Make The Most Common Origami Bases

These are the four of most common origami bases. You will need to learn their names and folds in order to follow more complex instructions.

Many origami models are derived from the same few bases, or series of folds. You may come across origami instructions that, rather than beginning from a square of paper, will simply begin from a pre-folded base. In this case, you will need to know how to achieve that base on your own.

Preliminary Base

1. Position a square of paper on your work surface so that its points are facing up and down, left and right.

2. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.

3. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold. Turn the paper over.

4. Position the square so that its edge are facing up and down, left and right.

5. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.

6. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded.

7. Grasp the resulting rectangle at its left and right sides and push inward. The folds you made previously should allow the model to collapse into a diamond shape with one folded flap sticking out towards the front of the model and one sticking out towards the back.

8. Bring the front flap back to meet the left point of the diamond and bring the back flap up to meet the right point. Re-crease and flatten the model. The model will have one open end.

Waterbomb Base

1. Place a square of paper on your work surface and position it so that the edges are facing up and down, left and right.

2. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.

3. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.

4. Turn the square over and position it so that its points are facing up and down, left and right.

5. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.

6. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and leave folded.

7. Grasp the left and right points of the resulting triangle and push inward. The model should collapse along the pre-existing folds. The result will be another triangle shape that has one folded flap sticking out from the back of the model and another sticking out from the front.

8. Fold the front flap to the left and fold the back flap to the right so that your model will lie flat. The model will have one open end.

Bird Base

1. Place a square of paper on your work surface and position it so that the edges are facing up and down, left and right.

2. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.

3. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold. Turn the paper over.



4. Position the square so that the edges are now facing up and down, left and right.

5. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded. You should now have a rectangular shaped model.

6. Grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward. It should collapse along the pre-existing folds. The result will be a diamond shape that has one folded flap sticking out toward the back of the model and another sticking out toward the front.

7. Bring the front flap back to meet the left point of the diamond and bring the back flap up to meet the right point. Make sure all of the creases are as sharp as possible and that your model lies as flat as possible. Position the model so that the open end is pointing toward you.

8. Bring the lower left edge of the model's top layer over to meet the vertical center crease. Crease and unfold. Repeat with the lower right edge.

9. Bring the top point down toward the center of the model. Locate the crease lines made in Step 8. Fold the top point down just far enough so that the crease you make will touch each of the previous crease lines at the upper left and right edges. Crease and unfold.

10. Pull the bottom point of the model (top layer only) up toward the top point. The top layer should collapse along the existing crease lines as you move upward and you should be able to take the bottom point up an over to lay flat on the work surface. The result will be a long, skinny diamond shape sitting on top of the diamond-shaped bottom layer. Turn the model over.

11. Repeat Steps 8-10.

Frog Base

1. Place a square of paper on your work surface and position it so that the edges are facing up and down, left and right.

2. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.

3. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold. Turn the paper over.

4. Position the square so that the edges are now facing up and down, left and right.

5. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded. You should now have a rectangular shaped model.

6. Grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward. It should collapse along the pre-existing folds. The result will be a diamond shape that has one folded flap sticking out toward the back of the model and another sticking out toward the front.

7. Bring the front flap back to meet the left point of the diamond and bring the back flap up to meet the right point. Make sure all of the creases are as sharp as possible and that your model lies flat. Position the model so that the open end is pointing toward you.

8. Bring the upper right edge of the model down to meet the vertical center crease. Crease and unfold. Bring the upper right edge backward along the same crease line you just made. Crease and unfold.

9. Bring the right point of the model over to meet the vertical center crease. The right half of the model should open and collapse into an upside down kite shape.

10. Bring the lower left edge of the kite shape up to meet the center vertical crease line. Crease and unfold. Bring the lower left edge backward along the same crease line you just made. Crease and unfold. Repeat for the lower right edge.

11. Bring the top point of the model down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold.

12. Pull the bottom edge of the kite shape up so that it collapses into a point toward the top of the model and the edges come together at the vertical center. Press flat.

13. Repeat Steps 8-12 for the back of the model and each side.

14. Rotate the paper layers as needed to achieve a smooth surface on the front and back of the model.

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