Better Living Through Origami

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Sep 2018

Member Reviews

Very easy to understand directions for several simple, but elegant, projects. If there were more room in my home, I would be happily assembling several of these already. As it stands, I'll just have to content myself with looking at the nice photos and illustrated directions in this book. :)
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I received this e-book ARC of Better Living Through Origami through Net Galley from F+W Media in exchange for a truthful review.
This book is full of great photos of gorgeous paper-crafted designs for use in the home.
I wouldn't classify the designs as true origami, but rather done in an "origami-style", a term the authors use and explain in the introductory chapters. Each of the designs comes with diagrams and instructions to follow with a template (found at the end of the book and on-line).
I don't agree with the starred difficulty ratings assigned: even the beginner level projects seemed difficult to me, even with the handy Folding chapter found at the end of the book. But the designs are truly lovely and seem worth the effort to try them out.
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This is different sort of craft and interiors book. This shows you how you can decorate your home with a few sheets of paper and look like you spent a fortune. The projects within this are a wide range of difficulties and cost in terms of supplies. This would be perfect for those who to bring a homely but sophisticated feel to their home.
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Better Living Through Origami: 20 Creative Paper Projects for a Beautiful Home by Nellianna van den Baard and Kenneth Veenenbos invites readers to take papercraft to a new creative level. Learn how to create 20 items of functional home decor using simple, origami inspired paper folding and manipulation techniques, and then show off your DIY creations at the heart of your home. There are step-by-step illustrations to guide readers through the projects, which include beautiful lampshades, creative wall art ideas, an ingenious clock, pretty garlands and decorations, unique vases, candle holders, plant holders, decorative bowls and more. Using readily available paper and card stock, readers can create some stunning designer accents for your home for a fraction of the cost of store-bought versions.

Better Living Through Origami is a craft and decorating book that is different from anything I have tried before. Oh, I have tried origami before- and never really excelled at it. However, I have never tried to include paper crafts into my home decorating. I like that there is a detailed explanation about the tools and materials readers will need to attempt the projects, and the detailed information about the terminology and techniques. Although I think the techniques and link to downloadable templates could have been moved towards the front of the book, before the first project so that readers could use that information to practice before finding a project they love, only to discover they will need to drastically increase their skill level before attempting it. I do like that the projects are labeled with their difficulty levels, to mitigate that sort of frustration.  Since I do have kids and cats, some of the ideas and designs simply would not survive my house. Others just do not fit with my style and tastes, but I could picture them fitting wonderfully in other people's homes or offices.  I did like some of the lamp shades and well decorations, and could admire the craftsmanship and skill that went into not just making these items, but designing and testing them in order to sell, and to share. I think the instructions are understandable, but I could not try them for myself since I did not have access to the diagrams, just the instructions and images of the finished projects. 

Better Living Through Origami is a well organized and written book. The digital copy I received via Netgalley did not include the diagrams, although did contain a link to downloadable templates. Without the diagrams to attempt some of the designs I cannot give it a higher rating, because I can not test the accuracy of the diagrams and their ease of use when combined with the instructions and templates.
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I am one of those kind of people who dabbles in a lot of different crafty pastimes, and was excited to have the chance to read this book.   Unfortunately, it was not particularly usable for me.

Although I liked many of the projects, they all start with odd shapes on oversized pieces of paper.  I wanted to test out one or two of the concepts and determine if I enjoyed making them before committing to creating items that I might actually use as furnishings and decorations in my home.  But there was no warm-up projects in this book--nothing that might allow an interested beginner to try some of these folds out using simple supplies that are readily available.

If I was already head over heels in love with any of these designs, I would be willing to make the commitment to the projects and find the needed supplies to create a test/sample project and then a final masterpiece.  But, since I wasn't already enamored of any of these particular designs, I would rather follow the instructions to fold other decorative items that use more readily available supplies.
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So, this is only origami in the loosest sense, it involves creating folds in paper true, but it also involves a bit of cutting, non-square paper, glue, and tape, so purists might turn away from this book. It is also very complicated (this coming from a person who is obsessed with modular origami) with lots of intense geometric creasing to create beautiful shapes. This is not really my forte, but I will say it is very clear and explains the steps in great detail.
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“Better Living Through Origami” is a gorgeous guide for creating 20 origami-style projects to beautify your home. The authors, architect Nellianna van den Baard and industrial designer Kenneth Veenenbos, are co-founders of Studio Snowpuppe, a colorful independent studio in The Hague. They bring a modern stylish touch with step-by-step illustrations to projects that include beautiful lampshades, wall art, a cool clock, pretty garlands and decorations, vases, candle holders, plant holders, decorative bowls and more. All are done with readily available paper and card stock, to enable you to create cost-effective amazing designer accents. 5/5

Pub Date 18 Sep 2018

Thanks to F + W Media and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions fully are mine.

#BetterLivingThroughOrigami #NetGalley
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Thank you to Netgalley and F+W Media for providing me with a free copy to review. This is one of my first ARC, and I'm so stoked to be able to go through it because I love paper crafts!

I love origami. For me, origami never got too much further than taking squares and making fun- but in the end- useless paper crafts that get littered around the house. I was SO excited to get this book.

