Origami for Beginners




About: Due to my crazy schedule (And being very cheap when it comes to buying parts), this account is 99% inactive. I probably won't post any instructables, or comments, but I will use it to check the site for any...

Ever since I learned about Origami in 4th grade, I have always loved to fold.  The part I like most is showing others how to fold.  When I see the joy on their face after they fold their first figure, that is payment enough.  So I decided to make an Inastructable, seeing there was not an origami one for beginners.  I hope this is clear enough and understandable so that you may learn fairly quickly.

All you will need is some square paper, your hands, and some determination.

If there are any spots that aren't clear, please comment so that I may make it more understandable.

The pictures below will be some of the things you will learn how to fold.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: How to Make Square Paper

Most craft stores sell 100-300 packs of origami paper in different patterns or colors, but you can always make your own out of any sheet of paper you come across.

First, take your sheet of paper, and fold the top edge to either the left edge or the right edge.  Then, you fold the bottom edge over the edge you folded down.  You can then cut along that crease, or crease firmly and tear it off if scissors are unavailable.

Step 2: The Kabuto and Basic Folds

Instead of doing the basics and then the figures, I decided to combine them into one.  I will teach you the basics as we are folding.  Again, I hope this is clear to understand. 

In this step you will learn how to fold an Origami Kabuto, or Samari Helmet.

Start off with a vally fold.  An easy way to remember is that when folded, it looks like a vally (pic 1).  Vally fold from one corner to a corresponding corner.  It sould now look like Picture 2.
Then vally fold the side corners to the top point, like in Picture 3.
Then vally fold the two corners you just folded to the bottom (pic 4).  Rotate 180 degrees.
Vally fold the same two corners to the sidesto make the horn things, like in Picture 5.
Now, take the bottom flap and vally fold part of it up, not all the way. (pic 6)
Vally fold the rest of the flap up, like in picture 7, and then flip over.
You can do two things with this flap.  Tradittionally, it is vally folded upward, but you can tuck it inside the helmet if you want.  Picture 8 is what it should look like traditianally.  Fortucking it in, look at picture 9.  You need to preform a mountan fold (pic 9) and then tuck it as far up in the helmet as you can get it.
If you have completed this, you have a Kabuto, and you know how to do mountran and vally folds.

Step 3: Base Folds

In this step you will learn some base folds.  Base folds are what models normally start out with. 
Book Base: Vally fold one edge to the oppisite edge (Pic 1).
Bintz Base: Make a book base. Unfold. Rotate 90 degrees. Fold another book base. Unfold.  Fold all four corners to center. (Pic 2)
Cupboard Base: Fold a book base. Unfold. Vally fold the two edges to the center crese.(Pic 3).
Kite Base: Vally fold one corner to a coresponding corner.  Unfold.  Vally fold two sides of the same angle to meet the middle crease (Pic 4).
Square Base: Fold in half horizantally and vertically.  It should now be in 4ths.  Flip over and fold in half from corner to corner.  Collapse (Pic 5).
Waterbomb Base: Fold upper-left coner to meet bottom-right corner, and again from the bottom left corner to the upper right.  The two lines should intersect in the middle of the paper.  Flip over and fold in half vertically.  This crease should cross the intersection of the diagonal creases.  Take the points where the vertical crease meets the edge of the paper, and fold them to the bottom.  Press it flat and you should have it!
Bird Base: Make a square base.  Fold two flaps in tword the middle crease.  Repeat behind.  Fold upper triangle down as far as it can go.  Unfold.  Repeat behind.  Unfold to the square base.  Take the bottom corner and fiold up along the creases you just made.  Repeat behind (Pic 7).

As you can see, there's a lot of bases.

Step 4: Folding the Waterbomb

Start off with a Waterbomb base.
Vally fold all the side corners to the top corner, as in Picture 1.
Vally fold the side corners you just made to the center.  You can guess on this. (pic 2)
Vally fold the top flap corners into the pockets you  just made.  (Pic 3)
Blow into the hole at the bottom to inflate it. (pic 4)

You're done!

Step 5: Folding the Crane

The crane is the model that first comes to mind for many when they think about Origami.  It is a traditional Japanese model that goes back a long time.  It is said that whoever folds 1000 will get one wish.  Here, I will show you how to make one.  For the other 999, you're on your own.

Start with a bird base.  Vally fold the side flaps so they line up with the middle seam.  Repeat behind. (Pic 1)
Vally fold both of the "legs" up, fold back down (pic 2)
Inside reverse fold the legs. (pic 3 and 4)
Vally fold the wings down. (pic 5)
Vally fold the head to the size you want it, then inside reverse fold. (pic 6)

Now you can get started on the other 999.

Remember: "It isn't origami until it's shared." Phillip Chapman-Bell AKA oschene

Step 6: Extra Links

Here are some links for some origami sites.  If you stick with Origami long enough, you will be able to fold not only squares, but pentagons, triangles, circles, decagonns, heptagons, and several other -gons.

The Origami Resource Center
oschene's Blog
The Origami Club

Be the First to Share


    • Instrument Contest

      Instrument Contest
    • Make it Glow Contest

      Make it Glow Contest
    • STEM Contest

      STEM Contest

    16 Discussions

    Saturn VPfarmkid

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    I'm going to go ahead and apologise about how poorly written this Instructable is. I'll probably overhaul it sometime this weekend.
    But for now, what are you confused about?

    cosmicknight782Saturn V

    Reply 2 years ago

    I agree (no offense) that this instructable is poorly written. The only reason I can understand it is because I have folded all these bases and models before. If you can make it more detailed, this would be a great instructable.


    5 years ago

    check out my crane


    6 years ago on Step 4

    If this isn't confusing, nothing is!!! How 'bout numbering which corner, etc. you're referring to? As in A-B_C or something....or 1-2-3....


    8 years ago on Step 4

    OK I'm confused. You say in the previous step 'Waterbomb Base: Fold in half from corner to corner'. Is that to make a triangle or a bookcase fold? and do I fold from the top to the bottom or left to right?
    I hope once I can work that out, then I can finish the waterbomb.

    1 reply
    Saturn Vayoung5

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 4

    I'm sorry about that. I should have made it clearer. I fixed it so that it's (hopefully) easier to understand.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    for the crane, are you teaching us how to do the bird base or are those the instructions for the actual crane? If you are not showing how to make the bird base, can you please add that to your instructible because it is very confusing to go find the birdd base and then find the crane again. Overall, good instructible!

    6 replies
    Saturn VLinaPie

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Those are instructions for the actual crane. I show the crane from the first crease, although it does use the bird base. You don't need to find the bird base because that step shows you how to make the bird base, and then how to make a crane from it.

    Saturn VSaturn V

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Ignore my other comment. I show how to make a bird base in the Base Folds step, and you fold the crane from that.