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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find answers to questions about OrigamiUSA and about origami in general. They are grouped by topic. Click on a question to see the answer. If you have a question whose answer you'd like to see here, send it to the Website team at website [at]

Board (1)

Who is in charge at OrigamiUSA, and how do I contact that person?

OrigamiUSA is run by a board, a board chair and various committees. You can find out more information about all of these constituents on the main contact page here.

A Community Origami Group or Society is any origami group, no matter how big or small. There are origami groups in cities all over the world, where people get together to share the love of folding.

You can create your own listing here. When you have created a listing, you are the “owner” of that listing. Please try to keep it current! Once a year, you will receive an email reminder to review it.

As the owner of a COG, you will also be automatically subscribed to the community-groups-leaders [at] mailing list, which is the list for announcements from the Community Groups team and for community group leaders to share ideas and ask questions of each other. You can unsubscribe or set options for this mailing list here.

Only the owner of the group can update its listing. Go to your group's listing page. You'll see an "Edit" tab. Click on that tab, and you'll be able to change any fields of the listing. When you're ready, click on the "Submit" button at the bottom.

If you received a reminder email, even if nothing needs changing, please click on the Edit tab and then the Submit button; that tells us that you've reviewed and approved it.

Immediately after an update, the listing will be temporarily unpublished (not visible to the general public), until a Community Origami Groups team member can review it; they'll then re-publish it (so that it is visible to all).

If you have any questions, please contact the Community Origami Groups team at community-groups [at]

If you would like to pass ownership of a group to someone else, or take over an existing group listing, please contact the Community Groups team, at community-groups [at]

The community-groups-leaders [at] mailing list is a list for the owners of community origami groups listings on our website. Everyone who has created a group listing is automatically subscribed to the list. Its purpose is for the Community Origami Groups team to make announcements to all leaders, and for leaders to share information, best practices, ideas, and experiences with each other.

To adjust your subscription (including digest or turning off delivery), please visit this page. If you have any questions, please email the Community Origami Groups team, at community-groups [at]

The Publications Committee accepts and welcomes diagram submissions all year long, as we are continually working on books. For the Origami Collection, we need three months prior to the release date (which coincides with the current year's NY Origami Convention at the end of June) to produce the book. All submissions after that date will be considered for future publications.

Why don't you hand out diagrams of models taught at convention?

In order to do that, we'd need to get permission from the authors and publisher of the diagrams for each model, and that's just not practical.

It is on the back of your name tag.

There are many choices of classes to take at the Convention and you might be wonderfully surprised by taking something unexpected. In addition, many attendees love to teach the models they've just learned. Wear your sticker that says, "Please teach me" with the name of the model you are interested in learning, and check the stickers that others are wearing with offers to teach. This informal teaching happens in the Hospitality area during breaks, or at the Late Night Folding.

No. The seating in the classrooms is set up to accommodate a specific number of students. Also, some teachers ask to teach a limited group, or have prepared a limited number of material sets.

No. This is not fair to the teacher and other students in the class as it creates a distraction.

Classes that have not been sold out will remain posted to the Ticketing Board. You can select one of them.

Please notify someone at the ticketing board or at the information desk and choose something else (or not!). You might decide to skip a class period and go see the Exhibition or shop for books and paper.

With over 500 attendees and over 200 classes available in the course of three days in New York and roughly half that at PCOC, this is the most efficient and fair way we have found to register our attendees for classes. If you prefer, you can use the ticketing board to select classes that haven’t sold out after the morning ticketing process and still have a fantastic time.

Remember that you have to meet certain criteria to get Ticketing Priority. See the Priority Ticketing page for details.

Hand in your form at the Information Desk by midnight on the night before the day you are requesting class assignments. Pick up your class assignments at the Information Desk from 8:30am – 9:40am.

Copyright (15)

Several years ago OrigamiUSA engaged a copyright lawyer with over 25 years of experience in intellectual property to look into the question of how copyright applies to origami. He wrote up a more extensive FAQ for us, which you can find on our main copyright policy page, here:

You can also download from there a copy of his analysis with footnotes and supporting reasoning.

OrigamiUSA would welcome additional investigation and/or opinions from any lawyer with substantial experience in copyright law who would be interested in some pro bono work for our non-profit organization. Please contact the copyright committee using the link on the page above.

If the figure is traditional (e.g., the crane), you can do pretty much anything you like with it!

If the figure is not traditional, then you need to secure permission from the composer of the figure.

Can I use an image of an origami figure commercially?

Only after securing permission from the composer of the figure (and if different, the photographer who took the image).

 If the figure is traditional, you don't need permission from the composer, but you still need permission from the photographer.

I found some diagrams for free on the web. Can I republish or redistribute them?

Not without permission from the original author, unless the author has specifically put them into the public domain.

I learned an origami figure from a published source. May I teach it to someone else?

Most copyright law contains certain exceptions, which in the U.S. come under the doctrine of “Fair Use.” Although the law is (intentionally) somewhat vague about the specific boundaries of “Fair Use,” teaching an origami figure to someone else informally is generally considered acceptable.

May I teach an origami figure to someone else for hire?

That would be considered commercial usage. If the figure is explicitly noted as a traditional figure, yes. Otherwise, permission must be obtained from the creator.

While there is some contention over the question of teaching a model at a convention, in general, a convention is a commercial activity (people are paying money to attend). OrigamiUSA’s policy for our conventions is that when someone is teaching someone else how to make copies of a creator’s work at an OrigamiUSA convention, permission from the creator must be obtained.

What if I “reverse-engineer” an origami design? Can I republish my own version?

No. a reproduction of a creative work is considered a derivative work no matter how it was derived and the original composer retains rights in the work.

What if I modify an origami design? Can I republish my own version?

