Origami Letters

Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a folded paper figure, created through the careful creasing of a sheet of paper? This craft is centuries-old and full of tradition and meaning in certain cultures. Origami is thought to help develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skill and mental concentration, and thus has sometimes been integrated into educational settings, particularly to aid in the understanding of mathematical concepts. Benefits to using both hands in this craft are also thought to engage the language portion of the brain, so it presents an interesting partner to the task of committing thoughts to letters.

Precreased Origami Letters

In addition to the familiar creations of cranes, flowers, airplanes and tiny boxes, a paper can be folded to create an envelope-like shape on which to send correspondence. The folding of letters to fit into envelopes invokes the art of origami, even if the folds are simple and straightforward. In this week’s session, we provide pre-folded paper and instruction to create a unique “package” to wrap your written message in a form that suggests an envelope. We invite you to visit our tent at the Farmers’ Market to give you the pre-creased paper and offer you a table and pen to write your letter. If you complete the letter at the market, we will stamp and mail it for you in envelopes that fit over your folded parcel. We also provide a video on our website to guide you through the steps if you prefer to do this from your home. A template is on the reverse, and instructions with video are available: https://www.letterstrellis.com/activities/origami-letters


If you are intrigued by this activity of enfolding your thoughts, there is another method of folding, cutting and sealing letters, all done with the goal of making them arrive tamper-proof to your intended reader. “Letterlocking” was used in important historical communications, and you can learn more about this process in the following articles that describe the practice (and science) of this security-minded method.



How Mary Queen of Scots locked her last letter, with video: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210616-how-the-forgotten-tricks-of-letterlocking-shaped-history

To fold your own letter, see the video below and the template in PDF format (download and print it "actual size" rather than "shrink to fit") to use as a guide to make the five folds in fashioning your origami letter.


If you want to send the folded letter by itself, consider printing the QR code to the left and taping it to the back of the envelope. When the recipient gets the letter, they can scan the code and arrive at this page, and see the video instructions above on how to safely and properly open the envelope!

Below is a suggestion to put the folded origami letter into an envelope and mailing the whole thing rather than taping it closed, since the receiver might not know how to safely open the letter and there is the risk of damaging the letter while trying. The "invitation size envelope" is also called and A2 size (4-3/8 x 5-3/4 inches).

If you arrived at this page because you received an origami letter the video below shows how to open it safely without damaging the letter: