Easy DIY Origami Japanese Bookmark Dolls- Shiori Ningyo

Shiori ningyo, or Japanese bookmark dolls, will sweep you away with their simple design and  breathtaking, patterned origami paper kimonos. Often given to young children by older generations, these whimsical creations have been a beloved paper crafts for hundreds of years. 

Shiori ningyo are not only beautiful. They also embody the importance of make-believe and pretend play. Their simplicity and expressionless faces make it easy for children to impose their own emotions on the dolls and act out scenarios or situations from their daily lives.

Offering children projects they can make on their own and then engage with for extended play deepens a their connection with their art and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Children can use shiori ningyo as bookmarks or reading companions, as toys, or even give them away as gifts. (Mark your calendar for Grandparents Day  on September 10th, and give a sweet shiori ningyo to a grandparent or grandparent figure in your life.) 

KidArtLit's August packages include all the supplies you need to make two shiori ningyo as the Ready-Set-Go activity, plus—of course— a beautiful companion book and a detailed, mulit-step, open-ended art experience created just for your family. 

Ningyo Bookmark Doll

What you will need:

1 Pair of Scissors

2  Pieces of Kimono Origami Paper

1 Glue Stick

1 Jumbo Popsicle Stick

1 Piece of Thick Black Yarn


To make:

diy origami japanese bookmark doll

1. Glue the popsicle stick onto the center of the origami paper.

diy origami japanese bookmark doll
diy origami japanese bookmark doll

2. Fold one side of the origami paper toward the center of the stick to create a triangle. Do the same on the opposite side.

diy origami japanese bookmark doll

3. Fold the sides of the paper inward toward the center of the popsicle stick. Glue in place if needed. This will create the kimono.

diy origami japanese bookmark doll

4. Cut a 1/2" piece of paper from the second origami paper to use as an obi, a sash or belt.

diy origami japanese bookmark doll

5. Glue one end of the belt onto the back of the bookmark doll. Wrap the paper around the center of the doll and glue the opposite end. Cut off any excess. 

diy origami japanese bookmark doll
diy origami japanese bookmark doll

6. Add glue to the top of the popsicle stick. Place the black yarn on top of the glue and press firmly to create a head of hair. Fluff the yarn or smooth it to get the desired look. You may also wish to trim the yarn to get the right length. 

 Use your bookmark dolls a reading companion, for pretend play, or as a gift!