Review: Zen Origami by Maria Sinayskaya

Today I’m going to show you my new favourite origami book.

Maria Sinayskaya’s first book, Zen Origami, is an absolute delight. The book features 20 modular forms. The book comes with a slipcase, and the box contains 400 sheets of beautiful origami paper (all 7.5cm x 7.5cm).

Zen Origami book by Maria Sinayskaya
Zen Origami book by Maria Sinayskaya

I like the whole design of the book. It was sealed so you couldn’t browse it in the shop. When I got home I was impressed by the presentation of the book, and is pleased with the care dedicated for this creative origami book.

Things I like about this book:


The papers are all nicely wrapped in 4 packs (each pack contains 100 sheets, of 10 designs. Most designs feature patterns on one side, and matching colour on the other side.) The designs are all different and beautiful and the colours are all calming, not garish. The colours and patterns gave out the calming effect before I started folding the paper.

Zen Origami book by Maria Sinayskaya 400 sheets paper. Paper size: 7.5cm x 7.5cm. 10 Designs.
400 delightful sheets; 7.5cm x 7.5cm.


I love the two rounded corners of the book. The book is rather compact (comparing with lots of chunky origami books) and will be easy to carry in a handbag. The slipcase offers a great protection. Four packs of papers sit nicely in the box. All in all, the whole product design is top class.

Diagrams and photos

All diagrams are clear. Conventional origami symbols are used. Of all 6 models I have made so far, all of the diagrams and instructions are crystal clear, and are easy to follow. There are large colourful images to show you the outcome. The photos are all stunning – these really encourage people to start folding straightaway. Why not? Because we all want to achieve beauty! One more fact I love about the book is that the description is sufficient. Some origami books are very wordy and confusing, however this book tells you precisely step-by-step what you need to know. The diagrams are self-explanatory, and with additional text, the clarity is superior.

I folded two 12-unit models following the diagrams from the book.
I folded two 12-unit models following the diagrams from the book.

Message on Zen

I love the 2-page introduction. Maria Sinayskaya shares “A meditation on folding”, in which she hops that we treat “each project as a meditative retreat, and remember you’re doing this for you – to find calm and patience in a simple act, to experience the joy of creation, and to have a little bit of fun in your pursuit of Zen!”

Great tips

There are tips about “Folding paper into Thirds”, and “Creating 2:3 (and 3:4) Rectangles from a Square”. There is also a page on “Even Three-Colour Distribution” to help you make your origami more appealing.

Things I’ve made so far:

Square Coaster

Zen Origami book by Maria Sinayskaya. Square Coaster folded by Janet Williams. 4 units.
I need to improve accuracy on this one. My first attempt didn’t work quite well.

Giant Star

8 units. It’s called a Giant Star, as the horizontal length is 15cm.

Two-Faced Flower

6 units. It’s achievable even for a beginner.

I also tried another variation of the Two-Faced flower (the blue floral one).

I prefer this version. The giant star on the front and the delicate centre on the other side are stunning.

The two-faced flower is self-locking and it is a clever design.

The book shows that you could also turn this 6-unit flower into a 3-D flower by using only 5 units.

This is what I have made:

The 5-unit 3D flower is delicate, but I’ve found the assembly trickier than the 6-unit flowers. It took me a while to slot the final unit in perfectly. I would love to improve on this one.

Fasett Sonobe (6 units and 12 units)

6-unit cube:

12-unit Fasett Sonobe

Lorence Sonobe (12 units)

I’m thrilled with this new book. When I have more models made, I’ll share them with you. Should I attempt the 30 unit, 90 unit, and 120 unit models?

Zen Origami book by Maria Sinayskaya and Origami folded by Janet Williams. You can visit <a href="">Go Origami</a> website to find out more of the creator's work.

4th June:

Finally I’ve made a 30-unit Fasett Sonobe today.

It took me a Friday evening and a Saturday morning to achieve it.  The unit pieces are elegant and easy to achieve. The first 5 pyramids are the foundations and are also achievable.

During the assembly, some pieces would fall out or a pyramid would fail to resemble a pyramid (instead it turned into a cube) so I had to re-start.

I wonder if I had acquired the spirit of ‘Zen’  during the assembly – at some point I wondered if I had ‘lost’ my plot completely.

The moral lesson is that if you can’t achieve the model for the first time, just leave it, and come back again the following day. Try not to rush. This was what I did and with a calmer mind in the morning, I finally got it. The Sonobe does look absolutely stunning.

Such a beautiful design by Maria Sinayskaya. Thank you.

Book Title: Zen Origami
Creator: Maria Sinayskaya, from Go Origami
Diagrams: Provided. Clear and easy-to-follow diagram.
Paper size: 7.5cm x 7.5cm
Paper details: 10 designs (patterned + coloured side) (a total of 400 sheets of paper)
Satisfaction rate: 5/5

Published by

Janet Williams 張玉雲

I am Janet Williams, an academic living in the southeast of England. I blog about culture, history, languages and my community. I created Chandler's Ford Today. During my spare time, I make Origami. Thank you for stopping by.

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