No. A modification of a creative work is considered a derivative work and the original composer retains rights in the work.

I found some folding instructions in a book or on the web. May I use figures I folded myself from these instructions commercially?

If the figure is explicitly noted as a traditional figure, yes. If the figure was composed by an individual (who is usually credited in the book), you may fold it for personal use but commercial usage of the origami figure requires permission from the composer of the figure.

If some diagrams on the web are free, doesn't that mean that they're in the public domain?

No. An author can give his/her work away while still retaining control over other forms of distribution.

I have some diagrams. Can I make and distribute video folding instructions of them?

Not without permission of the author. Video instructions would still be considered a "derivative work" of the original.

I got some diagrams from a web source and the person I got them from says they have resale rights. Now can I redistribute them?

You should demand to see written permission from the original authors. The vast majority of diagrams from web sources (e.g., eBay) that are claimed to have resale rights, don’t.

I composed my own origami design and then subsequently found a published model that’s very similar. Can I publish my design?

There are several documented examples of simultaneous composition in origami, particularly among figures of a highly geometrical nature. (This situation is analogous to two musical composers independently composing the same melody; it’s rare, but does happen.) If the figures were composed independently, each composer has the right to assign rights to his/her own design.

Can I consider these questions and answers to be legal advice?

No. You may find them useful for understanding general issues, but for any specific legal question you should contact your own lawyer familiar with the relevant laws in your area. In particular, copyright laws vary somewhat from country to country.

Elections (19)

Voting takes place at the Annual Meeting. You can vote in person at the annual meeting or appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. You can appoint our designated proxy by postal mail or via email by filling out your online proxy ballot.

In sending your ballot to our designated proxy (who is also the ballot counter), you are designating that person to be your proxy, which means that he will cast a vote on your behalf at the annual meeting. Simply put, you are asking him to vote for you, and you are telling him how you want to vote.

No, you may appoint any proxy you wish, however, that person must vote in person on your behalf at the Annual Meeting and their proxy designation from you must conform to NY state law for proxy ballots. To designate a different proxy, please request a paper proxy ballot from the office, fill it out with the person’s name you wish to designate and have that person bring the ballot to the Annual Meeting to vote for you.

Yes; if you are eligible to vote and have a website account, you can fill out a proxy ballot online that will be emailed to the designated proxy, appointing him/her as your proxy for the election.

In addition to email, your designation and votes are stored, encrypted, on our local system where they will be used by the ballot counter. Only the ballot counter has access to the encrypted votes. After you have submitted your online proxy ballot,, your personalized ballot page will show that your vote was recorded.

No, it’s not required. You may request a paper proxy ballot from the Home Office and send it in via postal mail.

We need to verify that each vote comes from a current member, and that no member votes more than once. Your name and membership number allows us to do that.
The only person who sees your ballot is the person who counts them. That person does not reveal any individual votes to anyone else.

All proxy ballot information stored in the online system is encrypted with a password known only to the ballot counter, so only the ballot counter can see them. After the election is over, all records are cleared.

The person who counts the ballots checks the name on the ballot against the membership number, and if they don't match they will reject the ballot. To make that person's job easier, please use the name that appears first on the address label. If you're not sure which name that is, writing all the names on the ballot will help the ballot counter to identify your membership.

No; you must be a current member 50 days prior to the election and on the date of the election, and Junior and Society memberships are not eligible to vote.

Each eligible membership, no matter what category, gets one vote. That means a family membership gets only one vote.

I'm not really sure how to vote. Can I let the proxy choose for me?

No -- that is not the proxy's function. The proxy will cast a vote for you based on your instructions. If you don't make a clear choice, the proxy will not vote your ballot.
The proxy will not cast any votes on your behalf.

No. Write-in candidates will not satisfy the candidate eligibility criteria and so any write-in names will be ignored.

What happens if I don't vote for as many candidates as there are open seats?

The proxy will cast votes for the candidates you choose, and no others.

Each proxy ballot revokes any previous ballot, so if you vote multiple times, the most recently received one (whether web or postal) will prevail. Postal delivery times are unpredictable, so we strongly suggest you not use the postal proxy ballot if you vote more than once.

I have a few questions I'd like to ask the Board. Can I include them with my ballot?

The person counting the ballots, for obvious reasons, is acting independently and doesn't have regular contact with either the Board or other OrigamiUSA volunteers. If you wish to communicate with them, it is better to contact OrigamiUSA directly.

What paper should I use?

We've used many different types of paper for the tree in past years. Thin art papers with long fibers are the best, but it depends on what you are folding. Generally kami or plain wrapping paper or things with prints should not be used. Tissue foil is okay and even some foil is good too, but more interesting textures and papers would be better than foil;also matte foil is better than shiny or glossy foil. if a model is too bright, it stands out too much and may not be accepted for use.

When do you need models by?  

The tree goes up in November a few weeks before Thanksgiving so we really need all models by the beginning of October to make sure we have enough time to prepare them to be put on the tree. Before sending any models, contact the Tree Committee at holiday-tree [at] to find out what models are needed.

Can you send me diagrams from which I can fold models for the Holiday Tree?

Sorry, we can't send you copies of diagrams unless we have permission from the authors and/or publishers, but we can tell you what books that models are in.
The tree is opened to the public a few days before Thanksgiving until several days past New Years Day.

The OrigamiUSA Lending Library is a service for OrigamiUSA members that loans books of origami diagrams through U.S. Mail. Members in the USA can borrow from the Lending Library without leaving their home.

