This is a collection of our favorite books, and we highly recommend all of them. There are books for all skill levels that will teach you how to fold a wide variety of different models. We’ve also written a short review for each book and included links to where you can get them.
These books are very simple and perfect for beginner paper folders or children.
Everyone Can Learn Origami by Peter Saydak
Everyone Can Learn Origami is the ultimate book for beginners who want to learn how to make origami. In this book, you’ll learn all the major folds and techniques and then practice them by folding 77 different traditional models. As you fold your way through the models in this book, your skills will improve, and you’ll be able to fold more and more complex designs.
Easy Origami by John Montroll
This is a fantastic beginner book with 32 different paper models, from animals to boats to hats, that are all very easy to fold with clear diagrams and instructions.
Absolute Beginner’s Origami by Nick Robinson
This is one of the most accessible paper-folding books there is. It has lots of simple models to fold, and all the diagrams are done with actual photos of two colored paper instead of sketched out.
World’s Best Origami by Nick Robinson
This book is still pretty simple but not for complete beginners. The models are pretty straightforward, but you’ll have to know some origami basics.
That being said, if the other beginner books here look too easy or childish and you’re not ready for the intermediate-level books, then definitely check this one out.
You’ll find excellent, easy-to-follow diagrams for a wide array of over 100 models, and nothing is too difficult to fold.
Easy Origami by Didier Boursin
This is another excellent beginner book with 24 very simple models to fold. The diagrams are clearly explained with text instructions and use two colored paper to make them easy to read.
That being said, if the other beginner books here look too easy or childish and you’re not ready for the Intermediate level books, then definitely check this one out.
You’ll find excellent, easy-to-follow diagrams for a wide array of over 100 models, and nothing is too difficult to fold.
These are intermediate-level books. The models you’ll find in them look great and are a little bit more complicated but they’re not crazy difficult. These books are perfect if you know all the basics and you really want to improve your folding skills.
Origami for the Connoisseur by Kunihiko Kasahara and Toshie Takahama
This book features a wide array of models from several designers, such as Jun Maekawa, Tomoko Fuse, David Brill, and others. You’ll find diagrams for animals, sea shells, shapes, dinosaurs, insects, and more. This book also includes the diagrams for the excellent Kawasaki Rose! The diagrams are clear, and there are photos of each model. You’ll also find little bits of origami theory and mathematics sprinkled throughout the diagrams as well.
Origami Omnibus by Kunihiko Kasahara
This is one of my all-time favorite origami books. There are diagrams for a wide variety of models ranging from pretty easy to intermediate difficulty. The diagrams are easy to read, and throughout the book, the author has quick little sections explaining some of the theory and math behind origami and origami design. Nothing too complicated.
This book has one of my favorite models to fold, a Chinese dragon that looks really great but isn’t too difficult. There are also a ton of models in this book. Every time you pick it up, you’re probably going to find something new to fold. I highly recommend this book.
Origami Zoo: An Amazing Collection of Folded Paper Animals by Robert J. Lang and Stephen Weiss
This is a book featuring 37 paper animals designed by Robert. J. Lang and Stephen Weiss. The models start really simply and then get more difficult as you go through the book. You’ll find a section at the beginning showing how to make different kinds of folds and bases and how to do various techniques.
This is an excellent book for someone who’s just starting with origami but isn’t really a beginner anymore. There are lots of great animals to practice on.
Robert J. Lang is a master at designing origami insects, and this book features 20 of his excellent designs with easy-to-follow diagrams. You’ll find a wide variety of insects and a few spiders. A couple of the models aren’t too difficult to fold, but the rest will require you to have at least an intermediate level of skill with origami, and some of them can be a bit complicated.
This book features diagrams for 37 of Robert J. Lang’s early designs. The models range in difficulty from straightforward beginner ones to more intermediate-level ones. You’ll find a wide array of different kinds of models, too, from animals to insects to people and objects. Robert J. Lang is one of the best origami designers out there, so this book is definitely worth it if you’re starting with origami and looking for some great models to fold that aren’t too difficult.
