Introduction: Easy Origami Bunny (or Kangaroo)

Whether you are looking for an easy way to make fun holiday decorations, or a fun project for the kids, origami is a good option. In this instructable, we will create a very simple origami rabbit that can be made quickly and can easily be converted into several other animals, which we will discuss in detail at the end. These bunnies make great decorations, a fun activity for kids, and are very open to creative interpretation!

If you've come here for the kangaroo, quickly read through the whole instructable. At the end, we discuss the changes needed to create a kangaroo.

Supplies Needed:
Decorations (Optional)
i.e. cotton balls, markers, stickers

Estimated time to completion: 5 minutes plus decoration time.

The above photo pictures what it might look like when you're done.  Again, this is a very flexible design, so this image is the basic bunny.

Step 1: Prepare Your Paper

If you have a square sheet of paper, you can skip to step 2. If not, take your rectangular paper and fold the top-right corner diagonally across the page until what used to be the top of the page is parallel with the left side. Don't worry if you crease this fold: that is part of step 2, so doing it early won't hurt. Using the scissors, cut off the strip of paper below this fold. When you unfold the paper, you will have a perfect square and a head start on step 2!

Step 2: Form the "kite Base"

A "kite base" is a common origami base used for several different origami projects. To make the kite base, fold your square paper in a triangle (if you did step one, skip this fold).  Open the paper back to the square, then fold the two corners that aren't creased by our first fold down until the edge meets the center crease, like folding a paper airplane.

This looks somewhat like a kite, hence the name.  Some terminology to make this easier: there will be a pointier part that is two sheets thick (the tip of what would be the paper airplane), and a less pointy part that is only one sheet thick. We will call the pointier end the head (as it will be at the head of the bunny), and the less-pointy part the tail (as it will be the tail) for the rest of this instructable. We will call the crease that runs down the middle the center crease. Now let's turn this kite into a bunny!

Step 3: Fold the Tail

Turn the kite so that the tail is up. Fold the tail completely down (photo above, bottom left), then fold the tail point back up about 2/3 of the way, so that it hangs off the main triangle (photo above, bottom right). The portion that hangs off will be the bunny's visible tail.

Step 4: Prepare the Ears and Fold the Body

Now fold the head down to the tail crease (photo above, top), then unfold it (photo above, bottom left). Using scissors, cut from the head along your center crease until you get to the horizontal crease you just made (photo above, bottom right). Now fold the whole thing in half along the center crease. It should look similar to a paper airplane at this point, with a bit extra sticking out the back.

Step 5: Fold the Ears

Rotate the paper so that the center fold is away from you and the other edge is flat towards you (photo above, top). Fold up the top-half of the head at a 60 degree angle (photo above, bottom left), using the cut as the anchor point for the top of this fold. Flip the paper over, and do the same thing on the other side. These are your bunny's ears. You have now completed the basic origami bunny!

If you want more bunny-ish ears, you can open the two head folds to form opened, rounded ears.

Step 6: Decorate!

Now that you have a basic bunny, you're free to color it, add eyes, glue cotton balls to the tail, string these up to make decorations--your imagination's the limit!

As noted in the beginning, the kite is a simple base for many different origami projects. Using these same steps, you can also make a kangaroo: just cut from the head down to the horizontal fold in step 4,and  fold the ears up only about 30-45 degrees.  Stand the finished origami up so the bunny is propped up by it's tail and hind legs to form the kangaroo.  You can also try adding a few extra folds to the bunny and kangaroo, and get a host of other animals. We got a whale, turtle, and howling wolf depending on how we decorated it! What will you make?