Handi-hour Crafting: Origami Cactus

  • GLORIA KENYON: I’m Gloria Kenyon, and for today’s Handi-hour craft, we’re going to be making origami cacti.

    This cacti is actually two different parts, a top and a bottom. They start with the same basic folds, so I’ll show you those, and how you can put them together. Once you’ve got those key folds in place, we’re going to pull all the corners up together. You’re going to have four fins, like this, and you’re going to want to lay them flat. We’re going to then push this crease down. You’re going to do that all the way around.

    Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a diamond-shaped, kite-shape like this. You’re going to want to fold each of these points down. So, we’re going to take this fold, and then go all down, and you flip it, and you just do that all the way around. So we’re going to open the whole thing back up. Once you’ve opened it up, fold all of your corners that you just folded down, in. You’ve got a shape like this. We’re going to bring it all together, to fold it back up to make our tall cactus. I like to make sure that, to fold it back evenly, so your final form comes out nice and smooth, pull these points together first, on the side, because what we’re going to do now is fold these corners down. We’re going to go all the way around.

    Once you’ve folded all of your corners down for the big cactus, you’re just going to slide them together, so that you can create there a little pocket, and you slide the corner in. You go all the way around, doing that. When you’re done, this is what you have.

    To make the small cactus, we follow almost all of the same steps. We’re going to fold it back up the same way we did, so corners together, folding everything. Not quite halfway, you don’t want to fold all the way up to the top. You want to fold to about the center point of these lines, crease there, then flip it around and crease again.

    We’re going to open it back up, and you can see you’ve created a base all the way around, so once you’ve carefully worked your center up into a point, you’ll see that the folds will start to line up together. Your cactuses come together like this, and then you’re going to want to take your points and gently fold them down, and then to make one big cactus, you’ll take your one that you made first, and gently slide, and there you have one big cactus.

    Public Programs Coordinator Gloria Kenyon demonstrates origami making for the September 2019 Handi-hour program at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Origami design courtesy of Paper Kawaii.

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