  • The Lending Library listing displays items in the collection.
  • Use the request form on this page to request up to three books. Payment is accepted at the time of the request.
  • Submitting the request form automatically e-mails your request to the Lending Library and sends you an email confirmation of your request.
  • Requests and payment by U.S. Mail are also possible, see "How can I borrow..." below.
  • When your payment is received the books will be mailed to you within a week.
  • Shipment is via US Postal Service Media Mail. Estimated shipping time = 7 days, so it could take up to 2 weeks for you to receive your books (or longer, for Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico).
  • The mailed package includes a due date, pre-addressed return address envelope, and prepaid return postage.

The Lending Library uses a fixed fee structure to cover shipping and incidental expenses:

  • 1 item: $ 10.00
  • 2 items: $ 15.00
  • 3 items: $ 20.00

These charges cover costs of postage, packing materials, return postage, and delivery tracking and confirmation. All items are mailed via USPS Media mail.

The Lending Library Service is available to OrigamiUSA members in the USA. OrigamiUSA Membership must be current a minimum of 60 days past the due date of borrowed items. For information about membership in OrigamiUSA, click here.

The Lending Library ships books via US Mail, and includes return postage as part of the delivery charge. Mailing outside of the USA is prohibitively expensive and involves customs inspection in both directions.

Your OrigamiUSA membership benefits include use of the Lending Library. To use the online request form, you will need to register for an OrigamiUSA web account and use that to log into the website. See here for information about web accounts.

The collection consists primarily of out-of-print, English language books of origami diagrams. The collection also includes a number of books in other languages, including Japanese, Spanish, and Italian. It also includes a complete run of the newsletter publlished by the Friends of the Origami Center of America newsletter and the magazine it became: The Paper, published by OrigamiUSA, as well as a complete run of FOCA and OrigamiUSA annual convention programs (titled Annual Collection and The Origami Collection, depending on the year).

The link to view the Lending Library collection on the main Lending Library page provides detailed information on available items.

The OrigamiUSA Lending Library site lists specific publications available for loan. However, it does not index the contents of those items or provide a reference service to identify models/diagrams. Instead, where possible, the collection list links to Dennis Walker's Origami Database, or to scanned images of a book's table of contents and cover. You can use the Origami Database to search for information on diagrams by name, designer, or publication. Links to the Origami Database are used with permission. OrigamiUSA is not responsible for the accuracy of information in the Origami Database.

The loan period for Lending Library books is four weeks. There are no renewals.

You can borrow from the collection using US mail. A list of available items and a Lending Library Request Form will be mailed to you on request.

You can contact the Home Office via email at admin [at] or call 212-769-5635. You can also write to us at:
15 W. 77th St.
New York, NY 10024

Please email us at lending-library [at] or write us a letter at:
15 W. 77th St.
New York, NY 10024

What is the difference between the Research Library and the Lending Library?

The Lillian Oppenheimer Research Library is a non-traveling collection housed at the Home Office and only available by direct appointment. See here for details. The Lending Library consists of books that can be loaned out and is operated through the mails. See here for details.

Where is the research library located?

The research library is located in the OrigamiUSA Home Office, in the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City.

Who can use the library?

Any current member of OrigamiUSA can visit and use the Reference Library.

How do I get access to the research library?

You must contact the Home Office and make an appointment.

Can I borrow books from the research library?

No; as the library is a research library, books must remain in the library.

Can I just drop by to visit the research library?

No. The Home Office is a small space that has many OrigamiUSA activities ongoing, and therefore we cannot accommodate drop-in visits.

Membership (12)

How much is an Annual OrigamiUSA Membership?

OrigamiUSA memberships begin at $25 for Junior memberships, $30 for Online memberships, $40 for Individual memberships, and go up from there. The full range of membership details and benefits is here.

What are the benefits of OrigamiUSA Membership?

Basic membership benefits include our magazine, The Paper, our online magazine The Fold, a 10% or larger discount at our store, The Origami Source, and many other benefits. A full listing of benefits is here.

Is membership open to all levels of folders?

Yes. Our membership covers a full range of folding ability from beginners to complex master folders. We truly have something for every level of folder.

How many people are in a family membership?

A Family Membership is a group of 2 adults and up to 4 children 18 years of age or younger who occupy the same residence.

An Online Membership is one that receives all mailings and information electronically, via email and the internet. You will receive a PDF copy of our print magazine, The Paper as well as online access to The Fold and all other membership benefits, e.g., discounts at The Origami Source.

What is the additional option/cost for First Class Postage?

To keep costs down we send our print magazine The Paper by bulk mail. While bulk mail is economical, it is a slow trip to your mailbox. So for those that can't wait to read the latest origami news you may want to include the additional cost for first class postage. (All members also receive a PDF copy of The Paper as soon as it is published with notification via email.) First class postage is automatically included in the higher membership levels.

There is no bulk mailing rate for international mail, so the cost for mailing The Paper is higher for non-US addresses. International members may choose to become Online Members instead and receive all materials electronically.

How long does it take to process membership?

If you send your form in by post, it takes our home office about two weeks to process and ship your membership welcome package to you. If you join online, you can start enjoying members-only online content immediately and your discount at the Source is immediately effective, but it will still take several days to send out the welcome package.

What is included in the Membership Welcome Packet?

Inside the packet you will find a membership card, the latest issue of The Paper, a list and order form from The Origami Source and a letter from the membership chairman, welcoming you to our organization. Online memberships are not sent a postal mailing, but can print their membership card from the website, receive a PDF copy of The Paper, and may browse and purchase from The Origami Source online.

Can brand new members get a discount at The Source?

Yes. If you send or fax in a paper form, in the comment field on your order form, enter "new member verify with home office" and we'll be sure that your discount is applied to your order. If you joined online, then your discount on purchases made online is effective immediately after you join.

When I’m in New York City may I visit OrigamiUSA?

