• Make sure that your work space is clean, free of clutter, and large enough for you to work in.
  • Make sure the area is properly lit; shadows make it difficult to see creases and fold precisely.
  • Folding on a table or other flat surface is the best choice for beginners (some people prefer to hold paper in hands and fold in the air but this may pose as a  challenge for beginners).
  • It is best to work in an environment that is quiet and free from distractions.


  • Large paper sizes work best for beginners. As mastery of folding improves, you may want to consider folding smaller sized paper.
  • Have a variety of  patterns and colors available to entice people you are working with.
  • Have several sizes of paper on hand to accommodate different skill levels.


  • Fold as neatly and precisely as you can. Sloppy folding can lead to problems down the line as you continue your project.
  • Consider the individual(s) you are working with and decide if they require aids such as a bone folder.
  • Sit alongside the individual you are working with to help them orient paper properly and provide assistance.
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Origami Therapy

  • Take your time! The focus is on the journey, not the result.
  • Use frustration and anger that may occur as opportunities for therapeutic work.
  • Take a break. You may not complete projects in one continuous stretch of time. Work at the pace/tolerance level of your client.
  • Know your client and adjust the activity to their ability/skill level. The point is to build their confidence and give them an opportunity to succeed.
  • Prioritize teaching models that you have mastered and practiced. If clients do request to fold something out of your knowledge, use it as an opportunity to learn together!

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