knits by sachi

How to make origami dolls

on January 17, 2014


There are many paper craft; card making, scrap booking, paper marche and so on. But it is fun to make these, too. These are traditional Japanese bookmark dolls or “shiori-ningyo”.

You can make with a white card, tissue paper and Japanese patterned paper. You can use plain origami paper and draw patterns if you would like.

The card is used for the body and head. Tissue paper is for the collar. You cut paper to the template shapes, layer the paper gluing each time.

Template is in centimeter (cm). I made it up for a guideline. You are free to alter the size. Trace a coin and cut the head to make it nice and round.

Basic figure


And you layer the paper.


1. Fold the collar in half horizontally, wrap around the neck, folded side up. Place the right side first and place the left side over the right. This is very important.*
2. Place another layer the same way.
3. Fold the top end of the kimono three times toward you to create the collar of the kimono. Glue the inside cloth. Place the body on top of the kimono, wrong side facing.
4. Cover the right shoulder first. The left goes over the right in the centre.
5. Fold the belt horizontally and wrap it around the body and secure.
6. Make another belt and fold in the middle as shown in the picture. Glue it to the back of the body (optional)
7. Glue the head and hair. Gather the top of the front hair and tie with hair band.
8. Fold the kimono end to show the inside cloth.

*Kimono is worn this way. The right front should be placed to the centre first and the left goes over the right. Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter, it is still the same. You wear kimono the other way around only once in your life time; when you are going into the coffin.

This is the basic doll. You can add a bit of ribbon and flowers if you would like. You can make your original greeting cards with them, too.

And if you are more ambitious, you can move on to 3-D dolls like these.


3 responses to “How to make origami dolls

  1. Absolutely beautiful!

    • knitsbysachi says:

      Thank you, Sophie!
      I have seen paper dolls with the kimono worn in the wrong way. They were on the cover of a craft book published in the UK. Be careful.
      I have became your blog reader, too, but I don’t think I am getting notifications. Let us know on Facebook when you post a new one.

  2. shamila says:

    so pretty

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