Paper origami used for wedding favors is a fresh and unique option for couples interested in a distinctive celebration. From paper flower bouquets to various animal shapes, there are many possibilities for clever wedding favors using paper origami.
Origami is a distinctively Asian art form, first created in China but now practiced throughout the world as a delicate and exacting creative endeavor. Simply put, origami means folding paper, but origami creations are much more than that. From simple squares of paper, origami artists can create masterpieces with only a few folds done in the right proportions and sequence. Those masterpieces can make admirable wedding favors or other wedding reception decorations for couples interested in this simple-yet-complex art.
Why Use Origami Favors?
Couples may choose origami favors for a variety of reasons. Naturally, couples with Asian ancestry or backgrounds may want to use origami favors to incorporate their cultural heritage into the festivities. Origami favors can also be cheaper than other favor options; couples can even make the favors themselves for just the cost of paper, often only pennies per sheet. Anyone interested in a modern flair for their wedding may wish to investigate the simple geometry of origami designs, or couples who just find the artwork fun and interesting can opt for these unique wedding favors.
Types of Paper Origami Wedding Favors
There are thousands of different origami designs available, though wedding favor options are typically simpler and often have deeper symbolism relating to the wedding. Popular choices include:
- Classic cranes, the Japanese symbol of honor and loyalty -- and one of the most recognizable origami figures.
- Flowers such as roses, lotus blossoms, lilies, tulips, or other blooms, perhaps arranged as bouquets or placed in miniature pots.
- Fun shapes such as three dimensional hearts or stars that can match any wedding theme.
- Origami pine trees to complement a holiday or winter wedding.
- Fish or shell figures for a beach wedding.
- Butterfly origami figures that are a more humane option than releasing live butterflies.
- Boats to symbolize a honeymoon cruise vacation.
- Swans or other birds that symbolize love and partnership.
- Origami wedding favor boxes to hold additional treats or trinkets.
There are hundreds of other origami designs couples can choose from, including animals, buildings, bows, and more that can be coordinated with any wedding theme, location, or level of formality.
Making Your Own Favors
It is easy for couples to make their own origami wedding favors. Many books are available to teach basic folding techniques and popular designs, or couples can view diagrams and folding videos online. When folding origami, however, it is important to remember these tips:
- The first few favors won't look perfect; it takes time to learn the technique. Purchase extra paper and be prepared to make more favors than necessary in order to choose the best.
- Origami paper should be very thin and perfectly square for the best results. Specialized paper is available from many retailers.
- Creases should be clear and sharp for good designs and folding ease.
- Origami paper is available in a rainbow of colors including metallic hues and wacky patterns (hearts, animal prints, stripes, etc.). Choose a paper color that will coordinate with the bridal party dresses or other wedding colors for a matching look.
Origami instructional materials and supplies are available from the following websites:
- Origami USA
- Origami Instructions
- Origami Club
- Japanese Paper and Origami Supplies
- Paper Jade
- Kim's Crane Origami Supplies
- Mrs. Lin's Kitchen
Buying Origami Favors
Couples who do not have the time, patience, or manual dexterity to create their own origami favors can purchase already folded designs from skilled artisans. Folded figures can cost from under $1 each for simple designs to $5 or higher for more complicated figures. Costs may also vary depending on the type of paper desired. For large orders origami artists may need several weeks to complete the figures, so it is best to order early to ensure timely delivery. Origami artists offering their work for sale include:
Additional Origami Ideas
To add even more creativity to a celebration with paper origami wedding favors, couples can incorporate folded designs in a number of ways, such as:
- Using origami bouquets instead of real or silk flowers.
- Opting for intricately folded napkins at the reception.
- Adding larger origami pieces to centerpieces as a focal point.
- Incorporating origami folding games for the bridal shower.
- Adding string to the favors to create delicate ornaments.
- Hanging larger origami figures - particularly cranes or birds - as decorative accents at the ceremony or reception.
- Using origami two dimensional hearts as save-the-date cards or enclosing them with invitations or wedding thank you notes.
- Using a pair of origami figures as a unique and coordinated wedding cake topper.
Paper origami wedding favors come in many designs, sizes, and colors, and are the perfect choice for any couple interested in a unique and memorable wedding favor or other wedding decorations with a simple yet complex flair.