This is our first ebook of origami, from the makers of the Origami
This set of animal folding instructions is our free gift to our website
members. Thank you for being a part of our origami community!
After making origami with this book, visit our website and post some
pictures in the gallery, we would love to see them! To give us
feedback on this ebook, or to suggest other ebooks, contact us.
This origami fish is relatively easy to make. It builds into an ocean-
dwelling angel fish.
Start with a single piece of brightly colored origami paper.
First make a bird base, shown below. Review our instructions for the
bird base if needed.
Fold the top points of the bird base down, to make a kite shape, as
shown in the next two photos.
Now fold one of the lower points of the kite upwards, to meet the top
point. Fold that point across to the left corner of the kite.
Now fold that corner across to the right, as shown in the sequence of
the next three pictures. This creates one half of the fish tail.
Fold the fish tail down. The flip the origami piece over, and repeat the
last six photo-steps to make another fish tail half.
Now fold the Left and Right corners of the kite onto the centerline as
shown. Repeat on the other side.
We're almost there. Hold each bottom point of the kite, one in each
hand, and pull gently to unfold the fish.
You can apply a small amount of glue or tape to hold the tail together.
Also optional is decoration with pens, pencils, markers or crayons.
Below we see our origami fish living "under the sea".
The hopping frog is not quite as realistic-looking as the other origami
frog shown in this book. However, it is simple to make and can hop
considerably further, so it's a fun action toy.
Start with a square piece of paper. As always, green makes the best
frogs (Kermit would agree). With the colored side face down, make
valley folds along the North-South and East-West lines as shown in the
Now fold each of the four corners into the center point, to make
another square. Next fold two of the squares edges onto the
Now fold the short corner of the kite up. Then fold the lower corners
of the triangle onto the centerline:
Next fold the lower edge up...then fold it back down. Then fold the
top corner down as shown.
And that's all! Simple, huh? Turn the frog over and it's ready to go.
You can decorate it with pens or markers if you like.
To make the frog hop, press down near the back end the back and let
your finger slide off.
The origami snake is very simple to make. With some imagination, it
can be used as a base for spiders, dragons, Loch Ness monsters, etc.
Start with a square of origami paper. Fold it in two, down the center,
then tear along the crease.
You now have a rectangle. Start at one corner of the rectangle, and
begin rolling the paper into a tube. You will roll diagonally as shown in
the photo. Try to roll as tightly as possible.
Near the end of the roll, you will need to roll the other corner of the
paper in towards the main roll. Make that roll tight also. Then
continue with the original roll, in the original direction. The point of
doing this is that the end of the roll will now stay put, without needing
tape or glue.
Tighten the roll by holding one end in each hand, and twisting
(gently!) in opposite directions.
Now take your origami tube, and gently shape it into a series of
curves. The resulting origami snake can sit up on flat surface and rear
This origami tiger is folded from two pieces of origami paper. Orange
makes a good base color (unless of course, you're doing a white
Start by making the head of the origami cow. Right before you fold
the ears forward, stop. Looking at the pictures below, we are actually
going to fold the ears across each other. At the same time, we will
flatten (broaden) the tiger's face, with our thumb and fingers (third
You may prefer a small piece of tape between the ears to hold them in
place. Use a key or similar object to open the tiger's ears slightly.
Now crease and tear off about half of the lower part of the tiger's
neck. Unfold the torn part and lay it flat; we'll use it to make the
Now start rolling the paper diagonally, from one corner. Go slowly and
keep the roll as tight as possible. When you get near the end of the
roll, start a roll from the opposite corner, as shown below. Now
complete the roll in the original direction. (The roll on the end piece
will allow it to overlap the main paper tube, without needing tape or
glue to prevent unrolling.) You can tighten the final tube a bit by
holding the ends and turning your hand in opposite directions.
The paper tube will be fairly flexible. Bend it into a gentle "S" shaped
curve to form the tiger's tail.
Now all that's left is to make the tiger's body. Again we recycle an
origami design, using the body of the origami cow. Place the tiger's
head and tail into the body (we used tape). Now decorate with pens
and markers if you like.
Below is Tony the Tie-Dye Tiger. Made with sheets of multicolored
origami paper (white, red, yellow on the same sheet).
Origami, it's Greeaaat!TM
The origami frog looks neat and can also be made to hop.
Start with a square piece of paper (green makes convincing frogs).
Now make a square base.
Next insert your finger in one of the pockets in the square base. Move
the pocket around to the front, then flatten and crease it. This classic
origami move is known as the squash fold.
Photo below shows one of the squash folds completed. Now perform
the squash fold three more times...
...until the piece has the diamond shape shown below. Next fold and
unfold the corners as shown, to make crease marks.
Next comes another classic origami move, the petal fold.
The next photo shows the completed petal fold. Now perform the
petal fold three more times (on the other three faces of the diamond),
to create the frog base.
Fold the frog base down the centerline as shown. Then fold the lower
edges of one layer into the centerline.
