Transparent Origami

My collection of paper is rather massive, and sometimes I force myself to go through the drawers, but I always end up not throwing anything away. I mean, I collect bits of gift wrap, interesting tickets and napkins, candy wrappers and pages from old foreign newspapers with interesting fonts. Road maps, beer coasters and that silky paper nice shops wrap up the clothes in, before it goes in the bag. Jeez. Those are some full drawers.

The other day I came across some of that lovely heavy and crisp egg shell white tracing paper - 'kalke' - we used at Architecture School, for doing the final drawings before they went to the printers. It's a bit parchment like, and semi transparent. It gave me the idea to make some origami that has that transparency as a sort of extra effect. The tracing paper turned out to be the most brilliant origami paper! The folds get super sharp, and it is strong, but still smooth, not coarse. Plus it slides through the printer like no problem!

I thought these so called gyroscopes were great in this kind of paper, because all the modules are made by double layers. So I made a design with a lot of random stripey patterns, and they look nice on top of each other. 

To make a 'spinning gyroscope' (click here for PDF tutorial) you need twelve rather small origami squares to form six double star like shapes, that slides into each other in a really cool way! This is an easy and very satisfying modular origami project. I'm on my way to more complicated modular things, I think, but I'm not quite there yet!

I made this easy for you - just print the ones that I have made for you, in four pretty colors, cut them, and give it a go! These are fun to make, I promise!

See end of the blog post for info on tracing paper.

Get the 12-mini-origami-sheets PDF!

What is tracing paper?

The paper I used was this kind, and you should be able to get something like it in any paper webshop or well stocked stationary or art supplies shop. Just gently tug the individual sheets off, and feed them into your printer tray. 

If you print a lot of dense patterns and color on tracing paper, you should leave it to dry for a while, before you start working with it.


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  2. Nice and unique calendar. I’m sure my kids will love it!