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Kawaii Japanese Character Origami Designs You Need To Try

By Melissa Neilson
February 22, 2019

Japanese origami cranes are the iconic symbol of Japanese origami. The Japanese crane is considered to be one of the mystical creatures and is said to live 1000 years. This is where the ancient Japanese legend comes in, where those who fold 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods.

While the crane is the most well known origami shape, the origami design possibilities are endless. Other common origami designs include the frog, boat, dragon, and ninja star.

There are so many design options though so why not try to make some kawaii origami designs instead of the standard ones?

We’ve found some cute Japanese character origami designs that may take some practice at first to perfect, but once you get the hang of it, you will have an awesome addition to your kawaii character collection!

Totoro

This adorable Totoro origami design can be made in just a couple of steps. Use a marker to draw your best Totoro face or you can download and print out this free design!

We tested this design out ourselves and as novice origami makers, we were pleasantly surprised! While our Totoro didn’t come out as nice as the one in the tutorial, we think he’s pretty darn cute. We found that the paper with the printed design kept its shape better as the paper was slightly stiffer after printing. Either way, this is a fun origami project that can be made in under 20 minutes and not a problem for beginners at all!

Pikachu

This Pikachu origami design is so cute and it stands up by itself!

You will need to have yellow origami paper for this one. Unfortunately we did not have any and opted for yellow construction paper. We do not particularly recommend using construction paper for origami as it makes folding quite difficult. We suggest following along with the instructions in this tutorial and using the paper recommendations outlined there.

Since there is no template to print out, you will to draw the pikachu face yourself, so better brush up on your drawing skills!

This design overall was quite difficult to make and even with proper origami paper we suspect we would still struggle with this one. Starting out with Totoro rather than Pikachu is definitely the better option for beginners. After some practice though, and with the right paper, anyone can make it if they follow along closely with the tutorial.

Our Pikachu turned out fairly well, though it leans to one side. That’s cute though right?

Doraemon

This Doraemon origami character actually calls for a couple sheets of paper rather than the stand one piece. You would need 1 piece of blue and white square paper for the head, 1 piece of blue and white square paper for the body, half a sheet of white paper for the eyes, and a bit of yellow and red.

After you have the head and components folded, you can actually assemble them without glue. However, for the eyes and mouth, you will need some sort of adhesive to attach them on. Check out this tutorial for step by step instructions!

Did you try any of these designs? Post a photo of your origami creations and tag us on social media!

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