It’s spring here at last; a peculiarly British kind of spring with chilly, bright days and gusting wind and perky early-blooming flowers cut down in their prime by late frosts… but spring nonetheless, and with it the gradual lessening of lockdown.  We’ve been allowing ourselves a creeping thrill of joy at the first meal outdoors, the first walk with friends, the first overnight stay away…a tentative step towards normal.

So here’s a quick project to celebrate spring and new beginnings; a flock of origami swallows, who flit and balance with perfect poise and can be made in the time it takes to drink a cup of tea, using whatever paper comes to hand.  I laboriously folded these from a handbook, but this simple video is infinitely better and has the added benefit that you can pause it whenever you need to.

I made my first set with vibrant origami paper; depending on the angle and colour I think they take on the look of parakeets!

I then tried using the recycled pages of Waitrose Food magazine, and with the sombre deep tones they become swallows. The advantage of using self-cut squares is you can choose different paper sizes to make a flock, like my mother and chicks below (with a tiny dried flower stamen glued to her beak).

You could thread these with a piece of cotton and hang them from a branch to make a spring mobile – or they’ll sit jauntily perched on the edge of a computer screen, mirror or picture frame. For these pictures, I inserted a wooden skewer into a bead and then used blu-tack to secure it to the table-top; simple but effective, and a nice way of displaying them on a mantlepiece or shelf.

An aside… when Harry and I were both working and schooling from home after Christmas, he would sometimes leave a carefully folded origami animal as a gift on my desk to find in the morning.  It became an exchange, and I sent this flock of swallows to arrive on his table one sunny morning in March!

p.s. whilst you’ve got your origami paper out, why not try these projects from the archives…

origami paper fish

spheres and plant-cuffs


…and crowns!

Have a great week wherever you are and whatever you’re doing; I’ll be back later this week with a new flurry of projects in clay, stitch and paper – something for all skill levels and appetites 🙂