While we enjoy our membership friends and welcome them to attend our various events, the home office is a small volunteer back office. This makes pop-in visits difficult, so we kindly request visitors to call and make an appointment. Please remember that the Home Office does not carry any origami supplies for sale nor origami books to lend. You will need to contact The Source directly to make any purchases or our Lending Library to borrow a book. The Reference Library is housed at our Home Office; please fill out the online form to request an appointment.

If you would like to join any of our volunteer committees check out the list of all committees and contact the committee chair or home office if you are interested in joining.

Where can I get origami supplies?

We have our own store that operates by mail order and online orders, called The Origami Source. It is an excellent source for origami books and supplies recommended by our members. If you would like a free printed copy of the supplies list please send a self-addressed business envelope with two first class stamps to our address or call or e-mail us. The latest offerings and specials are always available on our website.

The member's mailing list is a mailing list for members of OrigamiUSA to discuss anything related to origami and/or to OrigamiUSA. We also make announcements of events and other items of interest on the list.

After subscribing on this page, you can post a message to the list by sending it to members [at] You must be subscribed in order for the message to get through.

All of those settings are on this page, which is one of the tabs of your user account page. There's also a link to it in the MY ACCOUNT menu.

In order to subscribe to the list, you need to be (a) signed into the website, (b) a current member of OrigamiUSA. When you're signed in, you'll see "Welcome " in the upper right corner of the site. If you're a current member, you'lll see "Welcome (OrigamiUSA Member)" in the upper right.

If you're a member but don't yet have a website account, you can learn about how to get one here. (Note: if you were a member of OrigamiUSA in November 2010, you probably already have one, and can recover your password here.

If you're signed in, think you're a member, but the site says otherwise, please contact us at membership [at] and we'll try to straighten it out.

Really, anything about origami in general or OrigamiUSA in particular is appropriate. That would include tips, techniques, local meetings, exhibitions, and general Q&A about origami matters. Postings of a mildly commercial nature (e. g. non-OrigamiUSA product or publication announcements, etc.) are acceptable if they are occasional and are of sufficiently wide interest to OrigamiUSA members. Do make sure that your posting is something that would be of interest to a range of people: one-on-one conversations between individuals often are not, and should be taken off-list.

Also, if you have a question specifically about the organization, please consider whether one of the specific email addresses on our contact page might be more appropriate. While OrigamiUSA volunteers often post on the list and monitor it, you're likely to get a quicker and better response if you send it to the right person directly. Of course, questions whose answer would be of broad interest are always welcome on the list.

Please do not post bare links to other web pages with no discussion. For one thing, some ISPs automatically flag such emails as spam. At the very least, please add a few sentences to the body of your message explaining why you found this significant and/or why you're recommending it.

In general, follow the Golden Rule: do as to others as you would have done to you. Be polite, give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and recognize that sometimes you need to agree to disagree with someone and no amount of discussion will ever resolve a difference of opinion.

Quoting. Since people can receive their email in digest form, which is awkward to read when people top-post in their reply, please always (a) trim quoted emails to just the bit that's relevant to your message, and (b) post your response below the quoted part. This is the same policy that Origami-L uses (and we use it for the same reason).

HTML formatting. You can, if you wish, use HTML formatting (colors and fonts) if you wish to further distinguish quoted from new text. Please be aware that some people may not see the formatting, however, depending on their email application, so do consider at least creating some blank space or other separating between quoted material and your text. If you like, you can interleave quoted and new material.

Linking is better than embedding. To share an image or other content, please consider posting it online and sending a link to the list, rather than embedding a large picture or attachment in your email. You can send small (<1 MB) attachments if you must. Please send sparingly - we want the list to be easy to read and download for everyone, everywhere, regardless of local network speeds, etc.

Remember that there are uncountable numbers of different email applications in use, and no one format will look great everywhere, under all circumstances. Keep your messages as simply structured as possible, and keep in mind that some list members may read them in plain text format, without colors and fonts.

When you post to the members' mailing list, members [at] should be in the "To" field and should be the only destination email address in your message.

This means that you cannot CC anyone on list postings. This is to save third parties from having their addresses exposed to the entire list without their consent. As a side effect, you cannot CC even yourself, nor can you post to multiple lists simultaneously.

And the members mailing list address needs to be in the "To" field, rather than the CC or BCC field, so that people replying to your message can easily reply to the list.

By default, when you hit "reply", the list's address will be placed in the "To" field of your mail. If you don't want many hundreds of people to read your post, check the "To" field before sending! (It's a fine habit to get into, anyway.)

All new list member accounts start out moderated. That means that new members' posts will be held by the system until one of the list administrators reviews it for adherence to the posting guidelines. Any member can request to be "de-moderated" at any time (email the moderators at members-owner [at], but you do need to ask to be demoderated: it doesn't happen automatically.

The members' mailing list uses the email address that is associated with your OrigamiUSA membership (and your website account), so if you change one, it will change them all. To make this change, after signing into your website account, go to:

You can enter a new email address there.

In early May, Yahoo and AOL implemented new email policies that said, effectively, "any email that doesn't come directly from one of our servers should be treated as spam." This policy broke most mailing lists on the internet (including ours). To work around this issue, the list moderator will forward any email from a member who has a or email address.

Turns out that is part of Yahoo, and has the same problem.

If you are a Yahoo,, or AOL user and would like to avoid this problem, you can change your membership email address to gmail, hotmail, or another provider that does not have such a policy. You can change your email address at when logged in to your website account.

Sorry, no. The email address at which you are subscribed must be the one associated with your website account and with your OrigamiUSA membership.

No, sorry, for this list we do not maintain a public archive, though we hope to create one in the future.

No, sorry. Yahoo makes it very hard to get to the archives in a useful way, though we are exploring some options.

