Introduction: Chopstick "hinge" for Beginners

After making a really difficult and almost completely useless chopstick creation
which requires a huge amount of bits and bobs - so here is a simple and easy trick that you can make in any restaurant / takeaway that gives free chopsticks in a little paper sleeve.

Many beginners struggle to use chopsticks - this can be more easy if there is a hinge/spacer to keep the chopsticks in the correct alignment and separation.  These can be made with the paper sleeve that the chopsticks come wrapped in - my Instructable  uses a simple piece of paper because I don't have any freebie chopsticks

Step 1: Preparing the Paper

Your paper should be a strip about 2.5cm / 1 inch wide.   your sleeve will be double thickness - mine is a single sheet.   Fold in half along the length - sharpen the crease with the thumbnail.  Fold in half again; you should have a v-cross section band of about 1/4 inch

Step 2: Hinge Points

Next you need to flatten and press the v-shape - do this roughly around the middle, not important to be exact.  This is, an origami thing - but I don't know what the terms is.  I am not sure how to explain - but the pictures makes it obvious.

First you make a diagonal fold so that the two section are at right angle to each other
Unfold the diagonal fold - whilst holding the v-closed  flatten out the other side.
The diagonal folds that you made will allow you to have one side closed and the other open.  

Step 3: Repeat a Second Hinge

You need to make a second hinge.  The distance from the first hinge depends on the level of skill - for a real beginner maybe half an inch - to about an inch for someone with a bit of practice.  I tend to think of it as either about a finger or a thumb width.  

The second hinge is a complete mirror image of the first.  

!be careful not to make any transverse folds - hold it carefully  

Step 4: Tie a Knot

At one end of the v-section close up to one of the hinges you have made - make a fold as shown in the first photo .

Next fold the free end downward and underneath the flattened section

Finally - fold the free section upwards and poke it through the loop you have just made

Step 5: Do the Exact Opposite at Other End

at the other end of your v section you need to do the exact mirror image opposite of the previous step. 

It is easy to get confused here - if you hold the v-section horizontal you can see that each action must be the mirror of the other side.

To be clear - when you fold over on one side - you fold over on the other  (and under on one side is the same on the other) .

The two loose ends - after they have been put through the loop to complete the knot - can be ripped off to make it neat.   

Step 6: Add the Chopsticks

Ease the chopsticks through the two mirror image loops.  Move them up to the thicker end of the loop.  

Step 7: Adjust for User

The spacer should be slipped up till it is under the thumb.  The reason this works is that the top stick should pivot at the point where the thumb holds it - that means that the spacer keeps them properly apart.

The reason you have different sizes is that beginners tend to want to hold the stick closer to the pointy end - so you need a smaller spacer/hinge to keep the angle about right .

This might seem like a lot of hassle - but I promise that after a few goes you can make one of these whilst chatting at the table within a few minutes and they really help a beginner!

Enjoy your food!