Family, Zen

Origami zen: Sailboats and tulips


For Teacher Appreciation Week earlier in May, I wanted to find a simple project that the Big Kid could do with me. He’s finally at an age where he can participate in creating meaningful thank you gifts. He had a great time putting together the Valentine’s origami (more assembling on his part than folding), so I thought I’d give origami another go. Have I mentioned how therapeutic it is to fold paper?

The sailboat above was made from this tutorial by Since these started with a 6×6 inch sheet cut diagonally, I finally found a legitimate use for my guillotine-style paper cutter. As for the Big Kid, he did these by himself without any problem. We also practiced talking about shapes with every fold.


In addition to the sailboats, we made these tulips with a stem using again. The tulips had a few tricky parts, including tucking one corner in to another to make the overlapping petals and “inflating” the flower. The Big Kid was actually much better at blowing air into it (smaller mouth for the smaller hole?), so he had a good time helping with that part.

Since I was using the same pack of solid color 6 x 6 inch paper, I was running out of green sheets for the stems. I found another pack of printed origami that did the trick.


All the teachers loved receiving their flowers and sailboats, and it made for a very unique gift. I now have my eye on more complicated origami folds. There’s a lotus one that looks tricky but pretty neat once it’s done. Oh, and I found one on Instagram of an intricate dragon, GAME OF THRONES style!

If you’re interested in buying any of the origami featured in this post or the Valentine’s one, I have some in stock and ready to ship. Email me at for more information.

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