Now fold edge A to edge B as shown by the arrow. The perform the
previous three steps again, 3 more times, until the piece looks like
Now it's time to turn the tadpole into a frog!
I like to pre-crease the leg, then use reverse folds to create the two
front legs (reverse folds are explained in the flapping bird instructions
Now use reverse folds to stretch the back legs. Apply reverse folds
again, twice each on the front and back pairs of legs, as shown in the
Now you'll need to blow where shown, to inflate the frog's body.
You can make the frog hop for short distances by pressing on the rear
of the body, then sliding your finger off onto the table:
The origami flapping bird is another neat and fun action piece. It looks
a bit like the origami crane, and they both start with the bird base.
However, they are different (the crane will not flap). The crane is of
ancient Japanese origin, but the origin of the flapping bird is
Start with the bird base, below left. Crease both lower "legs" of the
bird base, in preparation for reverse folds.
The next two photos show what the reverse fold looks like after
completion. We show the sequence in detail for the left "leg" of the
Note how the folded leg is opened up, and the paper brought inwards
Here is the piece with both reverse folds completed, below left. Now
do a reverse fold to make the head of the bird. Next start folding the
wings downwards, one wing then the other.
The bird is now complete. Hold the tail with one hand, and the spot
below the front of the wings with the other hand. Move your hands
back and forth rapidly (but gently, it's only paper!), this will cause the
wings to flap.
Enjoy your flapping bird!
The origami elephant from a dollar bill is sure to amuse and delight
your friends, dining partners and waitpersons. It should be considered
somewhat advanced origami. If you have trouble making an origami
crane, this one might be a bit much.
We'll make frequent use of the terms valley fold and mountain fold. If
you do not know what these are, then you are in way over your head
:) Actually, you can learn about these folds right here.
Start with a U.S. one dollar bill. Other currencies or denominations
would work, but this one has a special "feature" that will show up
later. Place the bill in front of you, face up but upside down (again,
you'll see why later). Now make valley folds at the halfway points of
the bill, as well as the top corners.
Now valley fold the top corners, twice as shown in the next two
Then fold the top pointed corner down, at the white line shown. With
us so far? Good! Now fold the right edge of the bill back behind, until
the bill is doubled as shown. Crease the fold.
Next unfold the bill. The fold the right edge back again, until it lines
up with the crease you made in the previous step. Make another
Now fold along crease A...then B and C, as shown in the two photos
The following photo shows what the backside should look like. Now
turn the folded bill back over. You will now make a valley fold
approximately where the white line is in the photo below.
This will give the result below. This stage is shown from the backside
in the next photo.
For clarity, we're showing this stage from the side also. The idea is to
get the distance "x" to be equal to the distance "y".
Now fold the 4 corners of the center channel as shown below. Next,
squash fold the top and bottom as shown. It can be a little tricky to
get these small pieces folded and creased, you may need help from a
rounded tool as shown. A car key might help.
Now unfold the top pointy part.
Make valley folds on the outside of the center channel. Also make a
mountain fold just in front of the channel, so that this piece overlaps
the channel. Now flip the piece over. Whew! This would be as good a
time as any to break for drinks :)
Ready again? OK, make another valley fold at the front edge of the
front legs. And a mountain fold a short distance in front of that. The
idea is to overlap the front legs by about half their width.
These next two photos show those folds:
Now fold the whole thing in half down the centerline as shown, using a
mountain fold. Next you will make the ears. Fold the point of the trunk
back as shown to make the ear crease line (ignore the trunk crease for
now). Note the ear is angled forward slightly. Unfold the trunk then
use the crease line to make a reverse fold inside the body of the
elephant. If you're drawing a blank on reverse fold, check out our
instructions for the origami flapping bird.
Now unfold the trunk. Next push the trunk into the body, making two
valley folds (one on either side) along the trunk crease shown below.
The trunk crease lines will end up in contact with the front edge of the
front legs. It should look something like the photo below.
Next, crease then reverse fold the trunk so that it points down.
Do a couple more reverse folds to get the trunk pointing up, and the
trunk tip pointing slightly back.
Now turn the elephant over and open the legs a bit. Valley fold out a
small tail. Now your elephant is ready to stand on his own four legs!
Note that the floating eye in the pyramid from the backside of the
dollar bill lines up quite nicely to be the eye of the elephant. Neat!
If you're performing this little stunt at a bar, we hear that these little
fellas like peanuts.
The origami dog is a simple animal that you can make from folded
paper. It looks a lot like a dog with floppy ears.
Start with a square piece of paper. If it is colored paper, put the
colored side face down on the table as shown below. Then fold along
the diagonal to give a triangle.
Now fold the corners together and unfold, to give a crease as shown.
Then fold the dog ears down, using the crease line as a guide.
Next fold the top and bottom of the head, away from you. The dog is
done! If you like, you can draw eyes, a nose and a mouth.
There is a legend concerning the origami crane. This states that if
someone makes one thousand cranes, their wish will be granted. So
what are you waiting for? Follow our instructions below to get started
on your first crane!
