Origami Heron With Flapping Wings

Introduction: Origami Heron With Flapping Wings

About: I have always loved the feeling of finishing the construction of an object and if I don't have something I need or want I usually give it a go to build it from what I have. Usually though, I look at a boring...

I have folded many of these over the years and somehow I can't forget how to fold them. I can't accurately describe every step to infinite detail so there are many "as shown"s in this Instructable. To make this heron/crane/stork, you will need:

Fingers (Preferably 2 hands' worth)
Paper (Preferably square, or can be cut to be square)
Patience for the first one, after that it gets easy.

(*Sorry for the bad .GIF image, It's the best I could do with the heron needing 2 hands)

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Step 1: Shaping Paper and Preliminary Creases

Let's face it, nobody wants to go buy square paper so that they can fold stuff from it, so to make rectangular paper square, just fold one corner over the page at a 45* angle so that one adjacent side is constantly in contact with the other side. Mark a line with a pen or pencil and then cut along it. Unfold and you have a square sheet of paper.

To make the preliminary folds, crease the other diagonal in the same way as you made the first crease. Turn the square over and crease centre lines by folding the paper in half both ways. unfold again.

Step 2: The Base

If you have already folded paper cranes or flowers you probably know how to make the flower/crane/frog base so you can skip this step. For everybody else, do the following;
Make sure your page has the same orientation as mine with "mountains" to the page corners and "valleys" vertically and horizontally with the centre point pushed down.
Slowly lift all of the corners together above the centre point. This should form an "X" cross-section. Flatten this shape to make a diamond with 2 flaps under left and right corners.
Fold bottom flap edges to the new centre line. fold the top triangle over to the back of the shape. Unfold to the diamond again and repeat last 2 instructions on back side. You now have the important creases for the next big step.

Lift the first layer of the bottom corner up as shown and press flat once it looks like mine. Flip the page over and repeat last instruction on that side. You now have the correct base.

Step 3: The Head and Neck

Fold the head and neck  of this heron in the same way. Pick a side to make the head end, then fold the bottom side edge along the centre line on the top and bottom sides of the model. Pictures 2 and 3 describe this. Crease the first part of the neck as shown and then inverse-fold it under and out to the "front" of the bird. Do this again for the Heron's distinctive neck, then fold the beak down in a similar fashion. This end is now complete. Adjust spaces between folds to find what looks best.

Step 4: The Legs/Tail End

Herons don't have a big tail so it is not necessary on this model. To make its legs, crease a fold approximately where shown in the first picture. Fold under and out like you did with the neck. Open the new shape out underneath and fold the 2 edges along the centre line. Fold closed again and add a "ripple" in each side of the leg to give the correct angle. Fold the tip of the leg up, like you did with the head, to look like its feet.

Step 5: Finishing Up

It looks done from the sides but wait, there's more!

If you open the wings from the top, you'll see a triangle sticking out. To hide it, simply fold it over to one side and tuck it into the gap between its own base and the one wing.

To allow this model to have flapping wings, add light creases where shown in the 4th last step. Hold onto the bases of the leg and the neck and rotate them towards each other WITHOUT pulling the 2 sides apart, that would split the heron and you'd have to do it all over again.

I have also folded a few regular origami cranes but I think this one looks nicer than most because it does not have a paper square on its back. Happy Folding!

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