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How to Make an Origami Ribbon

Learn how to make an origami ribbon with this origami video from Howcast.


These are instructions for an origami bow. The first step on this is we're going to make a diagonal fold with the white side up and then the color will show. Make sure that you get it exactly on that corner, so that it doesn't go off to the one side. You can't see the other side of the paper, just make it where it's precisely on there. Slide your finger down and then go out to the corners, and that should give you a really nice diagonal fold. Open it back up, rotate it, and we're going to do the exact same thing one more time, so this is both of the diagonal folds, it'll give you a nice cross right there in the middle.

Go ahead and flip the paper over and now we're going to do a book fold. The book fold is where you take the bottom edge of the paper up to the top edge of the paper just like that. And this will be with the white on the outside this time. First one, open it up and then do the opposite one, so if you went from the top to the bottom, now we're just going to go side to side just like this. Nice and lined up like that. Now once you have that last one, go ahead and leave that fold there. What I'm going to show you is a step to make a square base or a preliminary base as it's sometimes called.

And it's right on this edge I'm going to pinch right here near the top of the corners, and then what we're going to do is we're going to rotate those corners together, so that they all touch. And then using the creases that we've already made we're not going to be making any new creases at all, go ahead and flatten the paper down. And if you look at it from the top, you can see how it's two flaps on each side, so instead of having three on one side like that, you have two on each side just like that, great.

Now working on the next step we want to make sure that these flaps are at the bottom towards you, so these are the open parts and then there's this one part up here at the top here that's closed. What we're going to do is we're going to take that closed point, and we're going to fold it down. Now there's no actual mark for this. I'd say right about that far, so it's not all the way down here and it's not just a tiny one, but it's enough to go about that far. And what we're going to do is we're going to sink this triangle right here.

And the way you sink is instead of folding it in front or folding it behind, we're actually going to fold it inside the middle of the paper. It's actually going to fall down into the center of the base. So the way to do that, we're going to open all the folds back up, and look at it from the top, and what you can see is there's this nice little square that we've made by that fold. Go ahead and make each of the lines of that square, give it a good pinch right on that line. It's called a mountain fold, because the way the paper's oriented it's going to make that peak. It's going to make a mountain.

So find each side of that square and fold it down a little bit, and now what we're going to do is we're going to recreate that square base that we made, when we put all the corners together like that. We're going to recreate it while pushing down on this center, and you see how I'm going to sort of pinch with my fingers, and bring those two sides together and the whole thing collapses down with that corner on the inside. You can see right here, how it's been pushed inside that base just like that. Next step we're going to take this edge and bring it into the middle.

So the way that works is like this. This is called a kite fold, so this spot right here we're going to take that edge, and it lines right up onto that middle line, right like that. Do that on all four of these flaps, the two on the front and the two on the back. And you see how it's also making a nice parallel line right here, so we're not going to fold it where it gets a lot thicker at the bottom or where it gets really thin up to the point. It's nice. It's the same thickness all the way across.

So we fold it there, flip it over and here as well, and these should match up with the ones right behind them just like that. Great, now the next step, one of my favorites this is going to be an open squash. What's going to happen is we're going to take this top panel right here and while holding, there's two sides. It's equal on both sides, because it's symmetrical. It's got this one and this one, they're exactly the same. Take one side and keep it flat on the table. Take the other side, we're going to pick it up all the way up, and flatten it down at the top.

And you see what happens is it spreads out this little square here at the top, right in the middle of the entire model, that little square opens up once we flatten it. So it was down here like this, and we picked the whole thing up and we flattened that little square right in the middle. The next step is we're going use some scissors. So go ahead and grab a nice pair of scissors and we're going to make a few cuts. Now it's really important to know exactly where we're going to cut on this. It's going to be on this edge right here, but not all the way into the middle of the paper, just right up to where my finger hits it.

So this edge right here, up against there, we're going to cut that. We're going to cut that the same thing on the other side. So I'll show you with the scissors, you can kind of see how the paper zigzags back and forth right there? Right at the top of this first zigzag, that's what we're going to cut. Make one little snip into the middle. We're going to do that all the way around. So it'll be four cuts total, all the way up to here and on the other side.There we are, go ahead and put the scissors aside.

What we're going to do is this flap now becomes free, after we've cut it open like that. Go ahead and fold it down just like that. And you can see how both of these are now open and sort of flapped in the air like this. What we're going to do next is we're going to make two kite folds. We're going to make it right here on the top edge. Take it about this square right here the white square, we're going to make two kite folds, with these outside edges into the middle. So go ahead and take this outside edge, fold it up into the middle like that, and then on the other side as well.

And if you do all that on the left, then we're going to do that on the right. Now the last step we're going to use with the scissors, is we're going to take the scissors and we're going to cut both sheets of this paper. These are the bows on the outside edge, we're going to make two ribbons that are right here. Cut them all the way from the bottom point, up into the middle of the paper, and try to do it right on that line, get it right up, to right there.

Next step we're going to fold these over and it's about like this, there's no real guideline for where that's going to fold. But take both sheets of paper fold them over about halfway, so it's not all the way up to the top, it's about halfway up. Do it on the left, also on the right, and now flip the entire thing over. You can start to see a little bit of how the bow's going to look. We've got one more step though. What we're going to do is we're going to thin this outside edge right here.

And the way we do that, I'm going to pick up the paper a little bit and you see how I'm folding from the bottom edge right up to the top edge? That's going to make that nice and thin, and then this extra paper that's right here, I'm going to fold it up to this top point right there. So the paper started out like this and you see how all those lines right there, sort of lead together where this is going to get pushed up like that. It's a swivel fold. See how the paper swivels underneath and then tucks under, up to that spot to give you that look on the bow, and do the same thing on the other side.

So we're going to pick it up just a little bit. Fold that flap over to the outside edge, we'll line it up to the top, squash it back down, and that gets us all set for the last step. We're going to take these two corners of the bow, get them nice and round and we're going to tuck them into that little pocket right there underneath. There's a nice little pocket in the center of that square spot, and once those two get tucked in that creates the final bow right like that. That's the origami bow.

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