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How to Make an Origami Owl

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


These are the instructions for an origami owl.

The first step for the origami owl is, we're going to take a sheet of paper. We're going to start with the colored side up, and we're going to make a diagonal fold. So go ahead and take one corner, bring it all the way up to the other corner, and make sure that it's nice and precise. So put it exactly on that spot where the two of them meet, and then slide a finger down. Keep it nice and flat. Hold it in place, and then go out to a corner and then out to the other corner. Open that up, and then we're going to do the other diagonal fold. So this, again, try and be as precise as you can, nice and exact. So then open it back up again. We're going to flip the paper over so we have a nice X right there.

Next, we're going to fold the bottom edge all the way up to the top edge. This is called a book fold. Again, precision is key. So we fold that up and we make sure that there's no extra white. Unfold it, and then go up the other side as well, out to the side. Now, go ahead and leave that last one folded down.

What we're going to do is I'm going to put my fingers right here. I'm going to pinch right on the corner, on the bottom half of this diagonal line. And what I"m going to do is I'm going to rotate all four of those corners so that they touch, right in the center, together. And what's going to happen, that's called a square base. We can flatten that down. And this is a square base or a preliminary base when this is flattened out. And we haven't made any new creases. We're just using the creases we already have. And we're using those creases we already have to create that new base. Now, the important thing here is we want to make sure we know where these openings are because these flaps need to be at the bottom, pointed towards you.

Next step, once we have all these flaps pointed towards you, we're going to take these bottom edges on both sides, and we're going to fold them up towards the middle. And this is called a kite fold, where they're going to go, and they're going to lie right on that center line that we can already see. So we do that on the left-hand side, and we also do that on the right-hand side as well.

Next, we're going to fold the top triangle, we're going to fold that down, over the top of both of these two flaps, just like that. And once that's folded down, we flip the whole thing over and do the kite folds on this side as well. So both sides, on the left-hand side, we're going to make a kite fold, and on the right-hand side, we're going to bring that edge into the middle, just like that.

Now, we've done most of these folds here just so that we get the creases. We're not actually going to leave them there. These are called preliminary folds. So we're going to unfold that flap and unfold this flap so that we can get access to this one sheet of paper right here. We want to pick that up and make sure that it's not the whole model, just that one sheet of paper. And we want to open up all the space on the inside here.

And once we open all of that up, we're going to pull it all into the top, stretching it all the way up and flattening it onto the table. And what happens is when this comes all the way up, these two outside edges are going to want to push in, which is nice because we've already made this crease when we folded this over right here. So use that crease we've already made, and use it, you can start at the bottom and work your way up, or you can just flatten the whole thing down. And this is called a petal fold.

And I'll show you, once it's nice and flat and it lies down pretty happily, but it started down here like this, and we picked it all the way up and flattened it down. We're going to do that same maneuver on the back side. What's going to happen is I'm going to open up that triangle and open up these two flaps, fold the triangle back down, and then pick up just one sheet of paper, fold it all the way up, and then flatten the whole model down. This creates what's called a bird base, where you've got these two little splits right here and the flaps on the top.

Now, once we have this, we're going to fold down this top flap on the front, flip it over, and then also do the exact same thing on the back. So all of those are now face-down. Once we've folded those two flaps down, we're now going to make another set of kite folds. We're going to fold this edge right here down into the middle line. And also on the opposite side, we're going to fold this down into the middle line as well. Do that on the front, flip it over, and then we do the exact same thing on the back. We fold that over there, and we fold that over on the other side as well.

Now, the next step, we're going to get the wings out of the side flaps right here. So we've got a front flap on the bottom and a back flap. But the important part right now is we're going to work with this side flap. So keep the whole model flat to the table like this. And we're going to take this side flap, and I'm going to do what's called an inside reverse fold, in which I'm going to pick it up and reverse the crease along the spine of the paper. I'm going to slide it out, like this. So this is the shape that we're looking for for the wing. So it started down, right in here, and I picked it up and sort of rotated it out so it has a nice side flap for the wing. Do that on both sides, just like this. And that'll give us the two wings.

And then next, we're going to fold this tip down, not too far, right about here. Fold it down so that the top comes down to these two points right here, so that those two touch. And this is going to be a pleat fold. So go ahead and fold it back up, about that far. And that's going to be a beak that we're going to use right there. And then, fold the whole flap down below where we made the pleat fold. So when that whole flap comes down, right there, once we get that done, you'll be able to see the face of the owl, just like that. And the paper wants to maybe pop up a little bit, and that's all right; just go ahead and give it a good flattening.

And the last step, we're going to fold the bottom up just enough so that we have two little sets of feet. Because there's two sheets of paper there and you can see how the two little feet sort of emerge right there on the back from the tail. And that, we got all those folds. That is the finished origami owl. And if you want, it even has the wings that can fold down for when he's resting.

So that is the finished origami owl.

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