Paper Balloons

 The ancient art of origami

Ok... I am really only assuming that origami is an ancient art. I learned how to do what I am going to do 1000 years ago it seems, so that is pretty ancient. I learned how to make the paper balloon on a school bus ride home from elementary school. An older girl taught me how to fold a torn sheet of notebook paper into an inflated box. She called it a paper balloon, so that is what I have always called it.

Start with a square piece of paper. In the pictures I am using colored computer paper, but it is a little thick. Origami paper (or notebook paper!) work better. Fold the paper in half, and then in half again.
Unfold the paper once so that it is in half with a crease down the center. This is a little tricky to explain, but I think picture 2 above will help. Bring the lower right corner inside the paper and have it touch the center line. Crease it well and repeat on the other side. It will look like picture 3 from the front and picture 4 from the top.
Lay the triangle with the point nearest your body and the open end away from your body. Bring one flap down to the point of the triangle. Repeat with the left side. Flip it over and repeat on the back. It will look like the middle picture, top row. Next fold in each side of the diamond. Two on the front, two on the back as shown in the third picture top row. Just for orientation sake, not the the top has a hole in it and the bottom does not have a hole. It has 4 flaps.

Fold the top of each flap into a triangle. (First picture top row.) Tuck each folded down triangle into the opeinng on the sides. (That gaping opening in the first picture. The second picture is another few.
Almost done! I like to crease the top and bottom as shown by that faint line in the bottom row.
Crease everything very well one more time and gently blow into the hole at the top. It should look like this:
It should look like this:

You can do it! I learned it as a 5th grader!

There are lots of origami direction online. The piggie at the top and this little fox below are easy to make. I used to have my students try them (and a paper crane) when we read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  (Piggy)  (Fox)


Just Jaime said...

Awesome! I want to try!

Jordan McCollum said...

So... why didn't you ever teach us this?

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