Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers
'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne, was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1896. The Preface states that, 'while not a mere translation', the book is based on 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' by E Barth and W Niederley, which was published in Bielefeld and Leipzig in 1880. The Foreword goes on to say that: 'I have omitted much from the German work that seemed unsuitable, or too difficult, for the boys and goirls for whom I have prepared it' and 'I have also added several new designs, some of which have been sent to me by young friends who had read articles by me on a similar subject in "Little Folks". I have not been able to trace the articles referred to.

A full copy of the work can be accessed at ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00085050/00001/5

Those designs which appear in both 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' and 'Des Kindes Erste Beschaftigungsbuch' are:

How to cut a square from a rectangle

How to find the centre of a square

The Triple Blintz Cross

The Short Jacket (made by folding the Triple Blintz Cross in half)

The (long) Jacket and Trousers (the Suit of Clothes)

The Mitre (which is then used as a head for a doll - or the Human Figure)

The Chair

The Table

The Salt-Cellar

The Boat with Sail.

The (uncut) Windmill.

The Double Boat.

The Box (developed from the Double Boat) (via the Boat with Fish Box and the Portfolio - neither of which are treated as designs in their own right).

The Looking Glass (the Mirror)

The Chinese Junk

The Captain's hat (The Newspaper Hat)

The Paper Boat

The Pencil Case

The Paper Dart

The Bellows

The Paper Sweet Box (The Menko)

The Paper Cracker (Single Barrelled Paper Banger)

The Double Paper Cracker (Double Barrelled Paper Banger)

The Chickenwire Pattern Letterfold

Those designs which only appear in the present work are:

The Hanging Pocket (developed from the Newspaper Hat)

The Magic Pocket (a very basic magic trick)

The Stamp Case

The Love Knot Letterfold

The Cut Windmill

The Flapping Bird

A flat version of the Blow-Up Frog.

Fold and Cut Candle Decoration (which looks like a tree)

Fold and Cut Bookmark and Cross

Fold and Cut Net (Birdcage)

Fold and Cut Paper Chain (Trellis)

How to Climb Through A Card

The Catherine of Cleves Box

The Woven Cross (from folded strips)

The Froebel Star