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Ramen joints and other cheap restaurants in Japan often just leave a container of chopsticks out on the table for customers to grab a pair from. Classier dining establishments, however, set the table with a pair of chopsticks for each guest tucked inside of a paper chopstick sheath, called a hashibukuro in Japanese.

But what do you do once you’ve pulled your chopsticks out of the cover? You could leave the empty sheath lying on the table, or, seeing as how you’re sitting in a Japanese restaurant with a piece of paper, you could use it to make some cool origami art.

Granted, hashibukuro don’t come in the square shape of traditional origami paper. Since their real purpose is to cover your chopsticks, hashibukuro are long and narrow.

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Still, the unorthodox dimensions don’t eliminate all of your artistic options. For starters, the classic crane is possible, and so is a pretty cute little dog.


▼ They can even join forces!


Feel like trying your hand at it? This step-by-step video will walk you through the process for the crane.

▼ Although, if we’re being specific about semantics, the craftsman refers to it as a duck, as its tail feathers are much more voluminous than those of the standard origami crane.

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▼ Make your folds crisp and tight enough, and it’ll also double as a chopstick rest.

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Next up, the doggie, the breed of which is identified in this video as a beagle.

▼ The body is starting to take form here.

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▼ Get all the steps right, and you’ll even end up with tiny little white paws for him.

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Being made of paper, the beagle is extremely obedient at following commands to sit. Unfortunately, it isn’t as functional as the chopstick rest crane/duck, but this origami “open heart” is.

▼ Unfortunately, the heart-shaped upper edge is obscured when you put your chopsticks down on it, but it does still look rather elegant.

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If you’re an advanced hashibukuro practitioner and these all seem too easy for you, this miniature sailboat requires extra nimble fingertips.

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And finally, here’s how to use your chopstick sheath to make an origami bra.

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While it’s the least likely of the bunch to win you any points with your Japanese cultural studies professor, it’s probably just the thing to get a laugh at a drinking party, or to make it through another lonely day at your all-boys high school.

Sources: Gamme, Naver Matome, Nanapi
Top image: RocketNews24, Twitter (edited by rocketNews24)
Insert images: RocketNews24, YouTube (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)