Tools aren’t really required for most origami, but tools can make life easier & improve the quality & precision of your final origami model.
Not to mention having a few select tools can save you a lot of time, especially when it comes to cutting paper to the right size.
These are my top 10 origami tools.
Tools are listed in order of usefulness, from 1 to 10, 1 being most useful. 🙂
1. Paper Trimmer
I use one made by Cricut. It has a very useful extendable ruler, which makes it really easy to get the paper the right length without making any marks. It’s able to cut several sheets at a time. I prefer this compared to a guillotine knife, or a seperate blade and ruler. Available to buy here.
Alternatively, I also sometimes use a sliding paper trimmer, it’s not attached to the board which makes it more manoeuvrable.
If you’re going to make an origami model a specific size, chances are you’re going to need to measure the paper! My favourite ruler is a stainless steel one with a cork backing. It stops it from slipping around.
A pair of really good quality scissors makes life so much easier, cheap or blunt scissors make paper uneven or jagged. I’d suggest investing in one pair of small sharp scissors and also some nice big heavy ones for cutting straight lines. Since receiving a pair from Cricut (yes cricut again!) I have only been using these. These small white ones are available to buy here.
4. Double Sided Tape
I love using double sided tape dispensers, they are 100 times more easy to use than glue or rolls of double sided sticky tape!
Contrary to popular belief, origami doesn’t exclude the use of glue. Using a tiny dab here and there can make your origami model sturdier, especially origami boxes.
The ‘Gluey Tape’ roller on the left is available in a set of 10, here.
You can use a chopstick to create a curled edge, use it to round petals of an origami flower or to open a pocket that’s hard to open. Another great use is as a paper folding tool, instead of a bone folder if you don’t have one.
Most people have chopsticks at home, I find rounded smooth wooden or plastic works the best, preferably with a pointed end – such as these.
6. Bone Paper Folder
These folding bones are traditionally made from cow’s bones. If you don’t have strong nails, a paper folding tool will proably be very useful!
I have to admit I only use mine when folding modular origami such as kusudamas or unit origami.
(I got mine from one of my daughters shopkins sets!)
7. Paper Scoring Tool
This is a very recent addition to my craft tool supplies, a paper scoring tool is actually really useful. If you’ve ever printed out a crease pattern before, did you know you can score the lines using a sharp pointed tool and a ruler?
You can also use a ballpoint pen that’s run out of ink!
8. Paper Clips
Paper clips are always useful. When you’re making an origami Kawasaki rose, they are super helpful for the final assembly.
Mini bulldog style clips or miniature pegs are also great for holding things together while folding tricky models.
These cute multicolour clips are available here.
9. Single Hole Punch
One of these little hole punches is really useful when you want a professional looking hole to hang your finished origami model up!
This nifty tool is next on my list, I’m not sure where mine got to, until then, I’m using one end of a normal hole punch! 🙂
The one on the left is available to buy online from here.
10. Origami Paper Storage Box
I have two of these plastic origami storage boxes, I’ve had them for years. They are the perfect size to fit the 500 paper pack by Aitoh!
It’s obvious why these boxes are so useful, they prevent your origami paper from going everywhere and keep it in perfect un-crumpled condition.
I would say you will need and ruler and scissors, the rest is definitely optional.
The only thing you need for origami is paper and hands!
Which origami paper to use? I have an extensive origami paper recommendations post here.
*Disclaimer: some of the links on this page are affiliate links.