Get Started with Origami Folding

Today we’ll be exploring origami basics. We’ll also see some fun projects for beginners you can start with, and close with a really cool (but very advanced ) video by the origami expert Tadashi Mori, making a paper dragon.

Let’s begin with a brief explanation of what is origami from Wikipedia!

Origami (折り紙?, from ori meaning “folding”, and kami meaning “paper”; kami changes to gami due to rendaku) is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD at the latest and was popularized outside of Japan in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form. The goal of this art is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, and as such the use of cuts or glue are not considered to be origami. Paper cutting and gluing is usually considered kirigami.

The number of basic origami folds is small, but they can be combined in a variety of ways to make intricate designs. The best known origami model is probably the Japanese paper crane. In general, these designs begin with a square sheet of paper whose sides may be different colors or prints. Traditional Japanese origami, which has been practiced since the Edo era (1603–1867), has often been less strict about these conventions, sometimes cutting the paper or using nonsquare shapes to start with.

The principles of origami are also being used in stentspackaging and other engineering structures.

And now let’s get started with some essential origami skills, before the real fun begins!

Essential Skills

1. Basic Origami Folds

2. Basic Origami Bases

Fun beginner projects

1. Origami Butterfly

2. Origami: Crane

3. Origami Rabbit

4. Origami Swan

Take it Further

5. Origami Fiery Dragon

Hope you enjoyed today’s creative projects! If you want more, you can always check out these amazing resources at Amazon:

Vladimir Tomin→Paperworld Font

Get Started with Mixed Media Art Techniques

Hello folks! Unlike the previous two “get started” articles, this one doesn’t follow a course like structure. And that’s because it would be impossible!

After all Mixed media art can be produced by combining every art medium, and well not only that!

For those unfamiliar with the term let’s see how is defined in wikipedia:

Mixed media, in visual art, refers to an artwork in the making of which more than one medium has been employed.

Ok,  that doesn’t sound actually very enlightening. It continues:

Vladimir Tomin→Paperworld Font

Vladimir Tomin→Paperworld Font

There is an important distinction between “mixed-media” artworks and “multimedia art”. Mixed media tends to refer to a work of visual art that combines various traditionally distinctvisual art media. For example, a work on canvas that combines paint, ink, and collage could properly be called a “mixed media” work – but not a work of “multimedia art.” The term multimedia art implies a broader scope than mixed media, combining visual art with non-visual elements (such as recorded sound, for example) or with elements of the other arts (such as literature, drama, dance, motion graphics, music, or interactivity).

When creating a painted or photographed work using mixed media it is important to choose the layers carefully and allow enough drying time between the layers to ensure the final work will have integrity. If many different media are used it is equally important to choose a sturdy foundation upon which the different layers are imposed.

A phrase sometimes used in relationship to mixed media is, “Fat over lean.” In other words: “don’t start with oil paints. Plan to make them the final layer.”

Many effects can be achieved by using mixed media. Found objects can be used in conjunction with traditional artist media, such as paints and graphite, to express a meaning in the everyday life. In this manner, many different elements of art become more flexible than with traditional artist media.

So how can we actually get started with Mixed Media? Well glad you asked.

Just experiment and have fun! One of the secrets of creativity, is to always experiment and try out new things. By exploring new media, you open yourself to new creative avenues and possibilities.

And in order to help you get started i assembled a selection of 8 fun projects you might want to try, or just use as inspiration for your own experiments. (**updated on 6/9/13**)

Let’s enjoy them!

Aged Copper Techniques & Projects

Using Your Artistic Skills To Design Cute Address Labels For Your Children

Using Your Artistic Skills To Design Cute Address Labels For Your Children

Parents always take care of the welfare of their little ones. This is a natural phenomenon that kids are so much attached to their loved ones. It is a great idea to create items for them which they can use in their daily life. Address labels are amongst those items which can help them organize their books, lunch boxes and water bottles. If you make them yourself, you will strengthen your emotional bond with them.

Importance designing address labels

Kids are quite possessive about their stuff whenever they are going to school. Items like water bottle, lunch box, textbook, pencil box and last but not the least address label on these items. Everything among the above-mentioned articles is important for kids and of course, parents cannot afford to buy them every time kids lose these items. Thus, address labels for children is the most useful thing that can help to keep your kid’s articles safe. Different varieties of labels can be designed as per your kid’s requirement.

