A few weeks ago I saw a picture of a cute Origami house, that can also be used as an Origami lampshade. This Origami house has several origins – dating back to 2009, designed by Troy Alexander – and 2012 by Simona. I saw the picture from 2012 and decided to figure out myself how to fold it. It is not really difficult, if you think about the general structure first. A few days ago I further researched this Origami house design for my article – and I saw that in 2011 Roman Diaz published another Origami house design in the Origami magazine “4 Esquinas” 2011, p. 26 & p. 34 – which has some similarities to the one’s mentioned here. In the article, published in the 4 Esquinas magazine, he refers to the design from 2009 by Troy Alexander. What’s different – Roman Diaz made the house more complex and added the color change for the roof and a better locking mechanism – but you can still recognize some of the original idea in it. So all in all, great and interesting Origami house designs.
As I did not design this Origami house myself, I can only give you hints on how to fold it. You can take it as a challenge to see if you can complete it with my tips (I am sure, most of you can – as I managed to fold the whole design by just looking at one picture and figuring out the rest). The locking mechanism, for this particular Origami house, is my design, as both those sources mentioned above use a different way. I attach pictures below on how to lock the design – the finished Origami house is very stable (without the need of glue).
This particular Origami house that I focus on, can be made from either a square sheet of paper or a rectangular paper. If the rectangular paper has the exact ratio of 4:3 (e.g. 21 cm x 28 cm), then you can just divide your paper into 4:3 segments and go from there. If you understand the basic principle behind this Origami house design, you can fold it actually from any ratio (also square), as you just have to fold the angle of the 4 corners into half to find the point of the missing creases.
The paradox of this Origami house model is: When the starting ratio of your paper is a square, the finished house will be rectangular – and when you start with rectangular paper (especially when using 4:3 ratio), the finished Origami house will have a square base! 🙂
You can basically use any kind of paper, ranging from plain copy paper (uncolored or colored), to Kami or even Mulberry paper. I folded my houses from all those mentioned papers. I liked Kami the best for it’s easy folding and sharp creases, and like Mulberry paper for it’s beautiful effect once lit with a LED light in the dark.
How to prepare Mulberry Paper for folding
The problem with Mulberry paper is that it is actually very soft paper and does not hold the creases very well. For the purpose of this Origami house project, I took untreated Mulberry paper (see pictures), sprayed it with extra strength laundry starch spray and ironed it on a very low setting (Setting 1 – Nylon). Please make sure your iron is clean on the bottom to avoid staining your paper. Spray evenly from about 20 cm – 30 cm distance onto your paper. Iron the Mulberry paper until dry. It is best to move quite slowly, to not tear your wet paper. If you see that your paper is still very soft, you can repeat this process a few times.
The collapse of the house is very easy, you just have to start your way from the top of the roof and fold from there down. Once you are on the bottom segments, you will realize, that you need to find a locking mechanism, as the house will not hold together like this. I found my own way to lock this Origami house (see pictures), but you might find a different way.
I really liked the simplicity of this particular Origami house design. This Origami design is so versatile, as you can fold it from square to rectangular ratio – and you can use any kind of paper. But this is also a rather quick Origami fold, as you can finish the Origami house in a matter of minutes, yet it is pure Origami and holds together without glue. Recommended for the beginning folder!