will look like this:

Now it is time to do the final folding that will create the spiral.

Fold 3: Spiral Folds:
Starting at the top, fold each crease back and forth, like an accordion following the creases you've already made; but, instead of a regular accordion fold, the paper will immediately begin folding in a spiral. 

If your paper starts with a straight crease, fold this (forward) , then the next crease diagonally (back) ;   repeating this folding pattern until the end.

The paper will create a spiral fold.

Once the folds are complete, press the edges to make crisp edges. Use a boning tool or just your hands. 

Once the paper spiral is complete, this is what you'll do to turn it into a Origami Paper Wind Socket or Origami Paper Twirler.

- Punch a hold on top of the paper spiral.

- Thread string through this hole and attach the string to a stick or rod. 

The project is complete! Ready to go!
Have fun! Make more and use these as decoration or as fun toys!

I love these for a variety of reasons. Use these Origami Paper Twirlers as a starting point for you and your own little innovators. What more are you looking for?

Want more art and painting? Paint your own paper (there are so many fun techniques: patterns, color gradations or whatever you'd like), re-cycle old art projects or turn this into a recycle project by using old newspaper. You can easily embellish those recycled papers with paint, crayons or washi tape and more. Or looking for abstract, action,  drawing, hang these and try to trace the shadows.

Engineering, Science, Math: Involve kids in measuring, cutting and even doing the math for dividing the paper. Watch, count and time how they spin and the motion created through the rectangle that's simply been folded in a new way. Fold different lengths and measure each of them. Use them as tools for testing the strength of the wind or direction. Make these with different types or weights of papers to compare how they fly and spin.

Fine Motor Skill Development: Cutting and folding are natural fun ways for this development. These involve a lot of folding and pressing seams which is a good exercise.  If you have small children and folding is difficult, choose light weight papers. Since this is only paper, you can pick this project up when ever you'd like --- starting and stopping when it's most convenient for you.

Large Motor skills:
Use these Origami Paper Twirlers as a game or just have the kids spin them around and around and around. (Once the kids see how these spin, instruction is really unnecessary) but, I add it, because as adults, we sometimes can forget the natural playfulness that comes with creating and this is a given with these spinner! See how many Origami Paper Twirlers you can keep spinning at one time! (I'd like to know how that goes!)

Self-Esteem: Once simple action that's so uncomplicated and requires no word: display your children's art work. These are beautiful wind sockets by the front door. Kids should be made to feel proud of their efforts + the reward is already shown in the action of displaying their creations. I want the kids to keep making an entire rainbow of wind sockets. They are endlessly fascinating to watch blowing in the wind and will be a constant reminder of a beautiful accomplishment of your child.
As always, its wonderful to meet you here! I hope that you have fun with these. We'd love to see what you do with this tutorial and I hope that you have as much fun as we do in this 14 day KIDS Crafts 101. Thank you, Red Ted, for your adorable first day and for organising project.

 Day 1 started at Red Ted with a Little Red Riding Hood Paper Tube Craft | Click here
Yesterday: Day 2: mericherry No Sew Vegetable print pillows | Printed Pillows | Click here |
Today, Day 3: (That's us!) Origami Paper Twirlers 


52 Handmade Willowday Projects from 2014 
(Click HERE)

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  1. This is SO COOL!
    My kids will LOVE this!

    1. Kate! Oh, you make my day! Thank you! I'd love to think of you making these!

  2. Oh my stars I want to go make some right now! So cute Gina!

    1. Thank you so much Mari! I'd love to see these in your artist hands!

  3. Nice idea! Thanks. What a pretty boy too!

  4. I don't understand the diagonal fold, my outer corner does not meet the inner corner. How wide should the paper strip be?

    1. Hi Tracy. Good luck with these. I think once you get the hang of the fold, you'll see that they just flow. If you look at the 9th photo from the top (an orange photo) you can see the pattern. These there about 3 inches wide but, the concept will work with a broad range; I just thought this was an optimal width to both get a striking effect and to be sturdy. The pattern is a repeat. It's like horizontals that will all be repeatedly folded on the exact same diagonal. I hope this helps!


Thank you!