Kids also like these labels attached to their personal belongings because it relieves them from the hassle of getting confused and worried. These address labels are easily available in the market. Generally, labels contain the required information about your child like name, class, roll number, section, contact number, address and bus number. This information can help them as well as you, because you can assure yourself that your kids can easily identify their articles with the help of these address labels.

How To Use Different Types Of Address Labels

Some labels are printed on clothes while others are attached by sewing them on the required article. You can make the best use of these labels on school bags. Stick on labels are also available that can be used on any of the articles. You can paste that stick-on label on Tiffin box, water bottle, pencil box and other things. These kinds of labels consist of very high quality adhesive that can be used on hard items made up of plastic. If you paste them on a particular item then it is not easy to peel them off easily as they stick to that particular item.

The main attraction for children can be a personalized address label for them. They are easily available in the market and can be used on bottles, mugs and notebooks. Most of the stationery stores are having variety of address labels e.g. vinyl labels and traditionally made paper labels. Personalized labels do not mean that they would cost you more rather they can easily be afforded.

Cute Address Labels

Apart from getting the address label from the market, you can make them at home as well. Cute address labels can be an item of collection for children. There are ample of designs which can be created for address labels. Thus, you can give the freedom of selection to your kids so that they can get address labels of their own choice.

All you have to do is just design a beautiful address label as per your children’s choice. You can choose their best color for printing. Thus, you can fulfill their desire of having their address label as per their requirements. Just take a print out and paste it on the essential belongings of your children. In this way, you can assure yourself that the articles will remain safe and children will also feel good, as their articles would be having an address label of their choice.

If you want to view the different designs of these address labels, you can browse the internet. Many websites sell them at a discounted price as well.

Featured image is licensed and/or copyrighted by the author

Article by James

James has been running an online store, which sells items for kids. He promotes his website by writing about address labels for children. This way, they are able to get the best of the useful items by reading the complete information about them.

Making Fabric Flower Hair Clips3

Making Fabric Flower Hair Clips

With the emergence of websites such as Etsy a lot of us can run a decent supplemental business venture by selling hand-crafted items. I have to admit there are a lot of wonderful, beautiful-looking pieces out there at affordable prices and some I would gladly buy for myself. Today I have stopped my attention on how you can make yourself a hair clips with a fabric flower on them. It is surprisingly easy if you know what you’re doing so without further ado:

1. Choose your fabric wisely

The secret to making these what they are is layering as it is at the core of what we need to do. For that reason you need to choose a fabric which goes well with the intended clothes and which reflects your personal tastes. Perhaps you prefer something dark and Gothic or something light and cheerful? Whatever it is you should make sure the fabric is substantial so you’ll be able to cut it appropriately. You can use old pieces of fabric from clothes you won’t wear anymore as long as they are what you’re looking for.

2. Making the pattern

It is wise to use a thin cardboard so you’ll be able to work with them. Using a water bottle, water glass or a small plate or similar circular objects you should trace several circles with varying sizes so you can imitate the flower petals later on. Make sure they are as round as possible as you’ll want them to be perfect.

3. Tracing and cutting

Now that you have the patterns ready trace them with a pencil or an invisible marker so they won’t stain and cut out the circles one by one. Make sure you’re using new and sharp fabric scissors so you’ll reduce tears and fringing.

4. Making the petals

Next you should cut out the petals in a pattern which can be done easily with four to five cuts. Make sure they are even and that you don’t cut too deep. Remember how flowers look like in nature and try to emulate that by cutting in the same way.

5. Rounding out the petals

Shape them out with the scissors and remember to make little irregularities in their shape to avoid all of the petals looking the same. Nature is chaotic so no two flowers look the same right? You can add dimension to them by underlining the edges with either fabric pens or hot glue for example to give them volume.

6. Piecing it together

Place all the petals on top of each other and then sew them together. Make sure they are not aligned but mismatched. They still have to go from large to small obviously, just avoid making it look uniform. Once again observe real flowers and imitate those. Add a bead or a button to the center to make it complete with either hot glue or just sewing it on.

