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How To Make an Origami Lily

Why wait for spring to create a lovely, colorful bouquet? These lilies can be made anytime, and they'll never need watering.


  • Step 1: Make diagonal creases and unfold With the paper colored side up, make a diagonal crease by folding one corner to the opposite corner. Unfold. Repeat with the two other corners. You should now have two diagonal creases on the colored side of the paper.
  • Step 2: Fold corners to the center and unfold Turn the paper over to the white side. Fold all four corners to the center and unfold.
  • Step 3: Fold edges to opposite edges Fold one edge of the paper to the opposite edge. Unfold. Repeat with the other two edges. Do not unfold.
  • Step 4: Bring four corners together Position the paper so that the folded edge is along the bottom. There should be creases on the paper that form a "V." Hold the paper with each hand on either side of the "V" and slowly bring your hands together, allowing the four corners to meet at the top.
  • Step 5: Place model on table Place the model flat onto the table, making sure there are two flaps on the right and two flaps on the left and the closed point is at the top.
  • Step 6: Flatten down a flap Take one of the flaps and stand it up so that it is perpendicular to the table. Insert a finger between the layers of the flap to spread them open. Flatten down the flap, aligning the center vertical crease with the white layers underneath. There should now be two small white triangles at the bottom of the model.
  • Step 7: Repeat on the other side Turn over and repeat on the other side.
  • Step 8: Rearrange and flatten remaining flaps Rearrange the flaps so that you can perform the same maneuver (squash) on the remaining two flaps. When you are finished, make sure that there are now four flaps on each side and that two white triangles are visible.
  • Step 9: Fold the white triangles to the center Working with one layer only, fold in the sloping side of the right white triangle to align on the center vertical line. Repeat on the left side. Unfold both sides.
  • Step 10: Lift the bottom edge and flatten You now have a large colored triangle above two white ones with creases running through them. Lift the bottom edge of the colored one up and back as far as it will go, drawing the sides together. The sides of the white ones should meet along the center vertical, forming a kite-shaped flap. Flatten this down so you don't have any white showing.
  • Step 11: Flip the model and repeat Turn over and repeat Steps 9 and 10 on the other side.
  • Step 12: Flip the model two more times and repeat Rearrange the flaps and do Steps 9 and 10 on the remaining two sides.
  • Step 13: Fold sloping edge to center line and repeat Rearrange the flaps evenly so that there is a plain surface (without any flaps) on the front and back. Starting at the closed end of the model and working with one layer only, fold the sloping edge to lie on the center vertical. Repeat on the right side.
  • Step 14: Flip model and repeat Turn the model over and repeat Step 12 on the back.
  • Step 15: Rearrange and flip Rearrange the flaps to reveal the two remaining plain sides and repeat Step 12 front and back.
  • Step 16: Fold down four flaps Rotate the model so that the closed end is at the bottom. Taking each in turn, fold down the four flaps at the top of the model to form petals.
  • TIP: You can give the petals a nice curl by wrapping them around a pencil.
  • Step 17: Arrange petals Arrange the petals to your liking, then stop. . . and smell, or at least admire, your flower.
  • FACT: The lily was a sacred plant in ancient Japan, and Sayuri—or "Sacred Lily"—is a popular girl's name.

You Will Need

  • A sheet of square origami paper (6" x 6" / 15 cm x 15 cm)
  • A flat surface
  • A pencil

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