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How to Make an Origami Turtle

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


This is a video for an origami turtle.

Let me give you an example of one right there. That's what we're going for. Grab a sheet of paper. We're going to start with the colored side up and we're going to make a book fold. So take the bottom edge, fold it all the way up to the top edge of the paper. Make sure it lines up nice, so that there's no extra color showing. Just get it right up on top, and when it's right up on top, just squish it down and flatten that out. And we're going to open this up and do another book fold, so both of the book folds. And when you're done with those you'll have a nice cross right there in the middle; a nice plus sign.

Now flip the paper over and we're going to do a diagonal fold. So the diagonal fold is going to come from the bottom point up to the top point. Just like this. And again we want to be as precise and as accurate as we can. Hold in place, slide my finger down, and then go out to the edges, like that. And that's one diagonal fold. Open it up and now we're going to do the other diagonal fold. So again, nice and accurate, we're going to fold that over. And go ahead and leave that last diagonal fold and squish it down.

So go ahead and take that, pick up the paper like this. And I'll show you where to put your fingers. We're going to pinch right here, just below this line right here on both sides. Put both my fingers right there and I'll show you. We're going to rotate the paper up, just like this. And see how it makes this little flower figure almost? This is a water bomb base. Where all of these points are going to meet and then we're going to flatten the paper down and it's going to make this four sided pyramid figure. And this is called the water bomb base.

And once we have that, and to make this water bomb base, we're not going to change any of the folds. We're going to use the folds we already have, we're just repositioning them in a new way to collapse down into this base.

Once we have this we're going to take one corner on the left hand side and we're going to fold that up to the top. Make sure that you don't take both corners, there's two there, just take one corner. We're going to do that on the left hand side and we're also going to do that on the right hand side. So both of those are going to go up and touch the top. Once you do that, go ahead and unfold those two and fold the top point down all the way to touch the edge of the bottom of the paper, like that.

So those three folds, we're going to unfold all of those and what that does is that's going to make a little spot here for what's called a petal fold. A petal fold is where we're going to pick up one sheet of paper, one flap, there's a couple of different flaps under here, we're just going to take the top layer and we're going to fold it up right along this edge of this crease right here where we folded back down. That's the crease that we're going to follow; that we're going to fold that up. When we fold that up these two flaps pop up and we want to fold them down so that they go and they land right here, on that spot. So when this goes up, you see how I'm going to take this corner and put it right on that spot. Same thing over here, this is going to flatten down and bring that corner right down to that spot. That is a petal fold.

I'll show you right there how it starts, like this. We pick it up and these all flatten down like that.

Now, we're going to flip the paper over and do the exact same thing on this side. So start at the beginning, we're going to fold up this flap and this flap. Unfold them, go ahead and fold one flap back down again. There's two flaps there now. And then I'm going to take the top flap, pick it up, bring it all the way down so that those two points match and flatten it down like that. So I've done this now on both sides. Great.

Now we're going to take this flap that we just put down on that spot. I'm going to take it, I'm going to pick it up and I'm going to bring it all the way up to the top of the model. And when that happens, when I pick this up, use this mountain fold right here that's along this line, when I pick it up there's going to be a little squash that happens. You see how this paper is going to push in and flatten down, just like that? And that's what we want, so we want that to happen on this side as well. I'm going to pick this up and as this squashes over it takes this point that was right here and brings it right up to the top point, like that. Flip it over and we're going to do the same thing on the back. We're going to pick those two flaps up and bring them up to the top. Just like that.

Now, next flap, next step, we're going to take this little flap right here and we're going to fold it over. We're going to fold it over to make a little flipper for our turtle. So it's going to have a little bit of an angle. Try not to keep it too far down here. We want to keep it pretty high up in the air. You can think about having this edge right here sort of be the halfway point between here and here. So that's about the right spot. You do that on both sides. Like that. And then flip the paper over and then do it again over here. This flap comes over and this flap comes over. And now we've got the two flippers set up.

Next, we're going to fold one flap down that's got both of the flippers and the one of these triangles. Fold that down and then very easily, what we're going to do next, we're just going to fold it into the center. And fold that, this point right here, is going to go exactly into the center. Next we're going to fold this flaps right here on the top. We're going to fold it all the way to the bottom. And we're going to do the same thing with this flap, we're going to take this point and fold it down into the center. Like that.

Next, we're going to pick up, put all of this back up. So flatten it back all the way up, where all the flippers are going up to the top. And we're going to take and we're going to make a kite fold. So the kite fold is again going to happen on this outside edge and it's going to get folded into the middle, like that. And we're going to do it on the left side, the right side, the front, and the back. So these two like that, flip it over and now we're going to do this side, as well.

Okay. Now we should have two little open slits right here at the bottom. This is going to be the head and the tail for the turtle. What we're going to do is we're going to fold them up as far as we can, up to right here so the point lands right about in that spot. We're going to do that on the left hand side and the right hand side.

And then once we've got those two guys, we're going to unfold them and then we're going to inside reverse fold them. So instead of folding them in front or folding them behind, if we fold over one flap you're going to see there's a little channel here; there's a little spot. We can take this flap, we can pick it up, we can put it inside, just like that. You see now, that the point is sticking up. It's not in front or behind, but it's in the middle of those two flaps. We do that on the front, or we're going to do that on the one side for the head and we're going to do it on the other side for the tail. And that gets us the entire base. We are all set now.

To the last step for this turtle. This is the fun one. What we're going to do, and it's important to see where your hands are on this one. You see this little pocket right here? That pocket, which is behind these two flaps and also behind the flippers right here, that's where I'm going to put two fingers. I'm going to put these two fingers, my thumb and my pointer finger, I'm going to put those two right here. And in the same spot on the other side, I' m going to put those two fingers, too. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to very gently, because you don't want to rip the paper, I'm going to pull apart. I'm going to flatten those down a little bit. And you see how the top just sort of flattens out, creates this nice little bubble right there? And that is going to make the turtle shell. And you see how the flippers just went off to the side, and you just have to decide what's the head and what's the tail. I'm just going to make a tiny reverse fold there, to fold the head down.

And that is the last step for an origami turtle.

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