7. Gluing it to the hair clip

This should be fairly easy to do – you can also sew it on to the hair clip if that’s possible to increase its durability over the years. And voila! You’re ready to proudly wear your very own fabric flower!

Images are licensed and/or provided by the author

Article by Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis is blogger, writer and housewife. She is very passionate about art and craft, but also likes writing about home improvement and home maintenance topics. Find heres ome more of her helpful tips and hints:

Creative Commons - Attribution photo by Jeff Vier

Making Homemade Inks

With hundreds of different types of inks available to each of anyone on the internet, making your own ink has become the practice confined to a very specific breed of pen nerds; the nostalgic purists, the picky perfectionists, and the cheap (ahem, “thrifty”). Whatever your reason, making ink has a long and rich history and gives us a variety of options to choose from, and being creative people we’re not above inventing our own recipes.

Tea Ink

The easiest functional ink that you can make is tea ink. Just boil about a cup of water and put 3-5 tea bags in to steep for about a half hour. Then dissolve some gum Arabic or carrageenan in the hot tea to thicken it slightly and let it cool. Bottle it up and there you have some non-toxic, edible ink. Keep in mind that any ink made from tea or berries is going to be acidic so if you’re writing anything that you want your great-great-great grandchildren to read you might want to use something else. In most cases it isn’t a concern since most writing paper that’s available is going to degrade on it’s own just as quickly as it would when catalyzed by acidic ink.

Powder Pigments

Once you feel a bit more adventurous you can move on to powder pigments. Classic and highly effective is lampblack, charcoal, or crushed minerals or seashells. If you’re interested in trying more plant oriented things you can try grinding up dried tree bark, herbs, and flowers. The trick to this is to dry the colored bit that you want (usually flower petals) on a paper towel or bit of cloth until it’s looking nice and crispy and to then crush them into a fine powder with a mortar and pestle. To get the pigment out of the cells and floating free in your ink you’ll then want to add some alcohol until you’ve got a thick paste. After that you can add your favorite thinners and thickeners to build your ink consistency.

Thinning/Thickening Agents

Because non-water based inks lack surface tension and sink into the page much more quickly with increased risk of bleeding I prefer to stick with water. If you go with that philosophy that means that besides water, which will usually leave your ink very runny and might let your ink smudge even after it’s dried, you’ll need to add a thickener, preferably a sticky one. The gums mentioned in the paragraph above make effective thickeners, but since not everyone has that sitting in their kitchen cabinet I tend to go with simple old corn starch. Food starch is a natural glue and will do the job reasonably well. That being said, I still know several people who swear by linseed oil instead of water, which will give you a nice consistency without the need for thickeners. For my part I’m going to be sticking with water based inks because I don’t like bleedy inks.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution photo by Jeff Vier – source

Article by Alice Jenkins

Alice Jenkins is a writer, graphic designer and marketer. When Alice isn’t trying to figure out whole stole her favorite red pen, she writes about web design, small business branding and marketing trends. Alice writes for PensXpress, a business that specializes in custom imprinted pens.



How to Create Your Own Work of Post-it Art

Art is all about expression. Whatever the medium, however it is delivered, the message is everything. Some use a canvas, others create films and then there are those that choose Post-it notes.

As odd as it may sound, these colourful paper squares are popping up in creative projects all around the world. While for most they may simply be a useful bit of office stationery, others are using them to create stunning works of art. So how can you join the Post-it revolution?

Stop Motion Videos

One of the most popular and widely employed techniques is to use Post-it notes as part of a stop motion film. It’s a simple enough concept, but it also takes a lot of time, effort and dedication to get right.

Like the Godzilla movies of old, stop motion works by taking thousands of images in sequence, making subtle changes in each one. This generates the illusion of movement and animates the inanimate.

Post-it notes are perfect for this; mostly because of their adhesive backing and symmetrical shape. Of course, the growing range of colours also helps; as this allows any aspiring artists to create the tones and shades needed to create the final piece.

There have been some great examples of this kind of art circulating the Internet, particularly on video sharing sites like YouTube. One particularly famous example was created by Bang-Yao Liu, a student from Taiwan. His video, DEADLINE, was created as a college project and has been viewed over 5.8 million times since being launched almost four years ago.