HOWTO rubberize origami

Instructables user Blightdesign has developed a method for rubberizing paper origami creations by dipping them in Plastidip, using them for Christmas tree ornaments. This HOWTO explains how to rubberize your own paper toys.

(via Make)


  1. Somehow this kind of defeats the whole idea of origami for me which is the beautiful simplicity of things made with nothing but paper and crisp folds. Not exactly a case of “gilding the lily”, but somewhat similar.

    1. I agree. I only know two designs by heart, but I do them over and over, trying to get more perfect each time. I love it when I get the lines perfect and crisp. Ironically, I got a close out of origami paper from Japan at Epcot of all places. Next to the hand drawing sketch of Donald Duck as Boba Fett, it was the best value I have found there.

  2. Couldn’t you do this with that spray-rubber sealant gunk that dingleberry is always hawking on TV? You know, the stuff that seals your gutters and lets you replace the bottom of your boat with a screen door, which all the kids are doing these days I guess.

  3. When I was a kid, we had Christmas ornaments that were stars made of strips of woven colored paper (not origami, exactly, but a traditional European papercraft) that had been dipped in a thin, hard wax (and then lightly sprinkled with glitter).  

    The wax kept the paper from getting damp or wrinkled, but let the color of the paper show through.I suspect you could do the same thing with origami, to make the paper more durable without losing the character of the origami by globbing it up with Plasti-Dip.

  4. Huh… I was sure I saw it here on BB, but a search says otherwise – a couple of weeks ago there was a link going around the internet about earrings made from tiny origami cranes. They were coated in a thin clear protectant so that they still looked like paper, but weren’t quite so fragile.

    However – I greatly appreciate the different aesthetic that is achieved through the Plasti-dip method, unlike everyone else apparently :)

  5. As most commenters seem to not have read the instructable (which I understand, you need to click through seemingly 5000 pages all chock full of ads to finish it), let me summarize.

    1. Make crane
    2. Dip in plastidip,
    3. Let dry
    4. Goto 2
    5. At some arbitrary point you are done dipping
    6. Insert neat little hanger loop trick, hang with string
    7. BTW plastidip comes in clear and many colors, go nuts.

  6. Aaaargh… now I have one part of me really liking the idea and the look of that crane and the origamist in me going “hell, no!”, and neither side is winning.

  7. Shouldn’t Makers consider their relationship to materials in practical and environmental ways? It would be great if plastics could be knocked to the bottom of the list of preferred maker materials ( like say somewhere near lead ) . This way plastic would be eschewed except in cases where there is no substitute material reasonably available to the maker and if used, the function of the plastic is somehow central to the function or identity of the object. In this scenario plastic is never an aesthetic choice and avoided if at all possible for other purposes. Please, consider plastic as an attack on the living creatures that surround us, especially birds and fish. I do think it is cool to ad a materials twist to the ancient form of origami but please please please not with plastic. .. chocolate?  so am i the only one who When i first looked at this crane .. this plastic smothered paper crane, I saw it as a metaphor to post Fukushima Japan .. from 1000 paper cranes to 1 plastic smothered crane.. a ghost of Hiroshima’s legacy?

    1. You seem to have been confused by the name “Plasti-Dip.”  It is not plastic.  It is rubber.  The name is because it’s “plastic” in the sense that it’s formable and deformable.

      1. No, I believe the confusion is yours dculberson. The material in question is not “rubber” as in the rubber from a tree it is plainly labeled “synthetic rubber” on the product page which in my eyes is a greener sounding behavioral description of a product made from …. wait for it… petrochemicals.. Plasti-dip is far closer to plastic than a rubber tree. The title of this post might be more accurate – but too long- if it read  – HOWTO synthetically rubberize Origami with petroleum based toxins

  8. This is great!  My wife and I celebrated our first anniversary a couple months ago.  I folded 1000 paper cranes, we still have most of them.  This would be a great way to keep some of them forever.

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