TL;DR: Doper Origamists, what are your suggestions for finding specific kinds/colors of paper?
I’m on a bit of an origami kick — enough of a kick that I’d like to be able to buy some fairly specific kinds and colors of paper.
(Example of what I mean by specific: heavyweight shiny/metallic ~6” [~15 cm] rose red double-sided paper [red on both sides]. This example is one I actually want: i’d like to make a dozen uniform-looking red roses for my co-worker, who’s transferring to another site. But that’s just one example.)
It’s the darnedest thing, though — I haven’t found a reliable source for paper yet that lets me purchase exactly what I need — or close to it. I’m in the LA/Orange County area of Southern California, and I’d love any suggestions from Dopers on brick-and-mortar or online (but US-based) sources for origami paper.
Here’s what I’ve tried, and why they haven’t worked:
Daiso (Japanese dollar store chain with lots of locations in SoCal) — tried a bunch of locations, and it’s always a crapshoot on what I’ll find. They’re great for finding random papers, but terrible if I have specific needs.
Japanese stationery stores — there are several in the South Bay and around Costa Mesa. They’ll often have cool papers, but, as with Daiso, it’s a crapshoot.
Craft stores (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Art Supply Warehouse) — pitiful selection from the first two, in my experience. ASW is much better, but still not specific enough.
Amazon — listings are unclear/deceptive. If I can’t look at the paper IRL, I’d like to at least see clear photos of the paper and descriptions of its weight. Been burned twice buying from Amazon.
Other online stores — maybe it’s me, but whenever I find a promising lead through an origami YouTuber or blogger who has a link to a paper source — or a google search — that source seems to be Japan/UK/Europe-based. I don’t want to order origami paper from outside the US — the shipping costs are crazy, and part of why I enjoy my new hobby is that it’s pretty cheap. The US-based online retailers I’ve found are about at the Amazon level in terms of specific descriptions and photos.
I found some nice origami paper at Book-a- million one time.
If you call Pearl River they will send you samples. They have wonderful customer service.
I’ve found chiroygami paper to be heavier than other origami paper. It has a texture to it. Good luck.
In my experience, “origami paper” usually specifically refers to paper which is white only on one side, because some models depend on the visual effect from the two sides having different colors (for instance, you could make a black-and-white model of a penguin, using a single sheet of paper). The paper you’re looking for might be available under some other description.
In my origami days, I made my own origami ‘paper’ by assembling sandwiches of tissue paper and aluminum foil with spray adhesive. The tissue lets you choose the color; the foil shows through slightly and gives the tissue a sheen. The foil-tissue sandwich folds crisply, can be molded in 3-D and holds curves, and looks cool. The tricky bit is getting everything stuck together without big wrinkles, but small imperfections add a bit of texture that can be pleasing.
Yeah, I’m looking for a place with a wide selection of colors and (if online) good, accurate pics. Amazon isn’t that. But I think I’m going back to Art Supply Warehouse and looking at larger paper sheets I can cut down to size; their paper craft section was pretty big. I am intrigued by brossa’s suggestion as well. Thanks, all
Have you tried Maido Stationary in Kinokuniya Bookstore? If you are in the Bay Area, you could look at their store in Japantown. The online site isn’t helpful, they seem to list packs of origami paper, but perhaps they sell individual sheets when you are there. Or they may be able to help you find other sources.
There is a Maido in Costa Mesa (I’m in SoCal), but it’s a small one, and the selection wasn’t that much better than Daiso. I will look at some other stationers next time I go up to LA! Good idea. I think there’s a big Kinokuniya there.
There are a multitude of choices, and the photos are usually quite good. But my favorite thing about Aliexpress is that there is always an e-mail address where you can ask specific questions, and even make a deal for just what you need. So if you find a collection that includes a few sheets of what you want, e-mail the seller and discuss it.
Just click on the description and then scroll down to the details.
I don’t know anything about this, but eBay and Etsy both have a bunch of listings. On eBay, you can set your preferences to “US Only” on the left. Etsy, especially, will probably have more detail in their descriptions than you’ve been finding.
ALERT Michaels paper packs and single sheets are on sale. 40% off. In Arkansas, at least. I bought a $24 pack of multi-colored origami paper (200 sheets) for $14.00. I didn’t see one color packs at my store, YMMV.
Update from OP: I found some paper at a Japanese stationery store in Gardena, CA. I’ll focus on these types of stores in the future — it’s nice to be able to touch the paper when thickness and texture are a consideration.
I really appreciate all the advice everyone had. Here’s a not-so-great picture of the roses I did for my co-worker (the inspiration for this post). The “vase” is paper, too — came from Daiso.
I appreciate your advice (and everyone else’s), Beck :). The vase is really simple to make, and if you have two-sided paper in the right colors it’ll look neat. (I’m second-guessing the red and silver combo I used. I did a later version using purple & green paper and the result looked like an eggplant — much cooler.)