Make An Origami Pencil

You can't write this pencil, but you can use it to practice your paper-folding skills in preparation for more complex origami models.

Origami, the ancient art of Japanese paper folding, presents us with many models that are designed to represent modern-day objects. This pencil is just one example. To fold this model, you'll need sheet of 8 ½" X 11" paper, a pair of scissors, a ruler, a pencil, and as place to work.

Practice with any paper you have on hand until you have mastered the folds of the model. Make your final version from a brightly colored or patterned paper. Any paper you use should be heavier than the average sheet of loose-leaf notebook paper.

You'll also need a well-lit, appropriate place to work. In order to achieve accurate folds and sharp creases, you have to fold against a hard, flat surface such as a table or hardback book Run a pencil or ruler edge over each crease as you work to make them even sharper.

1. Place a sheet of 8 1/2" X 11" paper on your work surface so that its short edges are facing left and right and its long edges are facing up and down

2. Use a pencil and ruler to measure and mark a one-inch strip at the top edge of the paper.

3. Use scissors to cut along this line. You will be using this narrow, one-inch strip to fold your pencil. Set the remainder of the rectangle aside.



4. Position the strip of paper on your work surface so that its short edges are facing left and right and its long edges are facing up and down. If you are using two-sided paper, make sure that the color you want for the exterior of the pencil is facing down.

5. Bring the bottom edge of the model up to meet the top edge. Crease and unfold.

6. Bring the top left point of the model over and down toward the center of the model. The upper half of the model's left edge should come down to lie along the horizontal center crease line made in Step 5. Turn the model over.

7. Position the model on your work surface so that the edge you folded in Step 6 is at the bottom left.

8. Bring the upper left point of the model down to meet the bottom of the model. The straight portion of the model's left edge will come down to lie along the bottom edge. Turn the model over.

9. Position the model on your work surface so that the pointed end is to your left. Locate the triangular flap located just to the right of the model's left point.

10. Bring the bottom left corner of the model in toward the center. The resulting crease line should run from the left, pointed end to the bottom right pint of the triangular flap.

11. Bring the top left corner of the model in toward the center. The resulting crease line should run from the left, pointed end to the top point of the triangular flap.

12. Turn the model over to see the completed pencil. If desired, you can secure the open edges of the pencil with a small strip of tape.

13. Use scissors to cut your pencil to the desired length.

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