After going through the e-book, I will not be making any of these projects, at least not in the near future. I know that it probably makes it unfair for me to review- both in a positive or negative way- but I've had/used enough crafting books that I believe I can be fair with this book. Four stars because the layout of designs and information provided make it possible to do many of the projects in this book. Steps are written out clearly, especially after reading through the "read this first" section ;). Projects are labeled into a difficulty category, so you can build up your skills gradually.

I docked it one star because even with the difficulty rating, most of these projects appear too difficult for a beginning crafter. It's definitely not square-paper style, basic origami. The introduction gives fair warning: you need different sizes of paper, some pieces will be cut, and some projects require non-paper items. I would LOVE to see the projects that readers of this book did- did they turn out anything like the gorgeous pictures in the book? 

As with many other crafting books, I think this book would be better served as a hard-copy product. As an e-book, it can get a little difficult to follow (templates need to be printed from a source online). 

I'm not giving up on this yet! This is a well-written book- I'm sure it takes a lot of patience and love to get projects that look like the ones in the book.
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Wonderful handcrafted Origami items for the home. Not easy to make but well worth the effort. I’ve made the lampshade on the cover. I practiced first with some old wallpaper until I understood were to score and fold and then bought some nice quality paper. It looks fantastic in my bedroom and I’m so please to be able to say “ I made that “ and telling all my family and friends that they can too if they buy this book!
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I have often used origami to dress up a display while drawing attention to the ease of this craft.  This book takes my skills to another level, giving me ideas and simple instructions on how to "punch" up my displays even more.  With a little time and some paper, you can literally make just about anything you can dream of.  Not for small children this book is targeted to adults who want to make some outstanding focal points while not breaking their design budgets.
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This is a little different to most origami books I have read as it actually creates items that are both useful and "on trend" for the home. I really loved the lampshades, although I did worry about the flammability of them. I need not have worried as it is all explained further into the book. 
I love the fact that one can make these wonderful articles for the home, put ones own stamp on them and enhance the look of the home simply and easily. 
The directions are easy to follow with lots of information about materials etc.
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These cut-and-folded paper designs are beautiful!  My projects never turn out looking like the ones in the book, but I"m OK with that.  Practice makes perfect, and in any case it was fun to try....
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I will start off saying everything looked coplicated so have not yet  tried to make anything. I do plan on making something out of this book because there are templates in the back of this book. My 12 year old wants to make the ones I am going to show you. This book has 130 pages of very thorough instructions  on how to fold correctly,  what paper to use, and how to put item together if more than one item to make complete. With further due here are some images  for you. P.s. I am buying this book for my twin nieces.
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Origami has caught my attention lately, but I'm a practical sort and there are only so many folded cranes one can make before it gets out of hand - the cat sure if having fun though! I'm definitely up for something more practical. Though these projects may not follow traditional origami rules, they are certainly origami inspired. The difficulty of the projects vary, but skill level is clearly marked so you won't jump head first into a 4 star project as a starter! From clocks to vases, lampshades to wall decor (and more), there's something here for everyone. I have a feeling the furry members of my family would enjoy certain projects more than I'd like... 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, SewandSo, for the opportunity to read and review this beautiful book! All comments are my own, unbiased opinion.
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Love this book! Basically this is a how to use origami to enhance your work and living space with lamp shades, frames, and other pretty paper creations. Templates and detailed charts are provided, along with hints for different types of folds and clear complete directions.
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#BetterLivingThroughOrigami #NetGalley

Cozy and zen origamis to add a color and accent around the home and the office. The creations include lampshades, wall art, and more modern ideas. The book contains the patterns and a glossary of techniques. Wonderful!
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I was very interested in this book because I love oragami. This book is more about functional paper crafts. Most of the designs are extremely difficult and not for beginners. I wish the how to was at the beginning of the book because the beginning is overwhelming. I might try one design for the leaf mobile and would buy some of these in a shop but my crafting skills are not this advanced.
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I've got a stack of beautiful origami paper in my office, and sometimes spend my lunch hour making boxes or other simple creations for a little stress relief. I was excited to see this title, as I am ready to move beyond cranes and paper clip containers.

This is a beautiful book. I'd be proud to have it on my coffee table. I was really excited to try out one or two of the designs, but failed before starting. Here's why.

Strictly speaking, this book is not about origami. At best, it's kirigami (paper cutting), but even traditional kirigami doesn't use glue. This is not to be too much of a stickler -- but, the list of tools needed for projects here is long - tape, glue, triangles, folding bones, paper cutters, pliers, etc.  

The projects are rated for difficulty from one to four stars, but even the "simplest" one-star ones use paper that is not standard origami size. Not one project in the book relies on squares, and many require templates (included). 

Take for example, the first project, a one-star Triangles Vase. It requires 24 pieces of paper cut to a template. The Kaleidoscope Coaster, a two-star project, requires just one piece of paper, but requires a very oddly-shaped cut, again from a template.

The authors own a shop in the Hague, Netherlands, where many of these designs can be seen and I presume purchased. Unless you are a really accomplished paper artist, or are up for a fair amount of work at moving beyond cranes and boxes, visiting the shop is probably the best bet for procuring one of these beautiful pieces of art.
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