No. And neither can anyone else (outside of the list owners). OrigamiUSA doesn't give, rent, or sell lists of member information to anyone, and that policy extends to our members' email addresses.

The mailing list sends all postings to all members, including you. So if you post something to the list, you'll get a copy once it's passed moderation (or immediately if you are unmoderated).

However, some email clients, notably Gmail, automatically file received messages where you're the sender. Gmail helpfully (?) and automatically refiles such messages into your "All Mail" folder. If you look there, or search for your messages, you'll find them. In other words, it has nothing to do with the members' list, but rather is part of the Gmail email client. ( There is, as far as we have been able to determine, no way around this other than to change email clients.)

Write to the owner/moderators at members-owner [at] Please be as detailed as possible in your query and we'll try to clear things up.

Yes, there is a registration fee of $10 for each computer connected for a session. We have tried to keep the fees as low as possible to achieve our goal of connecting as many folders as possible with each other.

The registration fees include covering equipment, license costs, and credit card/PayPal fees, as well as providing a small honorarium for our presenters and hosts.

You will receive an email with a link to the live event. Click on the link in the email; you may have to download the Zoom application. After that you will be taken to the live event.

Download the Zoom app from your App Store or Google Play. Type the URL given in the email into the application and it will take you to the live event.

Yes, everyone that registers will receive a link to the recording. The recording is not downloadable and will eventually go away, but it will be up for a few weeks after the scheduled session.

Enter the URL sent to you by the Origami Connect Committee for the recording into the address bar of your browser. It should open in your browser without any other action needed.

Enter the URL sent to you by the Origami Connect Committee for the recording into the address bar of your browser. It should open in your browser without any other action needed.

We use Voice Over IP (VOIP) for the sound to avoid echoing problems that arose during our early events. This is more robust, but unfortunately, there is a time lag because internet WiFi speed does not keep up with the speed of the phone.

Live streaming is dependent on Internet connectivity and latency, so the video quality depends on both the presenter and attendees WiFi speeds and Internet conditions, which can fluctuate dramatically.

The videos are offered as a refresher to those who participated interactively and would like to see it again to remind themselves and for those who tried to participate live, but for whom technical conditions (like network connectivity, or system issues) prevented live participation. They're intended to be a record of a live, interactive session, not standalone instructional videos.

If you're having trouble registering, please contact us and tell us as completely as possible what you're experiencing. Send your description to origamiconnect [at]

If the registration form is rejecting your payment, please tell us the exact error message. We use a third party to process credit card payments (so that we don't have to, and do not, store your credit card information), and any rejection would come from the payment processor.

If your card isn't accepted, we do accept and recommend PayPal, especially for out-of-the-US registrations.

No, but there are large discounts for members of OrigamiUSA and / or the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Discounts are also available for AMNH employees and AMNH volunteers.
Members of OrigamiUSA or the AMNH: $20 per class, or $35 for two classes taken on the same day. Non-Members: $35 per class. No discounts. Why not join OrigamiUSA?
All classes are held at the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 81st Street, New York City) in the CHILDREN'S LUNCH ROOMS on the LOWER LEVEL. Lunch is available at the Museum cafeterias and the many local restaurants.
Special Sessions classes are normally held in the Fall (Oct/Nov/Dec) and Spring (Mar/Apr/May), one Sunday per month for 3 consecutive months. There are 8–10 classes of varying skill levels offered on each day. Morning classes are 10:30am–12:30pm. Afternoon classes are 2:30pm–4:30pm. If you drive, allow plenty of time to park because street parking in the area is limited.

Morning classes are from 10:30am to 12:30pm. Please arrive by 10:15am. Afternoon classes are from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. Please arrive by 2:15pm. These are formal classes and latecomers are discouraged because origami is a sequential activity, not a drop-in activity, and the teacher may not be able to catch you up. Please be prepared to stay for the full two-hour class.

You can create a website account to register online. You can also register by printing out the registration form and mailing it in via postal mail. To register by phone, call our office at 212-769-5635 and speak to our administrator.
Saturday at 7 pm before the date of the class you want to register for. Registration ahead of time is appreciated so that teachers can plan for the materials needed.

Yes, walk-ins are welcome to fill available spots. You should have 2 choices in mind, in case your first choice class is filled.

If you are coming without having registered beforehand, please make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes early so there is time to register.

  • Morning classes are from 10:30am to 12:30pm. Please arrive by 10:15am.
  • Afternoon classes are from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. Please arrive by 2:15pm.

These are formal classes and latecomers are discouraged because origami is a sequential activity, not a drop-in activity, and the teacher may not be able to catch you up. Please be prepared to stay for the full two-hour class.

For most classes you must be 8 or older. For children between 8 and 13, a guardian or parent does not have to take the class, but does need to be available during the class time in the School Lunchroom area where the classes are held. For Family Fun classes you must be at least 5 years old. Children between 5 and 8 must have a parent or guardian register and pay to take the class with them. Both the parent and child must pay and register individually with a separate registration for each person.

These classes are an opportunity for parents and children to fold together and be introduced to the art of origami. Children must be 5 or older. Children between 5 and 8 must have a parent or guardian register and pay to take the class with them. Both the parent and child must pay and register individually with a separate registration for each person. However, these classes are also a lot of fun for new folders of all ages. Adults without children are very welcome to attend.

If you wish to cancel, you must do so in writing seven days before the class date. We will refund you with a voucher for a future Special Folding Fun Sessions class which is good for one year. If you cannot attend on the day of your class and you did not cancel in advance, we cannot provide you with a voucher. You can give your confirmation card to someone else and they can attend instead.

