When looking for the best origami books for beginners one has to look at a lot of things; ease of projects, type of projects, if the paper is included (a kit), and the number of projects. I have found that if one is not interested in the subject of the art, one will not pursue it. The same holds true for the difficulty; too hard and the student will give up before learning to enjoy it.
What follows is not necessarily the best books on the subject for everyone, but ones I think are the best origami books for getting the typical person started in the fascinating hobby and art of origami.
My first choice as one of the best origami books is Easy Origami by John Montroll. There is a lot to like about this book, starting with his selection of projects. One that I really love is the pigeon, or I just call a generic bird. This project, in particular, is how he approaches the entire book, simple, easy, straight forward.
I make the bird all the time using regular copy paper. It is easy enough to do and requires no complex folds so pretty much any paper works just fine. Sure, you could have fancy died origami paper, but we are just starting out so simple is best. That reflects in all the project selections John made and one of the reasons I think this is one of the best origami books out there.
The dog, his first project, has five easy steps. This kind of easing into it is critical for newcomers and this book takes it nice and slow.
Probably my favorite thing about this book is the variety of projects, from a house to a bird, from a piano to a tulip, this book has something for pretty much anyone which makes it one of the best origami books around.
Another really nice thing about this book is it comes in so many different formats including for Kindle, library binding, paperback, and my personal favorite, spiral bound. While the spiral-bound version is a little expensive for a 48-page book, it sure makes it easy to follow along as the book lays perfectly flat.
This is in my opinion at the top of the best origami books list for a reason, it is the best.
Next on my list of best origami books is Origami: A Step-by-Step Introduction to the Art of Paper Folding by Belinda Webster. This is another excellent book on origami and is primarily aimed at kids although perfectly fine for adults as well.
This book includes 37 projects in 96 pages and uses very nice photographs or really great illustrations to show you how to make your folds. It even includes a nice section upfront describing the folds you will use to make the projects.
Bright colors and some flourishes to the finished pieces make sure you, or your children, are entertained as you work through each one. This is one of the best origami books for keeping someone’s attention, particularly a child.
Available in a library binding, paperback, and I believe in Kindle as well allows you to pick the format that works best for you.
In comparison to Easy Origami above, this book is less straight to the point, and more about making the whole thing fun and exciting. This can be clearly seen as both books contain the same penguin project so you can compare how each author approaches teaching the same subject. While aimed more at kids, it is approachable by all ages and definitely one of the best origami books for beginners out there.
I go around and around with The Complete Book of Origami by Robert Lang because I love the book, but it is not as easy as the two above for beginners so I hesitate to put it on the list of best origami books. The style of presentation and diagrams are just not as easy to grasp for someone new to the art form, but once you get the hang of it, hold on.
I am really fond of the projects he included such as the kangaroo. It really isn’t difficult to make although it take more time and effort than say the bird in Easy Origami, however, when you are done it really is one you just sit back and admire.
All 37 projects in this book are excellent with none too difficult for the beginner, but the selection is wildly different than most other books making this an amazing companion or second book. Every one of them will make you proud when you complete them. Make no mistake, the projects are what set this book apart and why it is here.
This is absolutely one of the best origami books I would recommend to an adult, probably not so much for a child. In fact, if you were just starting out I might recommend you start with Easy Origami and then move to this book.
This last one is the most advanced in the list of best origami books for beginners, but I still feel it really is a beginner’s book. Teach Yourself Origami by John Montroll is the second book by John, his Easy Origami is my top recommendation on this list.
This book is either the next book you should look into after Easy Origami, or could be the first book you dive into if you think starting with the five-step dog in Easy Origami is a little too simplistic for you. This book is aimed at a higher level of a beginner in my opinion but is perfectly suitable for someone just starting out if they are someone who would be good at folding crafts and put off by projects that were just too simple.
For me personally, I would start with Easy Origami and then move on to this book, but I am not that great at these types of crafts.
The book itself is, like his other work, a fantastic collection of shapes, animals, and objects that will keep you entertained and folding for hours. I particularly like the cup and the car and think these are excellent projects to get someone interested in the art.
Just like his other book, the instructions are clear and easy to follow making sure you can complete all of the included projects.
In my opinion, if you are mildly or casually interested in origami then start with Easy Origami and then move to either Teach Yourself Origami, or The Complete Book of Origami. If you are serious about learning and just want to dive in feet first, start with The Complete Book of Origami. If you are buying for someone younger consider Origami: A Step-By-Step Introduction to the Art of Paper Folding. They are all some of the best origami books available.