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How to Make and Pop Paper Popcorn

Origami popcorn epitomizes the one aspect of origami that is most important to me: play. Using just a few elements Origami gives us the opportunity to engage in a captivating activity all wrapped up in lighthearted pleasure.

The popcorn model evolved from the origami model called “The Finger Trap”, designed by Ilan Garibi (Israel). Folder Karen Reeds (US) was playing with The Finger Trap one day and realized that by pinching two corners of the model together and then releasing quickly, would cause the model to jump. The image that came to her mind when seeing this effect was, Origami Popcorn!

When I started making origami popcorn myself, I discovered that adding a fold or two to the original finger trap gave it a bit more pop. Here I’ve made a video tutorial of the Origami Popcorn model and give many thanks to Ilan for his permission to do so.

If you cannot see the video in this page, Click HERE to watch it in Youtube.

Pop the popcorn! Make it a game at a baby shower!  This paper popcorn can be quite entertaining in many kinds of parties. A competition can be set, and a prize given to the one who pops the most popcorns into a bucket.

Here are instructions to make a bucket.

I hope you fold and pop plenty of popcorn and have a bucketful of fun!

“When we play, we are engaged in the purest expression of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality. Is it any wonder that often the times we feel most alive, those that make up our best memories, are moments of play?” ~Stuart Brown

19 thoughts on “How to Make and Pop Paper Popcorn”

  1. Please slow down videos. Hard to follow and camera angle could be better and closer. Diagrams would be good. Can’t see how elephant and popcorn fold beginning half way through videos. I’ve replayed multiple times. Close ups would be clearer.

  2. Thank you Leyla for this fun popcorn model and for the box! For my 38 year old daughter’s “birthday in a box” that I sent to her office, I included this as a party game with the winner (whoever gets the most popcorn in the box) winning REAL popcorn.

  3. Hi Leyla,
    I really like your website :)
    This model is fun but I have question, how to make this pot/box
    I would like to make that pot too. ^___^
    Thank you.

  4. Hi, Leyla: nice video production. Thanks for showing 44 pcs can be pre-scored and cut from US Letter sized paper. Who is the creator for the popcorn bucket / box? Are the diagrams published?

    • The bucket is a model by Aldo Putignano. It is shown as an Easter basket in a book by Rick Beech… Origami, the complete guide to the art of paper folding.
      I just omitted the handle from the original model.

  5. “Popcorn” has in the Spanish world many names. Here is the list I have found:
    • palomitas de maíz
    • pochoclos
    • pop
    • canchita
    • canguil
    • pororó
    • cotufas
    • poporopos
    • pururú
    • crispetas
    • maíz pira
    • cabritas de maíz
    • maiz tote
    • pipocas
    • rosetas
    • rosas
    • roscas
    • tostones
    • cocaleca

    If you know any other… please share it here!

  6. Fantastic! Thank you, Leyla. The still photograph is superb. I agree with you on every aspect of play. Is it any wonder that the most popular models that I teach and fold with patients and children are the “action ” models.

    I think I will combine the origami popcorn with some of Sok Songs containers :-)

    You make my folding very happy,



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