This is one of the best books if you’re looking for paper animals. It features sets of diagrams for 25 of John Montroll’s excellent animal designs. The book starts pretty easy, but some of the later models start getting more complicated. The crab later in the book is one of my favorite models to fold. It’s a bit tricky but not too hard, and it looks incredible when it’s done.
This is an excellent upper beginner/lower intermediate level book with 32 fantastic designs. You’ll find several animal models and things like a masu box, a dress, a kusudama, and an orchid. If you feel that you’re no longer an origami beginner and you’re looking for something a bit more complicated but still not too difficult, then this is a great book to check out.
Origami Art: 15 Exquisite Folded Paper Designs from the Origamido Studio by Michael G. LaFosse and Richard L. Alexander
This book starts off with a large section of text about the Origamido Studio and the recent history of origami in the United States. This is followed by another large section about all the various different kinds of origami paper and how to select the best paper for your project. After this is an excellent section on some of the fancier origami techniques, such as back coating, coloring paper with acrylic paint, and wet folding.
About 60 pages in the book get to the diagrams, which are great. There are 15 excellent models, mostly animals, that are at an intermediate difficulty level. The final model in the book, however, the American Crocodile, is incredibly difficult, so you probably won’t be attempting that one for a while.
This book has a great collection of paper dinosaurs. The cover says there are 25 models, but there are actually 30. This book includes most of the models from John Montreal’s previous Prehistoric Origami book, plus a few more new ones. The diagrams have been reworked and are more apparent from the last book as well. The models start out pretty easy, but most of them are intermediate-level.
This is another excellent paper folding book with many excellent models, especially if you’re looking for mythological creatures. The first half of this book has diagrams for all the different animals of the Chinese Zodiac. These are mostly regular animals like rabbits, tigers, monkeys, etc. The second half of the book has diagrams for several different mythological creatures, such as dragons, a unicorn, a griffin, and much more. There’s even an awesome 3-headed dragon.
The diagrams are all very clear, with two colored paper and text instructions for most steps. The models in this book are all at an intermediate level, and they’re pretty awesome. This book is highly recommended.
This is another one of my favorite books. The book starts off with a large section about the history and theory of origami, which may or may not be interesting to you. About a third of the way through the book though it gets into the models and there are a bunch of really awesome models in this book. Almost all of the models in this book are animals and they all look really great. The diagrams are detailed with two colored paper and text instructions for each step, and the difficulty level is intermediate to upper intermediate. This isn’t a beginner book but it’s great if you’re looking to improve your skills while folding some really awesome models.
Meenakshi Mukerji is probably the master of modular origami and kusudamas. In this book, she shows how to fold several kusudamas from multiple origami units. The models are pretty simple, and the diagrams are quite clear. This is an excellent book to get if you’re interested in getting into modular origami. This book also has a pretty big section at the end of the math and theory of modular origami along with suggested books and websites to check out.
This is another excellent modular origami book by Meenakshi Mukerji. This time, there isn’t really any theory or anything like that; instead, it’s just diagrams to fold several excellent-looking origami kusudamas. The models are all pretty easy to fold, the diagrams are clear, and everything is explained quite well. This book makes an excellent follow-up to Marvellous Modular Origami.
This is definitely a must-have book if you’re into modular origami. The book starts with a little section about the theory and mathematics of modular origami and then gets into several great looking kusudama models. The last section of the book details “Planar Models,” which are a little bit different than the kusudama-type models but still pretty awesome.
These books are for more advanced-level folders. The models in them are very difficult to fold, and some of these books really go into the theory and mathematics of origami and origami design.
Origami Design Secrets: Second Edition by Robert J. Lang
This book is essentially a textbook on origami design. Robert Lang takes each chapter to describe a different technique used for designing models and ends each chapter with diagrams for a few models that illustrate the method discussed. This is a fantastic book for anyone who is really into paper folding and wants to learn more about how to create their own models. This book also helped me understand how crease patterns work much more.
