30 Day Origami Challenge Reflections

Random Observation/Comment #664: I’ve found peace – one fold at a time.

What did you Fold?

I started off following this curated list (see 30 Day Origami Challenge post), but then I found there was always one or two steps in the book diagrams that messed me up. I wound up looking up videos (most from Jo Nakashima’s channel) and they turned out much better. Yes, knowing how to do the steps kinda helps.

I avoided models that needed 50x50cm papers (or more than 30 minutes). I didn’t buy any new paper so I used the regular 15x15cm for all models (including 20x20cm ones).

I’ve curated a Youtube list for this challenge and beyond.

Here are the ones that diverged from the original post:

Day 16 – Squirrel by Oriol Esteve

Day 17 – Mouse by Akira Yoshizawa

Day 18 – Rhino from Easy Origami

Day 19 – Wolf by Jo Nakashima

Day 20 – Cat by Jo Nakashima

Day 21: Hummingbird by Christopher Randall

Day 22: Easy dragon

Day 23: Terrier dog by Francisco Javier Caboblanco

Day 24: Jacky Chan origami mouse

Day 25: Bear by John Montroll

Day 26: Turtle by Marc Vigo

Day 27: Spider crab by Jo Nakashima

Day 28: Spiral shell by Toshikazu Kawasaki

Day 29: 3D Elephant by Fumiyaki Kawahata (steps followed on YouTube Leyla Torres)

Day 30: Classic crane

How did you do?

There were definitely some origami fails, but it was really a great way to stay off the news updates and just listen to an audible book while folding. I’m a big fan of following the videos now. I also really prefer animal origami over flowers.

Lessons Learned

  • Accuracy is more important than speed – It’s about the journey and not the final product. Take the time to line everything up before making the fold.
  • Watch at 0.5x speed on Youtube – This is the right speed for most videos so you can make a few folds and take your time without going backwards.
  • First folds are the most important – Take your time with the cross or else your points will be a little off.
  • Use a hard surface where possible – I did a lot of folding in the car, but the side arm rest worked for the most part.
  • Flowers are hard to fold – The advanced flowers always have this reconstruction fold that kills me.
  • Get involved in the community – Instagram has some great origami fold-ers and they’re super supportive.
  • Buy the right paper – If you’re only going to fold 30, then you don’t really need 1000 sheets. The bigger 50x50cm ones are thinner, more durable, and have some beautiful patterns.
  • Fold the right model for the time you have – I like folding the model all at once as a 15-20 minute activity.
  • Don’t worry if it’s not perfect – Just keep practicing and you’ll get better. I’ve had to watch parts 3 or 4 times to understand how they did the fold.
  • Make it your own – Once you get the shape more or less open with the right number of limbs, you can make your own adjustments.
  • Don’t overlook the last few steps – It’s easy to start seeing the final product and fade into carelessness. The last folds are the most important to adding extra detail.
  • Get your significant other involved – Share the folding love! We did a crane together, which was one of my favorite things.


Q: Favorite model to fold?

A: I really enjoyed the Turtle from Day 26 and the Elephant from Day 29. Some really tough folds. Details were intricate, but not too difficult. These are self standing 3d models.

Q: Coolest model?

A: Spiral Snail Shell from Day 28 has so much detail and easy enough to remember how to make without following the video.

Q: What’s next?

A: I’m going to continue folding as a hobby (I do have a whole box of paper). It helps with falling asleep and it’s better than watching TV at night.

Follow me on Instagram (@seelemonsonline) to see my progress:

~See Lemons Love Origami