Origami is traditional Japanese paper craft that's been around for at least 1,200 years, and probably longer. This method of folding paper is used to create the appearance of animals and other shapes, and while it's not as popular as some other paper crafts today, like scrapbooking or making your own greeting cards, once you get started with origami, you'll be hooked.
You can get started in paper origami without any tools, supplies or expensive kits and instructions. All you need is paper and some origami instructions that you can find almost anywhere. Your local library will have books filled with origami instructions, and you're sure to find hundreds of free origami instructions online. Be sure to also look for tips about choosing the right origami paper, and which projects are best for a beginner.
You'll be able to find some very easy origami to get you started. The beauty of it is that there are no special skills required to make some fascinating origami shapes. All you have to really be able to do is fold paper and follow instructions! How many other hobbies require so few supplies, and make virtually no mess? And you won't even need special origami paper – any paper will do!
While you might need scissors for some origami patterns, many of the easier origami instructions only require paper. If you're really picky about your measurements, you could use a ruler to ensure that you fold the edges accurately (e.g., if the origami instructions say to make a fold one inch in). But you won't usually have to go that far, at least not with easy origami instructions.
Most origami patterns will give you the instructions you need to make origami animals. There are other patterns such as flowers, bridges and other items, but origami animals have a special appeal. You might think folding an animal from paper is difficult, but some – like a basic fish or frog – are actually pretty easy to do. Once you get the hang of the basics and better understand how origami works, you can progress to more advanced paper crafts like the traditional crane, or the extremely complicated koi fish.