Start with the bird base, below left. Fold the outside corners to the
middle, as shown.
Flip the piece over and repeat the fold. Now crease each lower "leg" of
the piece as shown, in preparation for reverse folds.
Using the reverse fold, make the neck and tail of the crane. Use a
reverse fold to make the head of the crane. Now fold the wings down,
one at a time.
Almost there. Pull the wings gently apart to open up the crane, and
push down on the back of the bird to flatten it a bit. Now you're ready
for the next nine-hundred and ninety-nine cranes!
The origami cow is so life-like you can practically hear the "moos".
We'll try to not milk this one for laughs.
Start with a square piece of paper. Then make a water balloon base.
Next fold the tip of the balloon base down the centerline. The tip
should cover about half of the folded length.
Now unfold the balloon base and squash fold it as shown.
You will end up with the pattern in the next photo. Now simply fold
this in half to make the cow's body.
To make the cow's head, use another square of paper. Fold it in half
with the colored side (if any) on the outside.
Next fold each half upwards, as shown in the next two photos:
Now crease the end of the folded rectangle, as shown below. The next
three photos show how the head is folded. Each outside layer of the
folded rectangle is squash-folded backwards.
Now reverse fold the nose of the cow (reverse folds are explained in
the flapping bird instructions here). Then fold the cow's ears forward.
Next, crease the neck of the cow at right angles to the head. Then do
a reverse fold, as shown in these two photos:
To make the neck fit into the body, reverse fold the bottom of the neck
as shown below. It can be tricky to get the right amount of fold: too
little and it won't fit into the body, too much and the head will be front
heavy and fall forward. You may want to use a small piece of tape or
glue to keep the head in place.
Now your cow is done. It can be decorated with pens, markers or
Origami. It's the cheese!TM
This origami cat is one of the simplest animals that you can make out
of folded paper. It is easy to customize the final look of the cat, to
make it your very own.
Start with a square piece of paper. Fold and crease it along the
diagonal like so:
The fold the left corner on top of the right, and crease the fold:
Now unfold the triangle so it lays flat again. Then fold each corner
upwards to make the ears:
Now fold the top corner over towards you:
Now flip the cat over. Optional: draw eyes, a nose and whiskers on
the front. What could be simpler!
You can also combine this with a hat, to make an origami cat in the
The origami butterfly is easy to make, and is also a fun action toy.
You can decorate it with colored pencils or crayons.
Start with a square piece of paper. If it is colored paper, put the
colored side face down on the table as shown below. Then fold along
the diagonal to give a triangle.
Next fold the triangle in half to make a smaller triangle. Then fold one
corner upwards to make the first butterfly wing.
Then fold the second wing upwards. Now open the butterfly out as
shown, and it's done!
But wait, there's more! By gently pressing up and down on the body
of the butterfly, as shown below, the wings will flap up and down.
You can also decorate your butterfly to look like a real one or a picture
that you've seen.
The origami bird base can be used as a starting point for different
types of birds, such as the crane and the flapping bird.
Start with a square base (below left). Fold the corners inwards as
shown in the next two photos, then unfold. This is to create crease
Now begin the petal fold. Lift the bottom corner upwards, and fold
along the crease lines as shown.
Your bird base is now half-done. Flip the piece over, then fold in the
three corners on the backside, to make crease marks. Now lift the
bottom corner and do another petal fold.
Now your bird base is complete!
The origami square base is a starting point for many neat origami
pieces, such as birds and frogs. It is simple to learn and to make.
Start with a square piece of paper. Fold it on the diagonals, as well as
on the North-South and East-West lines, as shown below. Note that
the type of fold is important. A mountain fold means folding the
halves away from you, so that the fold sticks up from the table, like a
mountain. A valley fold means folding the halves away towards you,
so that the fold is lower than the halves, like a valley.
Place the colored side of the paper upwards, then fold the diagonals as
valley folds, and the N-S and E-W folds as mountain folds, below left.
Now it will be very easy to simply collapse the piece of paper along the
It will collapse right into a square folded piece of paper. This is your
Water Balloon Base
The origami water balloon (also called water bomb) is an easy to
make, working toy. Start with a square of paper. Then make
mountain and valley folds as if you were making a square base. The
difference is that the mountain and valley folds are reversed when
compared to the square base.
Now start to collapse the pre-folded piece of paper.
You will end up with the folded triangle shown below. This piece
occurs so often in origami that it has its own name, the balloon base
(or water bomb base).
Now fold each of the four corners upwards as shown in the next three
Now fold the four horizontal corners into the center as shown:
Use your finger to expand the little pocket as shown below. You are
going to tuck the flap into the pocket. However, the flap must first be
folded in two to make it small enough for the pocket.
This sequence shows the flap folded, then tucked in.
Now fold and tuck in the other three flaps.
Finally expand the balloon as shown below. First unfold the balloon
partially, then blow gently into the hole at one end.
At our school, we actually filled these with water for some recess hi-