Contact us at sessions [at]

  • BEGINNERS – If you have never folded before, we recommend you take the Family Fun class, which will help you learn some of the basics and terminology.
  • SIMPLE – These classes are for folders who have had a beginner folding experience with OrigamiUSA or elsewhere.
  • LOW INTERMEDIATE - These classes are for folders who have done some folding, know some terminology and can do an inside reverse fold. One should know how to fold a water bomb base and a preliminary base.
  • INTERMEDIATE - To take an intermediate class, you should know how to fold a bird base from memory, and be good at inside reverse folds, outside reverse folds, and sink folds.
  • HIGH INTERMEDIATE - To take a high intermediate class, you should be comfortable folding double rabbit ears, crimps, double open sinks and stretching a bird base.
  • COMPLEX - To take a complex class you should be an experienced folder, be able to do all the types of folds mentioned in the intermediate levels, be comfortable folding from diagrams, and be able to follow intricate sequences of precise moves.


  • Anything above the Simple level, one should be familiar with origami terminology, various folds and the bases.
  • Keep in mind the types of models you are familiar with and let that guide you. For example, you might be at the complex level for modulars, but an intermediate level for animals.
  • DON'T GET IN OVER YOUR HEAD! Take a class that best fits with your current level of folding experience.

This new system helps to bring consistency and clarity to our submission and review process. Your submissions are valuable, and we want to make sure that we have a reliable way to process your work and honor your intentions.

We need some minimum contact information for you in order to send you your compensation (a free copy of the publication or two months membership in OrigamiUSA). We get that from your account information. This way, you only have to enter this information once. Plus, if you update this information later, it will change for all your submissions.

No, it just means the website will know who you are. Joining OrigamiUSA is a separate thing. See here for details.

No. We don’t give out, rent, or sell any contact information, and if you’re not a member of OrigamiUSA, you won’t get any mailings of any sort other than ones directly relevant to your submission.

The only people who can see your contact information are the publication editors (who may need to communicate with you) and the administrator of our membership system.

On the submission form, there’s a set of checkboxes to indicate your choices. You can submit to one, several, or all of our publications.

We’d like you to fill out a separate form for each distinct article or set of diagrams, but if your submission contains several files--for example, an article plus several illustrations, or several separate pages of diagrams for a single model, you should submit all of those together as a single submission. The file uploader can accept multiple files.

Yes. To revoke or change your permissions just log in and change your form online. We’ll honor your most recent version of your permission form, although the system will keep a copy of all your previous forms to maintain an audit trial.

No; all copyright resides with its original owner, e.g., you. You’re just giving us permission to use your material.

Yes. Your submission will be reviewed by the appropriate people in OrigamiUSA, and they will get back to you, usually within several weeks. We may ask for changes to be made for your submission. We cannot, of course, guarantee that we will use what you send us.

Yes. You can see all of your past submissions on this page. You can also edit them, for example, to add or remove permissions or to provide updated content.

The Publications Committee accepts and welcomes diagram submissions all year long, as we are continually working on books. For the Origami Collection, we need three months prior to the release date (which coincides with the current year's NY Origami Convention at the end of June) to produce the book. All submissions after that date will be considered for future publications.

There is no fixed deadline; submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. We welcome articles, news, and diagrams at any time.

The Fold (27)

The Fold is an online magazine publication produced by the OrigamiUSA community, accessed through the website ( Most content is available only to current members of OrigamiUSA; some content is available to all visitors to our website.

Unlike print origami magazines, The Fold is not restricted to page limits or other print restrictions. Articles for The Fold can be more comprehensive than print allows by utilizing multimedia forms of communication: not just text and images, but animations, sound, even video. Additionally, online publication is not restricted to a rigid printing schedule. Articles for each issue are posted as soon as they are ready, as opposed to being held for publication until the end of the month, so new content appears continuously.

Yes. You can be automatically notified of each new article posting by subscribing to our RSS feed, feed:// If you bookmark this page in your browser, it will show you when new content has been posted.

The Fold is a separate publication from The Paper, which will continue to be printed and sent to all members. Each publication has its own content, though they may occasionally share content. The Paper will continue as a print publication; The Fold is only available in an online version.

The Fold and all back issues are available to any current member of OrigamiUSA who has an email address and can access the internet. Joining OrigamiUSA is easy and inexpensive! You can join Origami USA online. Once you have joined, you will need to sign up for a web account and then log into the website. See here for details.

Yes, some articles are denoted “open access” and are available to all visitors. You’ll see them clearly marked that way in the listings for each issue.

As with any online venture, The Fold is vulnerable to content being pirated and illegally distributed online. All text, photos, and diagrams that we publish are accompanied by a notice that it is material obtained from OrigamiUSA. We hope that since OrigamiUSA membership is relatively inexpensive, instances of piracy will be low due to content being readily, inexpensively, and legally available. The notice posted on diagrams is the following:

Nothing will prevent a determined person from doing something like that, but we hope that by clearly marking the content and making it available inexpensively (for the price of a year’s membership, or less if you contribute your own articles), people will refrain from unauthorized distribution, understanding that if contributors see their work posted all over the internet against their wishes, they’ll be much less likely to contribute future work at all.

There are no current plans to do anything like that, but if you’ve got expertise in that area and would like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Contact the website team at website [at]

In order to see most articles in The Fold, you need to (a) be a current OrigamiUSA member, (b) have an online web account connected to your membership and (c) be signed in. If all of these things are true, you will see a banner at the top of the web page that looks like this:

You’ll see your username (in orange) and whether you are a member (in white) in the upper right corner. If you’re not seeing this at the top of this web page (with your username), you're not signed in or you're not a current member; please see our web account FAQ for further details on web accounts.

Anyone can contribute! We accept content from the worldwide origami community.

Contact any current Editor as listed here. If you already know the topic area in which you would like to contribute, please contact that editor specifically.

