Tag Archives: Didier Boursin

French Frogs Fast

I’m not talking cuisses de grenouille a l’ail here, nor am I using a francophobic slur. I present to you my five minute menagerie of frogs, the invention of my fave French folder, Didier Boursin. I have no idea why they’re included in his Advanced Origami, because a five year old could master the model in a few minutes.








The blue, yellow and pink frogs are rare South American specimens. They are cheap and man, are they cheerful, especially if you press two spots on either side of their necks and make them “talk.” The model calls for a long, not too wide strip of paper; the two green garcons were made from the leftovers when I squared up an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet.

Step One: Fold the strip in half vertically, then unfold:








Step Two: Fold two adjacent corners to the center line:






Step Three: Fold the triangular flaps backwards so they project past the diagonal folds:








Step Four: Fold the frog in half behind, horizontally, just under the lower corners of the folds you just made. Turn it over and pinch fold upwards the lower “jaw” to form the mouth, then fold the little triangles backward to form the eyes, Comme ca:









Step 5: Grab a pen and draw two circles for the eyes.  Voila!











Have fun.



Filed under Cheap and Cheerful Object of the Day, How Cool is That?, Less than 50 cents, Origami, Paper

Boursin Boxes and Bliss

My readers have noticed , I’m sure, that I’m good at keeping myself entertained. Give me a piece of paper, half a pound of butter, a crochet hook, a yard of fabric or a book, and I’m all good. (In a couple of weeks a few package of seeds and a rake will keep me out of trouble until Memorial Day.)

Origami is my private place — it calms me, focuses my mind, satisfies my twin fondnesses for mystery and order. The mystery is trying to figure out how the hell anyway will I ever figure out the series of folds that emerge into a beautiful or practical object. The order comes from the knowledge that sometime, sooner or later, I will figure it out.

Saturday afternoon my fingers were twitching for a piece of paper and a challenge. I pulled Didier Boursin’s Advanced Origami from my bookshelf and decided that I’d try, for the seventieth time over a period of three years, to complete his Serving Dish. Biographical information on Boursin is scant — he’s a French architect and famous paper folder. His style is clean and modern and his fold patterns are, well, different. I’ve loved his work since I found it four years ago and I’ve wasted reams of paper trying to get it right. (By the way, my  piece on Boursin’s origami wallet is the most viewed post ever on this blog, so I’m not Didier’s only fan girl!)

Reader, I did it!











I love this little box so make, and was so relieved that I’d finally done it, that I tried to attempt two other boxes from Advanced Origami.









I love these triangular boxes so much I’m going to post another picture. Humor me.








I was blissed out enough at my progress, and my boxes, to risk one more model I’d never completed before — this cunning cube box. You make two identical cubes, but there’s a tricky and satisfying series of folds that locks the inner box into the outer box — it opens by pulling opposite corners. It’s cool.









I’m not preening — there are at least forty more forms in the book I may figure out before I draw Social Security. Mais, merci M. Boursin for two hours of  perfect peace.




Filed under Art, Books, How Cool is That?, Into the Mystic, Less than 50 cents, Origami, Paper

Didier Boursin’s Origami Wallet

I wish I had something male to name. A son, unless by some Sarah-like miracle, is out A grandson – well I’d be so dazed with joy that they could name the kid Ebenezer and I’d say “How fresh and unusual! And no one in his class will have the same name!” But I suspect I’m going to have to adopt a tomcat if I want a namesake for Dider Boursin, a French origami master whose parents blessed him with the name fit for a swashbuckling French aristocrat who comes from a long line of cheesemakers. Hey – if I ever write a bodice-ripper I’ll know what to name the ripper!

Boursin is an architect by training, and a startlingly original folder. Origami purists tut tut at his oeuvre, because he occasional uses scissors – a serious solecism . But his animals and containers are so original, modern and witty that I can pick them out in a paper line up.

And now I’m going to show you one of his least eye-catching folds — for a wallet. There are as many cool origami wallets and there are origami books on my bookshelf, and I love all of them, mostly because they’re so practical and can be made from any 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper.  I wouldn’t store my driver’s licence or credit cards in one, but it’s just the thing to keep your purse neat – tuck in the dry cleaner receipt, stamps, ticket stubs, business cards and photos.

These are without doubt the worst step-by-step origami photos I’ve ever taken, so I’ll try to talk you through the process. Like the best of practical origami it’s undemanding, and after a couple of attempts you’ll make it by heart in less than two minutes. I used construction paper, which isn’t the best choice because its soft texture prevents really sharp folds.

1) Fold a 1 ½ in. horizontal fold backwards at the top of the wallet:

2)Fold the short sides forward, again, an inch and a half.

3) Do the same with the bottom horizontal edge.

4) This is where the photography may hurt rather than help! Fold the top of the sheet down toward the bottom, and tuck it into the bottom flap about halfway. Crease sharply. It should resemble an open wallet with two horizontal slots to hold your stuff.5) Fold it left to right,to  about a quarter inch from the right edge. Turn it over and repeat on the reverse. This makes a cute little spine.

6)The finished wallet.

Unless you’re a paper nerd like me. I dug around for  a stamp I carved a few years ago, inked it sloppily, and decorated the cover.

If you can make this wallet from my sorry pictures, let me know! Honest, this is cheap, cheerful and useful.


Filed under Art, Free, Origami, Paper