Introduction: Miniature Origami and Glass Ornaments

About: I am a Maker and Artist who experiments with a variety of mediums and projects. I also try to repurpose and repair as much as I can. Check out my instagram page @mitzsea_makes.

Birds and butterflies delicatly fly in the ether.

Step 1: Collect Supplies for the Origami

1. Tissue paper (can be scraps).
2. Ruler. A T-square is helpful if you have one.
3. Scissors.
4. Tweezers.
5. Gel pens or paint.
6. Sculpy Glaze in satin finish.

Step 2: Measure and Cut Out Tissue Paper Squares

1. Take a piece of tissue paper and square up at least 2 edges.
2. Use the squared up edges to begin measuring out the squares.
3. Make some rows of squares that are 1.5 cm X 1.5 cm and 3 cm X 3 cm.
4. Cut out the squares.

Step 3: Decorate the Tissue Paper (Optional)

Painting the Squares for the Bird
1. Draw a line through the centre of the square.
2. While ink is still wet, paint on the Sculpy Glaze.
3. Take the paint brush and start on the drawn line and draw the paint brush out to the edge of the paper.
4. Set aside to dry.

Painting the Squares for the Butterfly
1. Draw dots on the entire square.
2. Allow ink to dry.
3. Paint on the Sculpy Glaze.
4. Allow to dry.

Notes: I use gel ink because it is a medium I have available for myself. You could use whatever medium you choose. (Some finishes of gel ink will smear when the glaze is applied, even after drying. I like the smearing due to the effects created after folding.)

The Sculpy Glaze gives the paper some workability by stiffening the tissue paper.

I paint the 3cm X 3cm square the way I do so that the colouring is on the head and body of the bird when folded.

Be creative and use whatever patterns you would like to add to the paper. The patterns shown here are only a guide to get you started.

Step 4: Fold the Butterfly

I have provided pictoral and video instructions on folding the Basic Butterfly. In these instructions I am using a larger scale so you can see the folds. The process is the same no matter the scale.

When folding the miniature butterfly it can be helpful to use a pair of tweezers to manipulate the paper. You will also need to glue down the tip of the the butterfly. This is for added security, to prevent the paper from unfolding inside the ornament.

Step 5: Fold the Peace Dove

I have provided pictoral and video instructions on folding the Peace Dove. In these instructions I am using a larger scale so you can see the folds. The process is the same no matter the scale.

When folding the miniature bird it can be helpful to use a pair of tweezers to manipulate the paper. I also cut in feathers for the wings and tail for an added detail (this is not required).

Step 6: Gather Supplies to Make Ornaments

1. Small clear glass ornaments (I purchased mine from JoAnn’s).
2. Wire cutters.
3. Tweezers.
4. Scissors.
5. Fine 004 soft clear filament thread.
6. G-S Hypo Cement or equivalent.
7. Acetone.
8. Isopropyl alcohol.
9. Pipe cleaners.
10. Scraps of cotton cloth.

Step 7: Assemble the Ornament

Clean the Inside of Ornament
1. Remove the cap from the ornament.
2. Cut the ends short on the metal clip.
3. Clean the inside with a piece of acetone soaked paper towel, then with an isopropyl alcohol soaked paper towel.
4. Then dry out the inside with a piece of scrap cotton cloth.

Attach Filament to Origami
1. Choose 4 butterflies and 1 bird.
2. Place a small amount of hypo-cement on the centre fold of a butterfly and bird.
3. Take the filament and lay it across the centre fold. Hold it for a moment until the glue sets.
4. Do the same with all the pieces of origami.
5. Snip the tail end of the filament off.
6. Leave enough filament on the head ends to work with (be generous).
7. Place a kink it the filament by grabing it with tweezers and gently pulling the filament around the tweezer. Do this until the butterflies and bird hang the way you desire.

Notes: I take enough filament to be able to hold each end (think how you wrap dental floss around your fingers) then place it over the centre crease of the origami. In the pictures I demonstrate how this is done with a dark piece of thread sinice the filament is difficult to see.

The glue needs a minute to set before manipulating the origami. It dries pretty quick, but you do need to hold the filament in place until then.

The kink is needed so that the butterflies and birds hang more naturally inside the ornament.

Placing the Origami Inside the Ornament
1. Start with the bird.
2. Gently insert it into the ornament. Let it drop to the bottom and then slowly pull it up until it hangs where you like it.
3. Hold the excess filament down on the outside neck of the ornament.
4. Put some hypo-cement on top of the filament around the lip of the ornament and down along the outer side of the neck. Only far enough that it will be hidden by the cap.
5. Hold until set enough. May take a minute, but it will set enough to move on to the next piece.
6. Snip off the excess filament.
7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 with the four butterflies.
8. Put a fresh layer of hypo-cement around the outer side of the neck and place on the cap.
9. It takes about 24 hours for the hypo-cement to harden. Once it hardens, the ornament is ready to hang.
10. Clean off the outside of the ornament to remove all the smudges. Polish with a clean piece of cotton.

Notes: Be patient with this part. It takes a little time to get all the origami pieces hanging nicely. Use a long pin to untangle the pieces when they are on the inside. Allow for variation. Just let them hang as organically as possible.

After I have inserted 2 pieces of origami into the ornament I look down inside and find the largest gap between the threads and aim my next piece through there. I let each piece drop to the bottom and then slowly raise them up into the desired position. This helps in preventing tangles.

Lastly, when placeing the cap I aim the clip to insert between as many filaments as I can. This will minimize the interference the clip can have on how the origami hangs. It is also part of the reason that I shorten the clip.

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