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Marvellous Origami Miniatures

Miniature origami Ant folded by Carolina Aguilera

When folding origami models of animals, bigger animals, such mammals and birds, are usually represented in a small scale, and the smaller creatures, such as insects, are made bigger than life-size.

On my recent trip to Colombia, Carolina Aguilera, an architect from Bogotá and avid paper folder, gave me as a present a life-size origami ant (shown in the photo above). This model is her interpretation of one designed by Robert Lang. Given the small size of the paper with which she folded it  –35 mm  (1.3 in) this is considered an origami miniature.

Folding miniatures is fascinating for many paper folders around the world. Here are some examples of miniatures folded by different paper folders including some models that I have folded myself. Take special notice of the tiny crane folded by Akira Naito of Japan for a British Origami Society challenge in 1977. This crane is displayed on the tip of a needle inside a crystal globe. Have I mentioned nano origami?

Click on a thumbnail to see it larger, then click the larger image to return to this page.

Photo acknowledegments: Minna S, Ilan Garibi, Anja Markiewicz, Ralf Konrad, Emre Ayaroglu, Carolina Aguilera, Jorge Condoré, H.T.Quyet.

Have you folded miniatures? How do you like it?

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Roxanne March 31, 2013, 11:02 am

    How do you even go about folding something so tiny? I find it a challenge to fold the lotus with 15 cm paper and not mess the paper up. *giggle* I can’t imagine doing one “that” tiny. But really, how do you fold something so small?

    • Leyla Torres March 31, 2013, 2:26 pm

      Hi Roxanne, sometimes explaining “how” is quite difficult. To me, folding miniature origami is matter of knowing the model so well that you have no hesitations.
      Also, making many pieces with bigger paper and getting smaller and smaller paper each time you make a new one.

      My mother in law says that it is matter of having tiny fingers, but I think the it is more a mental process.
      Some people use tweezers. I have use them occasionally. I don’t remember if I used them for the lotus.

  • Krystal May 2, 2011, 6:36 am

    I used to be obessed with doing these miniatures when I was about nine, I’m 17 now. I used to make an origami swan that was just bigger than a pin head to entertain family. When I was making the origami bunny lanterns for easter this year I made some miniature bunnies for fun, they were so cute and I found out that if you cut part of the paper off you could make the bunnies fatter. I have to say that this post has inspired me to make more miniature models. I have always been good with making miniatures and ofter make dresses for my Barbie Dolls.

    • Leyla Torres May 2, 2011, 12:21 pm

      Hi Krystal, I’m glad this post has inspired you to make miniatures agiain. If you post pictures somewhere, please share the link!!

  • Zhela September 23, 2010, 9:11 pm

    These are just incredible! How amazingly fine (in more than one sense) these are!

  • Susan Becker September 21, 2010, 5:06 pm

    I’d like to learn how to make some of them. Like the lotus and the frog. Very cool.

  • Susan Becker September 21, 2010, 5:04 pm

    These minitures are awesome!

  • Gnómada September 21, 2010, 7:58 am

    Genial! =)

    Me encanta la recopilación que has hecho. Soy aficionadilla al tema del origami en miniatura… acostumbro a plegar usando envoltorios de Sugus y post-it (rarezas que tiene una jeje). Llegué a hacer un T-rex -ni yo misma sé cómo- con un envoltorio de Sugus rojo.

    Felicidades por el blog. Es muy elegante y dinámico ^^

    Un saludo!

    • Leyla Torres September 21, 2010, 12:56 pm

      Gracias Gnómada me alegra que te guste la recopilación y el blog y plegar miniaturas. No sabía qué eran “Sugus”. Al buscar en internet me doy cuenta que son unos dulces que en Colombia llaman “Frunas” y que me encantan. Afortunadamente en EU donde vivo no me queda fácil conseguirlos, pues no tendría disciplina, y la excusa de que podría usar los papelitos para plegar, sería de muerte total!

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