Michelle Schusterman experiments with toilegami, five star style.

Toilet paper origami (or toilegami, for those of you who don’t shudder at yet another portmanteau invading the English language), is a skill often displayed at fine hotels as yet another sign of luxury, in addition to handcrafted soaps and Oreo-topped pillows.

I noticed the Origami Resource Center had a page devoted to the art, so naturally I crouched down next to the sink with my camera, propped my laptop on the toilet, and tried to make some TP art.

Arrogantly, I began with the rather advanced Pleated Tuck – the one that looks like a little basket with a fan poking out. Start by tearing off a single sheet and fold it accordion-style. Easy enough. Next, the basket.

Remember, luxury hotels have the good, quadruple-ply extra-soft stuff. I blame the issues I had on my recycled, earth-friendly choice in bathroom tissue.

I’m not quite sure what I missed here. I folded the rough edge to make a border, then folded the two corners in and under to form a basket shape…ish. (The sheets were coming apart. You get what you pay for.) The next step said to tuck the pleats into the basket – but there is no real basket, and the base of the pleated fan is rather thick. The result might have knocked a star off my apartment’s rating.

I swallowed my pride and acknowledged that I’d tried something too advanced. How about the Pleated Fold? It’s a step down, but still nice. Not the Ritz, but a really good Holiday Inn. Start by pleating a couple of sheets (still attached).

Press them together tightly, then fold them in towards one another.

Here’s where I got confused. The instructions say: “Hold the two layers closest to one another and fold the corner to form a small triangle. Fold this corner once more to lock the two halves together.” I folded those two flaps every way imaginable, but nothing “locked” them together. Again, I blame my eco-conscious choice in tissue.

Skipping that and thinking I’d have a nice pleated bow instead of a fan, I moved on and fanned the two sides out.

The final step says to “arrange and fluff the TP until you have an inverted fan-like structure.” With cheap toilet paper, fluffing (and usually wiping) means tearing, so I fluffed nothing. Also, I couldn’t get the top to smooth down. I was left with what looked like a rather sad white cotton bowtie.

And this is beginners stuff – experts can have a rose, butterfly or even a boat to greet you at the loo. Have you experimented with the art of toilet paper origami? Share your thoughts – and pics, but before shots only, please – in the comments below.