Practical Origami: The Standing Pocket

You all  know I love origami: traditional, modern, Japanese, international, fiendishly out-of-my-reach hard, toddler-easy. Bring on those classic cranes, the flowers, the frogs, the toys, the fish and the food.

My favorite origami is an elegant set of simple folds that produces a practical object. There are many, and I’ve written here about page corners and wallets. Here’s another of my favorites, from Gay Merrill Gross’s Minigami.

The great Gay couldn’t come up with a flashier name than Standing Pocket for this model, and I’ve tried to, and failed. But when you see what it can do, I hope you’ll grab a piece of paper and two minutes. She recommends a rectangle “twice the width of the finished stand and eight times as high.” I used 8 1/2 X 11 inch printer paper for the photos, and a same-sized piece of construction paper for the –See! can’t this be cool? — pix at the end. The resulting stand is about 1 1/2 ” tall and 4 1/2 ” wide.

Step 1: Crimp the short sides of the rectangle at the center points. This will make the next step easy.

Step 2 :Fold the long edges to meet in the center.

Step 3: Fold Step 2 in half like a book. Unfold, and using the center mark you’ve just made, fold both short edges to the center. Like so:Step 4: I’ll quote Gail: “Insert one short edge into the other until the cut edges reach the first quarter-crease, forming a trangular prism.”  It’s fun, and will look like this:

Step 5: Gail again: “Sit the model on the table so that the pocket edge is on the top. (My note: the pocket edge is the right edge of the above triangle.) Pinch the top edge with both hands and inch your fingers down to the table.”

It will look like this:

“Reinforce the creases you created by folding the pocket flap toward you and away from you, then stand it up straight.”

I just love the logical, simple sequence of folds, and the  transformation at the end. Wasn’t that cool?

So, you ask, what the heck do I do with it, now that I’ve made it? Well, that upper pocket is dandy: you can slip anything slim into it and the Standing Pocket works like a holder. I took a picture of it holding a dinner place card  — “Barack”  — but the result showed my thumb. Here it is holding yet another to-do list. Yes, I hate putting away laundry!

It can hold an origami tulip. Coolest of all: with a little glue, it provides the perfect vehicle for a pop-up card!

Isn’t that genius?  If you were sending a kid birthday money you could glue the stand onto the card’s crease, insert bill, and voila — your generosity pops right up!

Hmmm. Hee hee. I own Nick Robinson’s Very Naughty Origami that includes a few models that would be, well, very effective in this style of pop up card. But I’m too tasteful and mature to play around with an idea like that, right?




Filed under Home, Less than 50 cents, Origami, Paper

7 responses to “Practical Origami: The Standing Pocket

  1. Patty

    But then who would the card be for?

  2. Patty, that’s the prob. But I’ll be thinking thinking thinking.

  3. I SO admire these, I really do. I love the graceful absolutes of the folding, the crisp lines, the simple MAKING of something from a flat plane which just SAT there.

    But even though I read the words and see the pictures, there’s a big gray blur in my brain where the understanding should be. And I could not begin to think how to “inch my fingers down” or what they would do when they got there than I’d be able to look BEHIND the image to find the answer.

    On those tests where there was a splayed-out shape like a zany jigsaw-puzzle piece, saying “Which of these boxes will this make when folded?” I was absolutely lost—I cannot think in those dimensions, though all my children can.

    My, you are one Jill of all. I have only words, and you have those abundant, plus hands and eyes and mouthful of pins. Multi-Maggie, you are.

  4. Kim Shook

    That is adorable. I, like Rachel, am spacially challenged, but I sat here at my desk trying it out with printer paper. I even happened to have a piece of PINK paper. And I did it! Well, I think I did. That whole “inch your fingers down” thing made my head explode a little. I think I was trying to do it with the pocket to the side rather than the top at first. But anyway, it looks like yours. My first origami. I am very excited. I love the idea of doing pop-up cards with it and I adore your tulip.

    BTW, Maggie – I just finished The Grand Sophy last night. I LOVED it. The entire romp from start to finish. I almost never laugh out loud at books, but at the end when everyone keeps popping up at the house when she’s trying to get Cecily sorted I was positively chortling! I want another one! Are there more that are more Sophy-ish and less Toll Gate-y? Thank you so much for recommending Sophy. I think that we could all use such a lady in our lives!

  5. Rachel — C’mon. c’mon, c’mon — give it a try. See, Kim succeeded. And for years I was origami-hopeless. Seriously. Then I managed one model and I just kind of understood after that.

    Kmi: I admit to being worried that you wouldn’t like ‘The Grand Sophy,” and I whopped when I read your comment. Didn’t it just fizz? I have so many favorite Heyers, but I adore the characters (grown ups!) the plotting, the fun and the sheer romance of “Black Sheep.”

  6. Kouign Aman

    I’ve read The Talisman Ring a dozen times over the past 35 years. Need to find ‘Sophy’.

  7. Kim Shook

    I just put a hold on Talisman Ring and Black Sheep at the library.

    Kouign Aman – I found ‘Sophy’ at my library.

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