How to Make an Origami Flapping Bird

Have you ever wanted to just flap your wings and fly away? Well, here's your chance to flap your wings—the flying away part is a little more complicated.

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Master the ancient art of Japanese paper folding with the step-by-step instructions in these tutorials.

You Will Need

  • A square of origami paper folded into a Bird Base
  • A flat surface

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Position Bird Base

    Position the Bird Base so that there are separate right and left flaps on the bottom. These flaps will be the tail and neck of the bird.

  2. Step 2

    Fold flap up and at angle

    Fold one flap up and out to the side at a 45-degree angle above the center horizontal, pivoting at the center of the model.

  3. Step 3

    Unfold

    Unfold.

  4. Step 4

    Fold flap in on itself

    Fold the flap in on itself, between the model's two layers, along the existing creases. This reverse fold creates the tail.

  5. Be sure to create your fold by pivoting at the center of the model, or your bird will flop, not flap.

  6. Step 5

    Repeat the reverse fold

    Repeat the reverse fold on the other side, folding the flap up and out to the side at a 45-degree angle above the center horizontal, pivoting at the center of the model, then unfolding and folding the flap in on itself, between the model's two layers, along the existing creases. This creates the neck.

  7. Step 6

    Fold the head

    Fold the tip of the neck in on itself to form a head.

  8. Step 7

    Lower the tail

    Grasp the wings and lower the tail slightly so the bottom of the wing is centered in the middle of the tail.

  9. Step 8

    Fold one wing down

    Fold down the top of one of the two remaining center flaps diagonally to make a wing by pivoting at the lower corner of the back of the wing. Line up the front edge of the wing against itself and crease softly.

  10. Step 9

    Repeat with other wing

    Repeat with the other wing.

  11. Step 10

    Hold bottom of neck and pull the tail

    Grasp your bird at the bottom of the neck with one hand. Gently pull the tail with your other hand and. . . up, up, and away!

  12. Did you know? The smallest origami flapping bird on record was made from a square of paper about 1/10 of an inch on each side and mounted on a needle.

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