Contributing content to The Fold is a great way to get your work out to a large audience, while maintaining a large amount of control of how your content is displayed. Contributing is also a wonderful way to support OrigamiUSA and to get free membership!

The Fold is a diverse online publication that publishes many different types of content. Possible types of content include diagrams, crease patterns, and book reviews, as well as articles on origami design, origami mathematics, and origami convention reports, but we are open to any type of content you’d like to provide!

A good article submission should consist of unique, novel content that constructively contributes to the world of origami. Insightful commentary and background on the content is also solicited. For example, an article containing diagrams might also include a paragraph on the model’s design process, some biographical information on the work’s designer, or tips on how to fold the model.

It depends on where your diagrams are published. If they are in a recently published convention book, we will probably not accept them as they are already readily available. If they are published in an out-of-print publication, we would be more willing to publish as they are not currently accessible by the origami community.

If you contribute an article or diagrams that are accepted, you will be given two months free membership in OrigamiUSA for each contribution. If you are an existing member, your membership will be extended by two months for each contribution.

Not a problem. We’re happy to mark your article contributions with your desired CC license and make it open-access (available to all visitors).

Yes, but we will probably only print it in one or two of the three publications. You can specify which publication(s) you’re submitting it to, but of course, we’re happy if you leave the choice up to us. You’ll get the reward associated with the publication(s) that it’s printed in.

Not quite. While editors are also contributors, editors have made additional commitments. Editors are responsible for finding high quality content for the magazine, not necessarily responsible for producing content themselves. An Editor is in charge of a column based on an origami topic, perhaps for example, “Origami Crease Patterns”. The Editor would then be in charge of obtaining novel and interesting content based on that topic on a periodic basis, typically six times per year (once per issue).

The definition of an editor is not inflexible, and there are variations (for example, we have one editor who just does copyediting). If you’d like to contribute in some way, please contact The Fold at thefold [at] and tell us what you’re interested in doing.

An Editor’s term lasts for a year and then is renewed by mutual agreement.

An Editor is at minimum required to submit six articles for publication over the course of one year, averaging about one article every two months. In addition, Editors should review and comment on the articles of other Editors prior to publication.

No. In general, editors are only required to obtain content (for example from contributors), not necessarily provide the content themselves, though many do.

As is the case with most people who do work for OrigamiUSA, The Fold’s editors are volunteers. However, editors are in charge of what content is published in The Fold, so if an editor decides to contribute original content to their column, they will be compensated as a contributor (see above).

Any OrigamiUSA member is eligible to become an Editor of The Fold. Because Editors need access to The Fold to do their job, being a current member of OrigamiUSA is a requirement for being an Editor of The Fold. (If you are contributing your own articles, you get two months membership with each article, so that would work.)

Send an application to the current Managing Editor. An application should consist of your contact information, a proposal for the type of content you hope to contribute, and a draft of your first article. The body of current editors will review new Editor applications. You can find a listing of current editors, including the Managing Editor, here.

Once you are accepted as an editor, you’ll get access to a how-to document that describes the whole process. You will use a web-based interface to upload articles and image files. It helps if you know a little bit of HTML (which is the format of uploaded articles), but even if you don’t know any yet, you can probably learn what you need to know fairly quickly.

The Paper (3)

What is The Paper?

The Paper is the print magazine of OrigamiUSA. It contains origami news, events, book reviews, articles by and about leaders in the Origami community, tips & techniques, and diagrams for everyone from beginners to experienced folders.

How can I get a copy of The Paper?

Membership in OrigamiUSA includes a subscription to The Paper. More information about the organization, and how to join, is available here.

There is no fixed deadline; submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. We welcome articles, news, and diagrams at any time.

The Source (15)

You may have encountered a bug that arises in the the interaction between The Source, https (the secure communications link we use), and WebKit-based browsers like Safari and Chrome and happens when shopping switches from insecure (regular http) to secure (https). If this bug has bit you, please try the following:

  1. Empty your browser cache (it's in the Apple menu in Safari);
  2. Click on this link: User account/login. If you're prompted to login, please do so. If you're already logged in, you can continue.

Then you can do all your shopping in https mode, and everything should work.

We're sorry for the trouble! (And we're hoping that a future software update fixes the issue.) If the above doesn't work, please email us at website [at] and we'll try to help.

OrigamiUSA members receive a discount on all their online purchases, typically 10%. In the past, we took the discount off of the order subtotal. Going forward, each price will have a regular (non-member) price, and then a separate member price, which is 10% (or more) off the regular price. So the discount will be applied on a product-by-product basis, rather than to the entire order.

In the past, all products received the same 10% discount. We are going to introduce bigger member discounts for some products (notably sales of download files), and so we needed to change the system to allow product-by-product price differences.

No, as always, the amount that the seller receives for a file download is based on the list price, and so the seller receives the same amount whether the buyer paid the regular or member price.

There could be a couple of reasons. First, check: are you logged into your website account? The menu bar should say “Welcome, (OrigamiUSA member)”. If it doesn’t show a personalized welcome message, then you’re not logged in. If you’ve got the welcome but it doesn’t say you’re a member, then your membership might have expired; you can check its status here.

If you are a logged-in member but added a product to your shopping cart before you logged in, then it will have the non-member price. Click the “Remove” link, then re-add it to your cart, and it should come back with the member price.

No, anyone can shop at and purchase from The Source. You do have to have a website account and be logged in, so that you can access your past purchases and file downloads, but those are free and, if you don't have one, registration is quick and easy.

If you are a member of OrigamiUSA, though, you get an automatic 10% discount on all your purchases. If you'd like to do that, joining is also quick and easy!

Unfortunately, we do not accept returns; all sales are final.

