I always need to be fiddling with something when it comes time for me to sit still, so I tend to fold a lot of repetitive origami. One of my favorite quick and mindless pieces is the “lucky star.”
If you’ve seen these and wondered how, they’re really simple to make. You can usually find precut strips at Japanese or Korean stationery stores, but I have also made them out of old magazines, calendars, or any other fun paper. (Just cut to half-inch wide strips, length is flexible, but I’d say somewhere between 6-8 inches.)
First, you need to basically tie (fold) a simple knot near one end…
Loop the end around the back like so…
And pull the end through the loop.
I think the finicky-est part is finagling the knot so that it will lie “tight” when you flatten it. But you want to get the “knot” as clean as possible (with a “tail” of about a half inch), as that will give you the star shape.
Fold the “tail” back over on the star (you can always clip the end off if it’s too long).
Next, fold the very long tail along the edges of the star. It will fold around and around…
…until you arrive at the end.
(If the last bit is longer than the star, but not quite long enough to fold over again, you can clip off the end a little bit.)
Then, tuck the end of the tail into the star by making sure both corners are under the two “pockets”/layers on the star. You should have a flat pentagon.
Lastly, puff up the star by pushing the flat sides inward, almost like you are trying to fold them in the opposite direction. (You can also think of “pinching” the points around the edges, if it helps.)