Origami Flowers with Gelli Arts®

Origami Flowers with Gelli Arts®


·      Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) complete a hands-on activity that teach origami.

·      SWBAT define the word origami.

·      SWBAT learn about the history of origami.

·      SWBAT improve motor skills through careful folding, necessary for origami.

·      SWBAT develop multicultural awareness by exploring Japanese history.

·      SWBAT improve their ability to follow directions through the creation of origami.


What is origami?

Why is origami a unique style of sculpture?

What is the significance of origami in the Japanese culture?

What role does math play in the construction of origami?


5×5 Gelli Arts® Student Plate, brayers, acrylic paint in multiple colors, mark making tools, stencils, thin paper to print on such as copy paper or rice paper: at least six 5×5 pieces per student (teacher choice), newsprint, masking tape (to tape newsprint to table), pencils, baby wipes, aprons, wood craft stick or bone folders (optional), double sided tape or hot glue, and handout with origami directions.


·      Origami – the art or process, originally Japanese, of paper folding.

·      Japan – An island nation in between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, consisting of the main islands of Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and over 3000 smaller islands.


The teacher should take this opportunity to take about Japan and Asian Art. Students will take time alone or in groups to answer the essential questions. The class should discuss these questions and answers. The teacher will have artist examples and previous student/teacher exemplars for the lesson. The teacher demonstrates to the class how to use the Gelli Arts® printing plate and how to fold the flower. The teacher should demonstrate how to fold the flower to the class and then also do the steps together with the class!


Encourage the students to make a soft fold to check that the lines and edges meet up where they are supposed to, so they avoid unnecessary waste! After students have made their adjustments, they can make a sharp crease using their fingernail, bone folder, or a wood craft stick. Right side is the front of the print and wrong side is the back of the print.

Using a thinner paper like a Japanese rice paper or regular copy paper, create some Gelli Arts® monoprints using bright colors and fun stencils! You will only need to print on one side of the paper. You can use the 5×5 Student Printing Plate to make square prints for origami – or create prints with any other size Gelli Arts® plate and cut your prints into perfect squares! To create one flower, you will need an even number of prints, with a minimum of six square prints. Once all of your prints are together, you can begin creating your flower one petal at a time.

·      Origami Flower

·      Step One: Fold your square in half corner to corner diagonally, with your print on the outside of the fold. Make sure to crease well.

·      Step Two: With the resulting triangle placed with the longest side on the bottom, bring the right hand corner up to meet the top point of the triangle and crease.

·      Step Three: Repeat on the left side side and crease. You should now have a diamond shape.

·      Step Four: With the diamond shape in front of you, take the right hand side triangle’s longest edge and fold to the right, aligning its edge with the edge of the diamond. It should meet perfectly at the bottom edge of the diamond. Do not worry about the top edge just yet.

·      Step Five: Repeat on the left side and crease.

·      Step Six: Open up the right side flap that you just created and fold it down so you have a kite shape. Crease well.

·      Step Seven: Repeat on the left side and crease.

·      Step Eight: Turn over the paper and notice the white triangles on the right and left sides. These are the back of your monoprint, which is perfectly okay to leave unprinted as you will barely see it in the finished product. Fold each white triangle back to be even with the edge of the print.

·      Step Nine: Turn the paper over so now the two triangles you just folded are visible.

·      Step Ten: Fold the white triangle shape in on itself on the center of the “kite” line so that you recreate your diamond shape and crease.

·      Step Eleven: Bring the edges of the diamond together while adding a glue dot or your favorite dry adhesive for security. Do not crease.

·      Step Twelve: You have one petal finished! Repeat steps 1-11 for the rest of your monoprints.

·      Step Thirteen: Attach all of the petals together and your flower is complete!

*If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could make multiple flowers and attach them all together for a flower ball!


  • Science – Discuss nature, colors of flowers, and plant life.
  • Math – Research the folding process involved in creating a paper flower. What shapes are created if you unfold the flower? Practice creating equal fractions, folding in halves, thirds, etc.
  • Reading – Find other literature based on origami. Follow folding directions from other origami animals or shapes. Research the Japanese culture.



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