Make a Swan




Introduction: Make a Swan

I always wanted to make this beautiful Modular Origami Swan since I started doing origami an year ago.This was a project which I was planning to make during vacations but due to staying at home because of Covid-19 I got the opportunity to do it now. For this project I was saving every scrap of A4 coloured paper which I used in the past few months but they were not enough so I asked my fellow teachers to also save all scraps of papers from their class decore and arts activities if they were bigger than 1/32 of A4 size (I provided them a sample for reference ).It is a very small size as you can see in the picture. I can use the new A4 size papers but since for the smallest modular origami project it requires atleast 200 -300 pieces and cutting new into this small size which I have to again fold anyway is a lavish attempt. Using the scrap actually gives me more choice of colours and a sense of accomplishment that I am saving something which other wise would be wasted. This project requires atleast 400+ but i designed and downsized it to 270 according to my available scrap of papers.

These were not the designs that I had in my mind when I started this project but as it started taking shape depending on the colour of pieces I had they developed into a pleasant pattern as I progressed. In general it is not the first result that just pops rather its a result of multiple combination of,trials and error. Finally arriving at the result. I am writing my multiple attempts outcomes as tips to give better idea of the other aspects.


lots of scrap of paper bigger than 1/32 of A4 paper


calculator paper and pencil

Step 1: Collecting and Cutting

I had three bags of scrap which i collected from different sources

I cut 1/32 of A4 Size paper as my reference.

Then out of all the scrap of papers I cut the rectangular shapes by simply putting it on .

I was able to get 6-7 rectangles per page

Tips .If its a little smaller or edges cut even then its fine .

Also if there is a writing on one side and blank on the other. Even then its fine as it will go inside the folds.

Step 2: Making Modular Origami Blocks

Lets start making Origami modular blocks.

Step 1 Fold the block length wise

Step 2 Again fold in half width wise then unfold it (its just to find the middle )

Step 3 Fold the paper diagonally from the middle on both sides.(its will become a triangle from the top with two legs)

Step 4 Flip the triangle with turn the legs from the corners into small triangles just below the line.

Step 5 To lock fold the legs upwards \

Step 6 Fold it in half

we get the origami modular BLOCK

Since its modular origami so we need more than one and in this case I made 300

I choose all the shades of pink with 3 different yellows and for another swan blue,purple with sea green

Step 3:

Now this block has two parts bottom with two pockets and upper has two wings

Now insert this modular blocks into each other by inserting the wings of one into pockets of other (this is an optional step but it will help to easily place these modular blocks while making the structure)

Step 4: Making the BASE

Colour : I had three shades of yellow .So I decided to use darker in the bottom and lighter on the top

For the base we need 24 modular blocks but its not possible to place them side by side so we made two lines together by placing them like this

bottom block left wing into top block right pocket

I will represent modular Block as V. See the first picture.

Make these 24 pairs for the first two rows

Now join these by inserting the left pocket into the bottom right wing

It will be a linear line if we left the first and last pair as shown in the picture

Tip :Be very careful this is very fragile and hard to keep in position It will keep bending and breaking )

For the base we need 24 in First row and 24 in second row

To turn it into circular base very carefully join the first with last.block of the line as shown in the picture

Step 5: Reinforcing the Base

The base is very fragile at this point so start making another layer by inserting two wings one each from different adjacent block ...this will reinforce the structure . Keep moving around the base .

Third row 23 yellow and 1 pink

Fourth row 22 yellow and 2 pink

Fifth Row 21 yellow and 3 pink

Reminder :I started using lighter shade of yellow. I made a small heart at the front using pink.This will also be my reference point for making my beak exactly on top of it.

Now on the pink wings add another two blocks of pink.

Then another 3 blocks of pink and the rest of them yellow.




Step 6: Making the Beak and Front

Sixth Row 18 pink(optional ) and 6 yellow

Seventh Row 12 pink, 4 blank and 18 yellow

This is the designing stage

The front will rise like a beak and the back as the Tail of the swan.

Exactly where the pink ends start adding the yellow blocks on top of the pink .

Then gradually decrease one at a time. We add four on the top for the beak rise.

For the beak we stack 10 very light coloured yellow blocks on top of each other with pink at the end.

Slightly bend the straight stack until it reaches the desired curve as shown in the picture.

Attach this on the top of the beak where the pyramid reaches one.

Step 7: Making the Tail

From the seventh row onwards we keep reducing the blocks making it into a pyramid structure

From the base of the beak area where we add four blocks of yellow leave two blocks on each side, add one yellow and the rest of the line with pink blocks. This will be our tail area.

I had 4 shades of pink I decided to add all but in succession so my pattern is like bright to light (as shown in the picture) then diagonal lines as they go up.

Keep moving the colours one wing at a time .

You can see on the ends I use lighter yellow at the top and darker on the bottom of the base of the tail.

Your beautiful diagonal pattern swan is complete. Turn around and admire.

Step 8: Make Another Swan

For the blue swan I have more blue blocks than different shades of pink so I use horizontal pattern but same darker colours in the bottom and lighter on the top.

Scraps Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest
    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • For the Home Contest

      For the Home Contest