Email is the best way (origamisource [at] Please include your name and your order number (which you can find on your order receipt). If email fails, you can call the phone number on your receipt.

All in-stock items ship within 1-2 days via USPS Priority Mail. The arrival time varies by location: the USPS predicts 2-3 days for domestic service and 6-10 business days for international service.

All orders, both domestic and international, are shipped by USPS Priority Mail.

For online purchases, we only accept credit cards: Visa or Mastercard. Unfortunately, we don't accept PayPal or wire transfer.

For orders placed by mail using our downloadable form, we can accept a check in US$ on a US bank. However, it is not possible to purchase file downloads using the paper form.

Your payments are secure. We use https at checkout so that your credit card information is encrypted when it is transmitted to us and to our payment processor. And then once your payment is processed (by a mainstream credit card processor), we do not store your credit card information in our system. (We do store the last 4 digits with your order as an identifier, but not the first 12, and not the security code.)

We use it only for shipping and/or billing. We don't share your information with any third party.

We do send emails from time to time about specials and other information of interest to origami enthusiasts. Every such email contains an opt-out link. You can also adjust your account privacy settings at any time here.

Why is The Source more expensive than Can you lower your prices?

The goal of the Source is to provide a good selection of high-quality origami books, paper, and materials. We set prices so that the Source operates at a small profit, which goes back into supporting member activities. While we try to keep prices low, we unfortunately can't match the economies of scale of places like Amazon and Wal-Mart. If price is absolutely critical to you, by all means, buy your books elsewhere; but if you buy from OrigamiUSA, you'll not only get some great origami materials, but your purchase will also help promote this art to our members and to the world.

Website (3)

Do you accept any paid advertising or banners on the OrigamiUSA website?

No. The material we display and/or link to is decided based solely on the Web Editor's judgment of its value to our membership.

How do I use the RSS feed?

Click on any of the RSS icons (orange icon) on the Web site and this will launch the RSS/XML feed page. Copy the URL of that page and paste it into your feed reader application, or subscribe directly to the RSS feed if you're using a Web browser such as Firefox or Safari.

How do I contact the online presence committee?

If you have a question or comment that pertains specifically to the website, you can contact us directly at website [at] If your question is about a particular area of OrigamiUSA, please look at our contact page to find the right person or committee to contact.

A website account is a username/password combination that allows you to log in to the OrigamiUSA website; when you are logged in, if you are a current member of OrigamiUSA, you can access personalized and members-only content. You can also see and edit your own OrigamiUSA membership information, again, if you are a member.

No; a website account simply allows the website to recognize you as an individual; it is not a membership in OrigamiUSA. You can have one, or the other, or both.

Anyone can create and use a website account; you do not need to be an OrigamiUSA member. However, you will not be able to see the members-only content on the website without a current OrigamiUSA membership and a website account.

All current members as of November 1, 2010 who had email addresses on file had website accounts created for them and received a postal mailing with their username and password. After November 1, 2010, new members are asked to create their own website account when they sign up for OrigamiUSA membership; other visitors to the site (or those who sent in a paper membership form) can create a website account by clicking on the REGISTER link at the top of the page.

Simply click on the LOGIN link at the top of the page, enter your username and password, and click “Submit.” Once you are logged in, you will see a personalized welcome message in the menu bar and will see a new MY ACCOUNT menu that contains personalized content; other members-only content, like members-only articles in The Fold, the online magazine, may be found in some of the other menus (e.g., PUBLICATIONS>The Fold).

You probably do not need one for most activities, but for some event registrations, it is necessary to be logged in to a website account in order to register for the event. Also, you'll need a website account to order books and paper from The Origami Source.

No; most of the content that you see on the website now will remain visible to all visitors, whether or not they have website accounts.

You remain logged in until you explicitly log out (by clicking the LOGOUT link in the menu bar). This happens even if you turn off your computer, so you should always log out when you are leaving a computer if others could access it (such as in a library or public space).

Sometimes when we are doing site maintenance or upgrades, everyone will be logged off automatically. If that happens, the next time you visit, you'll see the LOGIN link instead of the welcome message; just click the link and log in again with your username and password.

The email address of your website account must be the same as the primary email address we have in your OrigamiUSA membership record. If you change your OrigamiUSA membership email, that will change the email of your website account, and vice-versa.

Also, you can’t change your email address to be the same as one that another member is using.

On the LOGIN page, there is a “Request New Password” tab; click that, and it will send a one-time login link to the email address that we have on file for you. That will allow you to log in and change your password to something new.

Everyone who was a current member of OrigamiUSA in November 2010 had an account created for them, so you might already have one. To find out, go to the Request New Password page, enter your email address, and submit it; if there was already a user account with that address, you'll get an email with a login link that will let you log in, find out your username, and change your password.

Most members-only content is in the MY ACCOUNT menu (the rightmost menu, which is only visible when you are logged in). The Fold is under the PUBLICATIONS menu.

You will only be able to see most members-only content if you are logged in AND your OrigamiUSA membership is current. If your membership has expired, you will not be able to see members-only content until you renew. Instead, you will see a notice that your membership is expired.

If you renew online, as soon as you see the confirmation page from your renewal, you will again have access to members-only content. If you renew by mail, it will take a few days.

If they have different email addresses, they each can have a website account. It is not possible for two different website accounts to have the same email address; nor is it possible for one website account to access two different OrigamiUSA memberships.

No. OrigamiUSA will never give out, rent, or sell any information about any member, in bulk, or individually.

That means that if someone asks us specifically for one person's email address, we won't give that out; instead, we will forward the request to the individual so that they can choose to respond directly or not.

We only use your email address for mailings from OrigamiUSA about your specific account or about specific OrigamiUSA matters -- and we strive to be sparing in the latter.