Introduction: How to Make an Origami Buttonhole Flower

The buttonhole flower is one of the lesser known origami flowers. If you have successfully done origami before, this could be a fun, new challenge. If you have never done origami before, do not be discouraged! Take your time, read carefully, and look at the pictures provided for guidance.

Materials needed:

  • Origami paper
  • Note: If you do not have origami paper, you may use any other square piece of paper, preferably about the size of your hand. A suitable substitute can be made using regular printing paper as seen in the optional first step.

Step 1: (Optional) Make a Square Piece of Paper.

Align one of the shorter edges of the paper with the longer edge. Fold the diagonal that forms. Trim off the excess strip of paper. Refer to the pictures for clarification.

Step 2: Make a Preliminary Base.

  1. Position the paper so that it is like a diamond. Fold the paper left to right, joining the corners. Repeat by folding to bottom. Upon unfolding, the paper should have a "+" shaped crease mark.
  2. Turn the paper over and fold it edge-to-edge. Repeat the edge-to-edge fold in the other direction. There should now be an "x" shaped crease mark over the "+" shaped one.
  3. Position your paper like a diamond again. Bring the top of the top of the paper down towards the bottom while pushing the sides inwards. The paper should naturally fold into another diamond shape with two flaps on the left and two on the right. This is known as the preliminary base, a common technique in origami.

Step 3: Fold Down the "Pages".

Raise one flap towards you, pry open the layers, and squash down evenly. Repeat this for the three other "pages". When complete it should look like the picture above.

Step 4: Fold Up Your "Kites".

Flip one flap to the side so that the model looks like an upside-down kite with no under-layers showing. Fold the bottom of the upside-down kite up. Repeat this for the other "kite" layers.

Step 5: Fold the Layers to the Right.

The layers should form a right angle triangle. The outer layer should be a folded "kite" layer.

Step 6: Create the Stem of Your Flower.

Fold the top of the triangle to the right. The distance does not matter very much, but a good landmark is the place where the smaller triangle is visible. Turn it over and reverse the fold.

Step 7: Unfold Your Petals.

Position the triangle like the picture above. Hold it with your thumb and forefinger so you are pinching the stem right below the crease you just made. Pull back the outermost layer and reverse the direction of the fold.

Step 8: Shape Your Petals.

You should have eight petals on your flower. Lightly push up on the center crease on your petals to give them a rounder look. You may have to make some repeated adjustments to achieve a symmetrical flower.

Congratulations, you have just completed the traditional buttonhole flower!