Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


De Kleine Papierwerkers
'De Kleine Papierwerkers' was written by Elise Van Calcar and published by K H Schadd in Amsterdam in 1863. An ebook of the 2nd Edition, published in 1864, can be accessed at 1864 De kleine papierwerkers - Calvar (2e ed). The illustrations below are taken from this edition. My thanks to Michel Grand for providing this link.

I do not read Dutch and so cannot understand much of the the written content. Usefully, however, the book contains 7 pages of illustrations of crease patterns and folded designs. Most of these are concerned with mathematical folds and decorative variations. There is however a 'Lijst de van Leervormen' or 'List of the Learning Forms' which gives the titles of 38 paper folds, divided into 5 groups.These are pictured in plates III, IV and VII. There is also a folded alphabet.

English equivalents for the Dutch (and occasionally Afrikaans) names in this list are given below. Where these are emboldened this indicates that they are the standard names by which these designs are called throughout this site.



Group 1:

1. De bloem (the Flower)

2. Het chemisetje (possibly short-sleeved shirt). I have not been able to rreconstruct this design.

3. De sokjes (the sock). I have not been able to rreconstruct this design

4. Het schuurbakje (the sandbox). A sandbox was a standard part of Kindergarten equipment. As far as I know this design occurs nowhere else.

5. Het peper-en zoutvat (the Pepperpot)

6. Het reistaschje (the Travel Bag)

Group 2:

(These are all designs that can be developed from the windmill base.)

7. De schuitjes (the Double Boat)

8. De sigarenkoker (the Cigar Case)

9. De bloemvaas (the Vase)

10. Het zeilschip (the Boat with Sail)

11. De sprinkhaan (the grasshopper - the Pajarita)

12. De inktvisch (the Squid)

13. De kop en schotel (the Cup and Saucer)

14. De molen (the Windmill)

15. De tafel (the Table)

Group 3:

16. De theebus (the Tea Caddy)

17. De visschersbroek (the Trousers)

18. Het visschersbuis (the Jacket)

19. Der inktkoker (the Steamship) (literally the well)

20. Het hoekkastje (the Corner Cabinet). From its position in the sequence this design may be developed from a pig base folded from a square that has already been blintzed, although the additional thickness of paper is unnecessary.

21. De bank (the bank - the Sofa)

22. Het swavelbakje (the swivel tray) - which looks like a lidded box?

Group 4:

23. Twee schuitjes (two boats). No picture but presumably the blintzed windmill base double boat.

24: Het messenbakje (the knife tray). No picture, but perhaps the Solid Box from 'Manuel Pratique de Jardins D'Enfants de Friedrich Froebel'.

25. Het ashbakje (the ash tray) fig 23 - which is probably the Open Box - which is similar to the Junk Box except that it does not possess wings ... and which nowadays is often just called the 'masu'.

26. De spiegel (The Mirror / The Picture Frame) fig 24 - made by collapsing the sides of the Junk Box

27. De sloep of gondel, het wiegje (The sloop or gondola, the crib) - The Chinese Junk

Group 5:

28. De teerling (no translation) Plate VII pictures 14-16. This is a set of steps for folding what appears to be the Waterbomb.

29. De luchtballon (the Hot Air Balloon) Steps - plate VII pictures 14 and 17. Finished design - plate III picture 26. This is a variant of the Waterbomb.

30. De blassbalk (the Bellows). Finished design - plate III picture 27.

31. Het peperhuis (the pepper house). Plate IV picture 4. This is what is nowadays known as the kite base. I do not understand the author's designation of this design.

32. De haai (the shark). Plate IV picture 5. This is what is nowadays known as the fish base. The form can be manipulated as a Talking Fish without the addition of any extra creases and it is possible that this design is what the author had in mind here.

33. Het couvert (no translation). Plate IV pictures 7 and 8. I do not understand the author's designation of this design.

34. Het speldentasche (the pin badge - the Puzzle Purse or Menko). Plate VII pictures 1 and 2.

35.De klapper (the double-barrelled Banger). Plate VII pictures 3 to 7.

36. De pijpendop (the pipe cap) - presumably a cap to fit over the bowl of a pipe. Plate VII pictures 8 to 11.

37. Het garenklosje (the yarn spool). Plate VII pictures 12 and 13. An otherwise unknown crease and collapse design from a 2:3 rectangle divided into thirds (though not all the required creases are shown).

38. De beurs of tabakzak (the purse or tobacco bag). Plate VII pictures 21 and 22.


There are also two other designs pictured in plate VII which do not appear in these lists:

Picture 18 - it is not clear to me what design this picture represents.

Pictures 19 and 20 - the Cross


In addition Plate VIII illustrates a 25 letter alphabet made from zigzag folded strips. Q is omitted.