No joke. On April 1st I’ll be on Patreon

What is Patreon? It’s a website where I can offer the video classes and blog tutorials people have been asking me to create for, well, years!

Just like back in the days of the Renaissance, the idea was to develop a way for “Patrons” to support artists not by donating money to them, but by paying them to create things that their patrons wanted.


Fast forward to modern times. The platform is used by artists and creators (fine artists, writers, actors, musicians, etc). Basically, it’s like paying for an online class/education/entertainment but you receive it and so much more! Because instead of like a real world class where you only receive what is taught that day, you receive the class you came for and every other class I have created on Patreon, all for the same fee. If you pledge a monthly amount then you’ll always have access to all of the content for as long as you’re subscribed.

The fees are in tiers so the higher your pledge amount the more content you’ll have access to learn from for a minimum of one month if you pledge on the first of a month.

Below are the answers to questions you may have directly from my Patreon page currently under construction.

Why am I joining Patreon?
I truly enjoy sharing information. Having been self-employed in creative fields since 1997 people have (for years) asked me to create videos that clearly illustrate my creative processes. Almost as often, I’m asked to share how I became an entrepreneur and the ways I approach running my own small businesses. When I learned about Patreon I realized this is a place where I can share information on both topics. Because of the time involved in producing videos I needed a solution that would allow me to do so in a mutually beneficial way. On Patreon I can create requested content (like online classes and tutorials) for my patrons and at the same time generate a revenue stream to cover the production time/costs. I hope you’ll think that’s a win-win too.


What am I offering my patrons?
Inspiration will be included in all endeavors because that’s just how I see life: A place to learn lessons and to embrace possibilities. Each month I will post multiple behind the scenes photos and at least two blog posts (one focusing on my art the other on entrepreneurship), and one video tutorial. I hope to have more than one video per month but since creating videos is new to me, I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver. As I become more adept at video production I’m certain I can increase the number of videos per month in the near future. Higher tiers also have rewards of Tinygami care packages shipped at the end of your subscription year.

How can you become a patron?
Just choose a pledge amount from the sidebar and click on “become a patron.” It’s a monthly subscription based fee billed on the first day of each month. Note: It is not pro-rated so if you want maximum benefits sign up on the first of a month. You’ll receive a monthly notification from Patreon as a thank you and reminder that the pledge has been charged to your account. You receive access to all content previously created as well as new content each ongoing month you are subscribed. Also, you can cancel at anytime with your request taking effect at the end of the most current month for which you’ve already received content for.

So that’s it. Just a little update, a sneak peek at what April will bring. I will be adding a Patreon link on April 1st to my website. If you have a request for a particular online class or tutorial please message me via my website or leave a comment in this post. I’ll let you know if it’s something I can do and add it to my list of future projects to create.


How to open an origami crane


If you’ve ever received a Tinygami crane that was folded flat you may wonder how to spread its wings without damaging it.

The picture above on the left shows how even when unopened the crane will usually stand on its own. But the picture on the right shows how you are able to appreciate the delicacy of this model when its wings are spread open. The problem is once you spread the wings apart the crane (often) will no longer stand up and tips to one side or the other.


The trick is found on the base/underside of the model. When folded flat the base of the wings are parallel to each other which won’t always give enough stability for a crane to be able to stand on its own.

Three things must happen to create the same stable base once the wings are opened:


1. The wings must be pulled both down and outward. I do this by placing my thumbs on the topside of each wing right up against the body to add some support as I gently pull the wings down and out. Pull too hard and you can tear the wings where they attach to the body, so slowly and carefully is the best way to do this.


2. Once the wings are down the body should have inflated with air to create a pillow effect.


3. Whether the wings are closed or open the base needs to spread open (a little or a lot) to create the four contact points that stabilize the crane. I create them by gently pinching the base of each wing between my thumbs and index fingers at the same time to create this pronounced X shape.


The wings will look like the top right figure above just after pinching the base because doing so pinches the wing to its tip. To flatten out the wing I simply smooth the crease out, again pinching with the same two fingers but this time above and below the wing to flatten it. But be careful not to lose the X shape at the base.

Some papers are easy to re-flatten the crane again. The now inflated body will simply fold back down along its original creases. But others aren’t so pliable and the body will crush instead of re-fold so be careful if you decide to flatten the crane again once you’ve opened it.

I hope this tutorial is helpful to you. If you have any questions or need clarification feel free to leave a comment or contact me privately by CLICKING HERE.

DIY Origami Paper Cup Tutorial

When I was asked to teach an origami class to preschoolers I instantly recalled the paper cup as being one of the first things I learned to make as a child. It’s both easy to make and functional. You can put things inside of it!


