Make An Origami Water Trough

This water trough can be used as part of a miniature barnyard display or just for fun. This model can actually hold water!

Many functional items can be made with origami and this water trough is a good example of such an item - it is able to hold water when complete. This is a beginner-intermediate level project that can be completed in just a few minutes. All you need is a square of paper cut to the desired size and an appropriate surface upon which to work.

The paper you choose should be heavier than the average sheet of notebook paper. A heavier paper will allow the model to better hold its shape. A standard piece of copy paper works well for practice. After you have successfully completed the model once or twice, you may want to move on to specially colored or patterned paper.

Your work surface must be hard and flat in order to attain the sharpest creases possible. This is very important, as the sharpness of your creases will play a major role in how well your model folds and keeps its shape. Avoid soft, cushioned surface such as couches or pillows and use a table or hardback book instead.

1. Position a square of paper on your work surface so that its edges are facing up and down, left and right. If you are using two-sided paper, make sure that the dominant color of the trough is facing down.

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

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

4. Bring the upper left corner of the model down to the center. Use the intersection of crease lines made in Steps 2 and 3 as your guide. Crease and leave folded.

5. Repeat Step 4 for the remaining corners of the model to form a diamond shape.

6. Turn the model over and position it so that its edges are facing up and down, left and right.

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

8. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold. Re-position the model so that its points are facing up and down, left and right.

9. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point while simultaneously bringing the left point in to meet the right point. The model should collapse into a diamond shape. Press flat. Position the model so that its open end is facing away from you.



10. Fold the model in half from top to bottom. Crease and unfold.

11. Open up the flaps at the front of the model as much as you easily can and then bring the top point of the model (top layer only) down to meet the bottom point. The top layer of the model should collapse into a rectangular flap that sits at its bottom.

12. Turn the model over and repeat Step 11.

13. Bring the bottom edge of the model (top layer only) up to meet the top edge of the rectangular flap created in the previous step. This will cause the bottom layer of the rectangular flap's bottom edge to rise up and form a left and right triangular flap. Press the model flat.

14. Turn the model over and repeat Step 13.

15. Bring the left side of the model (top layer only) over to meet the right side. Press flat.

16. Turn the model over and repeat Step 15. The top layer of each side of the model will be composed of two flaps.

17. Locate the bottom point of the top layer's left flap and fold it up so that the tip points up and to the left. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the right flap's bottom point. The model's interior bottom point should now be visible.

18. Bring the lower left edge of the model in to meet the vertical center line. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the model's lower right edge.

19. Turn the model over and repeat Step 18.

20. Bring the top point of the model (top layer only) down toward its center so that the upper left and right edges of the model meet the upper edges of the flaps created in the previous step. Crease and leave folded.

21. Turn the model over and repeat Step 20.

22. Grasp the model by the top edges, front and back, and pull them apart. Continue opening up the model to form the interior of the trough.

23. Bring the model's left flap down and tuck it into the corresponding pocket located at the bottom of the model. Repeat for the right flap to complete the water trough.

© High Speed Ventures 2011