There are a bunch of diagrams for some excellent models ranging from not too hard to very advanced. There are also several crease patterns as well.
Works of Satoshi Kamiya 1995-2003 by Satoshi Kamiya
This is one of my all-time favorite books, mainly because it has Satoshi Kamiya’s Chocobo (Yellow Bird) model in it, which is fantastic and not too difficult to fold. You’ll also find diagrams for many other incredible models ranging in difficulty from intermediate to very advanced, such as his amazing Ancient Dragon and the Divine Dragon Bahamut from Final Fantasy.
Works of Satoshi Kamiya 2, 2002 – 2009 by Satoshi Kamiya
This is a sequel to the first Works of Satoshi Kamiya’s book and has diagrams for many fantastic models by Satoshi Kamiya that are hard to find or not available. These are some of his newer designs. The diagrams are excellent, very detailed, and have instructions in both English and Japanese. There are also some beautiful photos of the models at the start of the book and crease patterns for all the models.
This is definitely an advanced book, and the models are quite difficult to fold, but the models are fantastic, especially the Phoenix, Cerberus, Sleipnir, and Tree Frog models.
Robert J. Lang is probably “the” expert when it comes to designing paper insects, and this book has a ton of his excellent insect models in it. The difficulty of the models ranges from upper intermediate to more advanced. The diagrams are very detailed, with text in both English and Japanese, and there are crease patterns for each model as well. If you’re interested in folding some of the most incredible-looking insects out there then definitely pick up this book.
If you’re a fan of Byriah Loper’s incredible 3D modular interlocking origami shapes or even just modular origami in general then you need to get this book. It starts with a few simpler kusudama-type models to introduce you to the basics and then gives you instructions for 12 amazing and super complex wireframe projects. As far as I know, this is the only book with instructions for models like these. You can read my full review of the book here.
Passion Origami Books
This is a collection of really excellent origami books published by Nicolas Terry of Passion Origami. He partnered with some of the world’s top designers to create these books. They’re all really great and have high production values. These books are for intermediate and advanced-level folders.
Passion Origami by Nicolas Terry
This is Nicolas Terry’s first book, and it’s unfortunately no longer available in physical form. You can, however, buy it as an eBook. There’s a variety of different models here from several different designers. All the diagrams are very clear and have text instructions in both English and French. Most of the diagrams in this book are intermediate level, with a few that are pretty easy and a few that are quite advanced. This is definitely an excellent collection of origami models.
Roman Diaz is a master at designing paper animals, probably because he works as a veterinarian, and this book is a collection of 25 of his excellent animal designs. The book opens up with a text section where Roman Diaz discusses how an origami designer is like a composer and folders are like interpreters, and he encourages folders to put their own spin and touches on the models they fold. He has lots of tips and techniques to help folders with this.
After this section, the book gets into the diagrams, which are clearly detailed and have text instructions in both Spanish and English. The diagrams start quite easy and get more challenging throughout the book. The last few models in the book are pretty complex. If you like folding paper animals, then you should definitely pick up this book.
This book is a fantastic collection of models from 19 different designers. You’ll find animals, insects, ships, cartoons, people, and more. The first couple of models start pretty easy, but they get more challenging throughout the book. The last few models are very difficult. The diagrams are all very clear, with two colored paper and English text instructions to go along with the steps. There are also some interviews with the designers at the back of the book, where they discuss designing origami and other exciting things.
This is sort of a follow-up to Roman Diaz’s first book, Origami for Interpreters. It contains 33 more excellent sets of diagrams, primarily for animals. The models start out pretty easy and gradually get more complicated. The last few diagrams get very difficult. All of the diagrams are high quality and well explained. If you enjoyed Origami for Interpreters or are looking to fold some awesome-looking paper animals, then you should definitely check out this book.
