Origami Madness: One Paper Cup and Two Paper Airplanes Later

A “collage” of origami creations. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

Precisely one Kraft caramel and one Hershey’s Kiss will fit into an artfully folded paper cup, which is terrific news if you’re planning a children’s birthday party. The children will be so distracted by the delightful paper cup that they won’t notice that they’ve been limited to two treats for an obvious reason: Any more treats and the cup will topple over, perhaps dangerously close to the lighted birthday candles. I tried to get more treats into the cup, I really did, but even just a third treat more reached the tipping point. However, I know what you’re thinking: What’s the purpose of a paper cup that won’t hold any beer (for the parents of the children’s birthday party) or nearly enough treats for the children at that party? It’s to teach a valuable lesson: Don’t test your limits.

Treat-“filled” cup. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

My limits in fact, were tested today when I attempted to create origami art for “relaxation.” I bought a “fun and easy” kit for “all ages” that came with instructions and a few sheets of colorful paper. However, when I couldn’t understand why “figure A,” in the instruction booklet, didn’t look like “figures, B, C, or D,” or why the tiny arrows looked like they were laughing at me, I knew I wasn’t going to be making a paper crane today at all. I’d be sticking to two projects: the paper cup, which is the very first project in the booklet and a paper plane—which is towards the end, but I figured I could fold a paper plane.

For some reason, the makers of any origami kit or project I’ve encountered have always claimed that this ancient Japanese art can be mastered by just about anyone, but here’s how I think paper cranes and other things like it are actually made: When two edges of a piece of paper meet and fall in love, they fold over each other in various ways to make a paper creation. It just happens. I certainly don’t have any control over these things. They happen all by themselves. Here’s an example:

I followed the “instructions” in the booklet for the paper cup, but the instructions had very few actual words. There were just pictures and I had to follow the arrows and dotted lines to make my piece of paper look like the various illustrated steps. I tried. I really tried, but I could only come up with this thing at first, which is pictured below:


So, I went downstairs to find Nate.  Nate has more of an aptitude for this kind of thing than I do. When I showed him how I was following the steps, he was able to point out that I had to follow the arrows, not the dotted lines. I was trying to follow the dotted lines first, and then the arrows. With Nate’s patience and guidance, I made the paper cup. But what could I do with the other “thing” I made? I actually kind of liked it, but I didn’t know what it was, until I started posing it with the cup and realized: It’s a paper cup holder! It’s a paper cup holder! I think I invented a new piece of origami. No, I don’t have the instructions. I have no control over these things. (See paragraph 3 above.)

Then, Nate helped me follow the instructions for the paper airplane. It was definitely more complicated than I had expected. In the end, though, it didn’t fly. I needed one that could actually fly through the air because I want to create a “marketing gimmick” for my new business: Paper/Rock Writing Consultation. I figured I could make paper airplanes with the logo Nate drew and then fly them into peoples’ yards because I’m pretty sure they’d just love that.

However, I don’t know how to make a paper airplane, either, so I turned to the internet for steps. The Fold’ N Fly website has all kinds of instructions and templates, so I chose one called “Basic Dart.” After printing a “pattern” of my company logo onto a sheet of paper, I began folding that sheet of paper according to the 5 simple instructions on the website. However, I got stuck on step number 5: “Fold the wings down to meet the bottom edge of the plane’s body.”

Printed “pattern” of the Paper/Rock Writing Consultation logo, which is an illustration of a mountain with a piece of paper floating down onto the mountain peak.  Photo by Cecilia Kennedy, graphic by Nathan Kennedy

“How?” I wondered. “What does this mean?” I asked.

Then, I saw a link for a Youtube video that accompanies each step. After watching it at least five times, I completed step 5 and felt pretty proud of myself. With great enthusiasm, I sent it sailing from the second floor of the house to the living room where Nate and Alex were watching T.V.

Me: What do you think?

Nate: It’s just a regular paper plane. It’s not an origami one.

Me:   Yes, but do you know how long it took me to make this?

Nate smiled and nodded his head in approval. He could only imagine how long it probably took me to make that plane. Now, I just have to see how many treats it can safely hold as it flies through the neighborhood.

Finished paper airplane. Photo by Cecilia Kennedy

In Other News: I just got word on Thursday that another short story of mine was accepted for publication. It’s another ghost/speculative fiction story called, “Teacher Training Video.” If you want to read it, it’s online through a link, which I’ll list here in a moment. To find the story, you have to click on the link and locate my name from a list of authors (Cecilia Kennedy). Then, you can click on the title of the story, “Teacher Training Video” at the top when the next page comes up: Scars Publication

Your Turn: Have you ever tried origami art? What have you made?








26 thoughts on “Origami Madness: One Paper Cup and Two Paper Airplanes Later

  1. Lovely post.i have a little origami mad at home.My eldest daughter entered the world of origami around two years ago and never left.So now we have the house invaded of any sort of paper animals and boxes,cups,hats….last hit are earrings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was a child, making paper planes in class was in vogue. So was throwing them around, much to the consternation of the teacher. I used to be able to make paper planes too, but have completely forgotten how to do it now.

    Thanks for this nice post about your origami challenge XD!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I think we made paper planes in class once when I was in grade school, but I always got lost when it came to the various folds–I don’t know why. I’m getting better though:)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for following! I remember learning to make paper flowers in school…someone had come to teach us how to make them..this post brought back some lovely memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My oldest son used to love to make the ninja star origami. They were all around our house. He loved to make them so much, when he was in 4th grade, for his birthday, he gave all his classmates paper and the instructions on how to make their own. Now it’s video games 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice article. I always wanted to be good at origami, but I could barely master a non-dart version of paper plane as a kid (which I’ve maddeningly forgotten how to make), so I figured I’d just save myself the hassle and frustration and admire other people’s origami.

    Liked by 1 person

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