Eighteen tools for an origami traveler

Since origami is such a portable art, I need only some paper and my hands to make something.

But whenever I travel, either near or far away, I always carry with me a small tool bag. The tools in this bag often come in handy allowing me the opportunity to realize spontaneous creative ideas.

Here is a list of the tools in my bag:

  1. color pens
  2. a paper cutter – “Envelopener” (yellow rectangle in the photo)
  3. an inkless pen (for scoring paper)
  4. a pencil (with a metallic holder to attach it to my blouse)
  5. an eraser
  6. scissors ( I’m not a folding fudamentalist!)
  7. a stick of glue
  8. an exacto knife
  9. a bamboo flat and pointy folder (great for creasing, getting into small corners, and pointing when teaching.  Now available here!)
  10. a small square
  11. miniature pliers (To fold wire for occasional origami-earings making)
  12. removable tape
  13. a small hole punch (Read here where I found it!)
  14. tweezers
  15. tooth pick and skewer
  16. mini clothes pins
  17. clips
  18. needle and thread

I’m just now preparing to travel  to Bellevue WA, near Seatle,  to attend the Pacific Coast Origami Convention 2011 -also known as PCOC, and I’ll be sure to have my trusty set of tools along for the ride.

Remember: If you are flying, be sure to  bring the pointy tools in the check in luggage!

What creative tools do you carry when traveling?

10 thoughts on “Eighteen tools for an origami traveler”

  1. Hi Leyla,

    I would really like to get a bamboo folding tool but I can’t seem to access the page on your website. It just says page not found. Have you stopped selling them now? It’s quite hard to find things that are non-standard when it comes to origami in the UK. *sad face*



    • Hi Margaret,

      The brand name of the pens I use is STAEDTLER. I love them. Their point is very fine, and the colors are vibrant, but do not bleed through the page. I use them daily on my journal. Another advantage is that if you forget to put their cap, they won’t dry out.

      Here I place a link to Amazon (affiliate).

  2. Hey.. well I won’t be making it to PCOC.. but have fun! Hmm.. I usually carry in my tool kit, my scissors, bone folder and most importantly my paper cutter. I haven’t reached the projects that really would need as much tools yet. But I definitely noticed that some of my friends/fellow folders have interesting tools such as a ‘unusable’ pen with a cap, and a little water spray bottle, among other tools.


  3. I use a ‘half-unfolded’ paper clip to get into the corners – but I like your bamboo tool! Where do I find one fo those (without going to China or Malaysia…LOL)?
    Great List!

  4. Thanks for this list, Leyla! Great items – I need to get some of those in my arsenal. I like to use a steel crochet hook (2.1 mm) for scoring paper and getting in small spaces – the tip is not as sharp as some empty pens so it is easier for me to make smooth scorings (I don’t think that is a word :)) and to not accidentally poke holes in the paper. I haven’t used it much yet but those miniature pliers are better than tweezers for lots of things.

    Have fun at PCOC!


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