Quentin Trollip is another fantastic origami artist who has also designed many incredible and realistic-looking paper animals. This book is mostly a collection of his animal designs but also has some other models, like a clown and a skull. The models in this book are all at an intermediate difficulty level, and there’s nothing too complex here. The diagrams are clear, with English instructions and two colored paper. This is another fantastic book to get if you’re interested in origami animals. It’s also great if you’ve been folding for a while now and you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge.
VOG: 50 Hours of Origami+ by Vietnam Origami Group
This is a fantastic book that features exclusively designers from Vietnam. Vietnamese origami has a bit of a different visual style. I think the models look like they have more curved than straight lines. This book has a collection of diagrams from 14 various Vietnamese origami artists, and almost all the models are fantastic. They start pretty easy and get more difficult throughout the book. The last several models get quite complex, and then there are a couple of crease patterns for some very complex models. Most of the models are intermediate to advanced level, though. Pretty much everything in this book is incredible, so you should definitely check it out.
Eco Origami by Bernie Peyton
Bernie Peyton is an expert at designing life-like paper models. This book features 35 of his designs divided into four categories: the Arctic, the Pacific Coast, the Desert, and a Tropical Forest. Each category has several plants or animals that would be found in those locations. The diagrams are all either an intermediate or advanced difficulty level, and they’re all explained very well with text in English to go along with the steps. There’s also advice on what kind of paper to use for each model as well.
This is another excellent book, especially if you’re interested in folding origami animals and other things found in nature. This book also comes with a CD that has some bonus content and diagrams on it.
This is a follow-up to the excellent book VOG: 50 Hours of Origami+, which once again features a fantastic collection of origami models designed by artists from Vietnam. There are 33 models diagramed in this book, as well as two crease patterns. Most of the models are intermediate to quite difficult. At 208 pages, this is the largest book in the Passion Origami collection. If you’re pretty skilled at origami and you’re looking for a fantastic collection of models to fold, definitely check this book out.
Tanteidan Convention Books and Magazines
The Japanese Origami Academic Society (JOAS) publishes a yearly book as well as a bi-monthly magazine, both of which contain exclusive diagrams for special models that aren’t available anywhere else.
Every year, the Origami Tanteidan Convention is held in Japan, and along with each convention, they release a fantastic book with diagrams for tons of exclusive models. Many of the really awesome-looking models you see in our blog are diagrammed in the Tanteidan Convention books.
The Japan Origami Academic Society also publishes a bi-monthly magazine called the Origami Tanteidan Magazine. Each issue is full of paper folding articles (mainly in Japanese, although some are translated), a few diagrams usually of an intermediate and advanced level difficulty, as well as a crease pattern challenge.
These books and magazines are not for beginners. There are some intermediate-level models, but most are pretty advanced. These are for people looking for a challenge or wanting to fold something extraordinary. The instructions for many amazing models are exclusive to these books and magazines, and you won’t find them anywhere else. Unfortunately, these books and magazines are very difficult to find, and a lot of them aren’t available to purchase anymore.
Where to Get the Tanteidan Convention Books
The easiest way to get the Tanteidan Convention books is through origami-shop.com. They tend to stock many copies of the current year’s book right after the convention. Sometimes, they have a few older books, but they don’t usually get more when they sell out.
The only other place I know of where you can get these books is from the Origami House website. This website is in Japanese, so it’s a bit tricky to navigate. If you can figure out how their site works, it’s possible to order the convention books and pay with PayPal. They have the last several years of books available.
If you’re looking for any older volumes, you’re out of luck, as they’re no longer in print. You can try looking for used copies on sites like eBay.
Where to Get the Tanteidan Magazines
JOAS now has an English version of their subscription page so that you can subscribe and pay with PayPal. If you become a member of JOAS, you get the Tanteidan Magazine subscription plus bonus issues.
On the same subscription page, you can also buy back issues of the magazine going all the way back to issue #61. They only come in packages of 6 issues at a time though, so there’s no way to purchase individual issues.
origami-shop.com will also sometimes stock collections of the magazines as well.
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