Introduction: Happy BIRDSday! a Moving Message-hiding Origami-bird Greeting Card
As a student, I love being around people. Therefore many celebrations, birthday parties and other festivities come round every now and then, and most of the time I either don't have enough money left or don't want to be the tenth person bringing a pre-made card from a gift shop.
When I was a little child I learned how awesome animals, stuctures and 3d-shapes made with the origami-technique look and since then I love to bring origami-pieces for special people on special occacions.
What is this "Instructable" about?
I love movement, surprise and joy. However, most origami is static and besides the flapping crane and some moving fish I haven't found many instructions that could be transformed and let the "birthday-child" say impressed: "WOW! That is so astonishing! What an amazing birthday-card!"
Especially important is to have an origami piece, which doesn't have to be unfolded completely to reveal the message. As I like to hide messages in my origami, I have already experienced that most people don't want to destroy the "piece of art" - as they call it - and leave the message untouched. How boring! They will never find out, what I wish for them.
So I decided to come up with an origami-piece, which:
- hides and delives a message
- doesn't have to be destoyed
- can be modified to personal needs
- costs about nothing
- is fun to make
Let me introduce: The flapping, money-carrying phoenix! Messages can be hidden in its wings and easily unfolded and put together again! It's really fun to make as well as to play around with!
Also: This is my first "Instructable", so please let me know, what and how to improve! ;)
Step 1: Set the Base
All you need is one square-sheet of paper, preferably origami paper, which is really nice to work with and don't rip as easily.
I will go through each step quickly. Detailed pictures for every step are provided. If you have any questions don't hestitate to ask! I would love to get feedback and help :)
- Fold along both diagonals so that the outer side is coloured
- Open the fold again
- Fold two sides of the square to meet the middle-diagonal-crease from before
- Open again and repeat on the other two sides
- Open those again and you will see crossed crease-lines
- Fold two sides to the diagonal.Both meet in the middle, a little paper is left.
- Fold the extra-paper to one side, making an overlapping triangle
- Repeat on with the other two sides
- Put one triangle to the left, the other to the right. Take the left triangle and fold it in half, so that the closed mountain-crease aligns with the middle-crease.
- Fold it down. Repeat with the other triangle, just in the opposite way.
- Two half-triangles should be formed.
Perfect! Now let's move on to the core-part.
Step 2: Core-Work
Cool! Now we will fold out basic-shape multiple times to give it the ability to display and hide written messages in the end.
- Fold that deltoid in half.
- According to the height of the half-folded triangles, fold down both sides one time.
- From above it should look like mountain - valley with two half-triangles - mountain.
- Choose one side and fold it up - down - up again in alignment with the middle fold.
- Open your "accordion" again.
- Carefully open one of the deltoid-halves and slide the tip of the opposite triangle beneath it.
- Repeat on the other side and smooth out everything again (no picture for smoothening)
- Fold the tail together again and flip your whole art-piece around!
Well done! Let's bring it "to the head"!
Step 3: A Complex System - Our Bird's Head
The next steps will be funny but still a bit challenging. The solution is very elegant and the most impressive way I had come up with. The pictures explain everything really well in my opinion - if you follow along carefully, you should have no problem. And if you don't meet the exact proportions your bird will probably turn out fine, just with an a bit larger or smaller head - my first ones went like that as well!
- We will work on the side with less creases.
- Add one up-down-fold but take care to make the amplitude only about half the height of the original folds.
- Fold it up above the bottom of the original folds again.
- From the top it should be: flat - small mountain - valley - big mountain - valley - big mountain - valley - big mountain - decreasing plane
- Put all of this creases together, so that the long, flat, front part is the lowest and the little tail the most upper part.
- Fold in half.
- Open it again and fold two valley-creases from the small-mountain-fop edges to about the quarters of the first-premade-crease.
- Let the tip unfolded.
- Now balance those creases with two more valley-creases to about one third of the left, aligning deltoid sides so two little lugs will be formed.
- Unfold again and spot the triangle-pattern we established by folding.
- Now we add another triangle: From both tips of the triangles from 10. we make a mountain fold to the midline. They should meet at one point. The location of the point doesn't matter that much, but it shouldn't be far from half the distance.
- Make a crease which connects the left triangle tip from 10. and the meeting point of 11. .
- Fold the upper half down.
- Copy step 13. for the other side.
Almost done! We just have to model the head and the tail!
Step 4: I'm in Love With the Shape of You...
Now all the important mountain- and valley- and top- and side- and whatever creases are made! Congratulations! Let's move on to the fun part: carefully giving our piece of paper a three-dimensional-structure and shaping the edges!
- Push your "accordion" together again.
- Open all the head-folds.
- Carefully fold your model in the middle (little tail has to be on top of the "accordion"). The head-part should align itself. Our center-triangle should keep the "head up" from the base in front of the mountain fold.
- From the side we can see that our triangle folds support the wings. The head-part has been folded in half.
- Make an up-crease at the tip of the center-triangle and fold the up-facing front parts around on both sides to hide the head-structure.
- It should look a little bit like a half of an origami-boat.
- Repeat the process of folding two sides around the already established structure but downwards to give our phoenix a head.
And now to the end of the story... The tail of our fantasy-bird!
Step 5: Let's Not Turn Tail!
The last important step to make our bird an actual bird with a proper tail.
- Therefore unfold the last mountain we made back at the beginning and elongate the right side.
- Fold your bird in half again. Stop here, if the bird seems perfect enough.
- Otherwise bisect each tail-part by folding the upper creases down to align with the middle-center-crease.
- The middle part between the wings will fold a little bit on its own.
- Try to make it as flat, symmetric and smooth as possible.
- Join the two tail-parts together again.
Our origami-piece is finished! Doesn't it look elegant and light? What would you improve?
Step 6: Hide Your Secret Message!
Our bird is ready to fly away - or almost ready. The most important thing is still missing: Your message for your special person. So this part is really fun: Carefully pull on the head and the tail and the phoenix should unfold in no matter of time. Write your message on the "accordion"-wing-structure and push head and tail together afterwards again
You have done a really great job! Now your celebration-card is ready to set all heart on fire (it's a phoenix) and make all creative origami-loving girls fly away. ;)
Step 7: An Additional Feature: Make Your Bird OUTSTANDING!
Your bird will probably give a good impression just by lying around. However, you can attain an extra-WOW-feature by pressing both outer lugs at the bottom of the head-stucture carefully away from the middle crease. Your phoenix will be able to stand up straight (blue bird is able to stand, violet bird isn't modified), when putting it on a table, as well as carrying money (see introduction picture)!
Thank you so much for following along! I would love to see your suggestions and ideas about moving origami because there is so little variety out there! Please let me know if you know good origami-instuctions and tell me what your favourite origami-piece is!
I hope my first "Instructable" is helpful for someone, who wants to suprise a special person with an unusual little greeting card or is just as obsessed with origami as I am! :)