It’s what I call a forgiving fold meaning everything doesn’t have to be absolutely precise to create a successful cup. Made from a small piece of paper (we used 6″ sheets of origami paper) the cup becomes a container. Made from a large piece (like a newspaper) it can be a hat! One of the things I love most about origami is that you can use any kind of paper, not just origami paper. Some to try would include:

  1. Note paper
  2. Gift wrapping paper
  3. Newspaper
  4. Magazine pages
  5. Scrapbooking paper
  6. Wax paper
  7. Kitchen baking parchment
  8. Tissue paper
  9. Tracing paper
  10. Gum and candy wrappers

1. Begin with a square piece of paper. Fold in half from corner to corner to create a large triangle.

2. Now fold the right side of the triangle along the dotted line the goal being to keep the top edge of the section parallel to the bottom. Set crease. See below.

origami-cup-tutorial-33. Now do the same with the left section folding it across and over the right section you just folded. Set crease.

origami-cup-tutorial-44. This next step you can fold both of the upper flaps at once or do them individually as you fold and tuck them into the cup. Either way you fold them against the top of the cup along the dashed line. I prefer to do that individually which is how they are pictured in the tutorial.

origami-cup-tutorial-55. This is a guideline fold to make it easier to tuck the flap into the cup so once you fold the first flap down, immediately unfold it back to its original position. (I used a more decorative origami paper with one printed side and a solid color side instead of the more typical colored on one side and plain white on the other.)

origami-cup-tutorial-66. It should look like this.

origami-cup-tutorial-77. Now you tuck the flap into the front pocket of the cup. This would be the left front section.

origami-cup-tutorial-88. Now fold the remaining flap forward and up again like the last one if you didn’t do them both at the same time and tuck it into the large opening to form the cup.

origami-cup-tutorial-99. That’s it! You’re done! Congratulations and thank you for visiting the Tinygami blog 🙂


DIY Origami Swan Tutorial

Just the other day I did something fun and new. I taught tiny humans how to fold paper and make origami models. There were two classes consisting of 10 preschoolers each. I hadn’t ever taught origami to anyone so young before so I wasn’t sure how things would go. I did a lot of research to look for simple, beginner level, origami model instructions that 4 and 5 year olds would be able to master in 15 minutes. LOL. I wanted two so that if they breezed through the first one we could try a second.


All I can say is they were ADORABLE! I don’t usually spend time around children this young, especially so many at one time, so it was a lot of fun. First of all, their little voices are so cute. They were happy, curious, and very creative. When I asked if anyone had any questions after showing them my work no one said anything. All of a sudden one little girl walked up to me and hugged me *melt*. SO SWEET!

I laid out 6″ squares of origami paper for them and invited them to each choose two they liked. Fortunately there were plenty of grown ups on the field trip with the class so they were my impromptu assistants.

The kids really loved making the swan. I made this photo tutorial so that if they wanted to continue they would have a reference guide to fall back on.

You can try to if you want to just for fun. You can use any size and really, any kind of paper keeping in mind that thicker papers are harder to fold.

origami-swan-instructions-31. Begin with a square piece of paper. Here I’m using a 3″ square of origami paper.
2. Face front (printed) side of paper towards tabletop and fold in half at center to create a guideline fold.
3. You’ll end up with a large triangle shape. Then unfold.

origami-swan-instructions-44. You’ll use the center crease as a guideline and fold the right outer edge towards the center guideline.

origami-swan-instructions-55. Now fold the let outer edge towards the center as well.

origami-swan-instructions-66. Your model should look like this.

origami-swan-instructions-77. Turn over your model and repeat the same two folds to narrow the shape. Pictured above fold the right outer edge towards the center line.

origami-swan-instructions-88. Now fold the left outer edge towards the center.

origami-swan-instructions-99. Your model should look like this. Note the dashed line at the center of the model. Fold the model in half taking the point on the bottom and folding up to the point at the top.

origami-swan-instructions-1010. After the model is folded in half it’s time to fold the head. I like to visualize an imaginary line from the edge of the top corner of the white triangle (the backside of the paper) and fold the paper downward.

origami-swan-instructions-1111. This is what your model should look like. Layered upon itself accordion style is the body, then neck, then head.

origami-swan-instructions-1212. Now lift up the model and holding it accordioned  together you’ll fold the model in half following the arrows so the left edge and right edge meet together creating the base of the swan.

origami-swan-instructions-1313. Hold the base with your fingers and use your other hand to gently pull the neck upright away from the body.

Folding Tip: Do not set the neck at a 90º angle from the base, it will be top heavy and have a tendency to tip over. If you fold the neck just before it reaches 90º(pictured with the dotted line at the back of the neck above) or even sooner the weight of the head and neck will rest over the body and will be more stable. Aim for 11 O’Clock or just a bit more instead of all the way to 12 O’Clock. 

origami-swan-instructions-1414. Once the neck is pulled upright be sure to pinch along the base to set the fold in place.

15. Then use the same process holding the neck with one hand and using your other hand to lift the head away from the neck.

origami-swan-instructions-1516. Then pinch the top of the head to hold the fold in place.


17. Gently push the body apart to create the base the swan sits upon and set on tabletop.

18. Woo hoo! You just made an origami swan!