Oragami Paper Flower Folding

Learn to make paper flowers for fun and special occasions. This is a great way to actively engage in child parent activities.

Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. There are hundreds of projects that can be done with all types of paper and foil. There is no limit to the combinations available in craft stores and around the average home and office. This project will cover three types of Origami flowers that can be made in a short time, alone or in groups. These three flowers are by no means the only three available in the origami world. Any library or bookstore will have origami projects available that include many more flower designs.

Paper Choice

There is a wide assortment of Origami paper available at any hobby or craft store, and even some stores like Wal-Mart. Most papers come in a rainbow of colors, stripes, dots, and textures. Wrapping paper, the Sunday comics, and aluminum foil are also good papers to use for Origami projects. Origami paper is usually printed on one side and the other side is used for folded areas that will be on the inside of the project, but two sided paper can be used just as easily with no adverse affect on the design. The size of the finished object will be determined by the starting size of the square of paper chosen. Smaller objects require patience and good eyes, but otherwise, the sky's the limit.

Folding Basics

Almost all Origami art is created using one of the basic folds. These folds are named bases: the Crane, Rabbit, Pinwheel, Kabuto/Samurai/Yakko, Balloon, Organ, and Fish. Most flowers begin with the Crane or Balloon Base, so those are described below. Remember, the base is the starting point, and then go into the individual flower instructions for each flower you want to create. Practice makes perfect so don't give up if the first few flowers are duds or not exactly perfect; Origami is an exact folding art--it takes time to master it.

The Crane Base

Start with a square piece of paper. Practicing with notebook paper is the best way to learn the technique of correct folding. Keep each crease neat and exact. Lay the square of paper at an angle so that it resembles a diamond, with the one tip at the top and bottom, not the regular way you would write on it. Fold the top tip of the paper to the bottom tip of the paper diagonally to form a triangle. Then fold the right end of the triangle over to the left end and crease again to form a smaller triangle. Lastly, take the right end of this smaller triangle and fold it in half to form an even smaller triangle. Open the paper back up to its original square form, keeping the printed side face down. The sheet will have two long creases in it at this point, one going from each of the four tips through the center, and one crease from each of the four sides going through the center.

Take the top point and fold it down to the bottom tip and re-crease it in the middle to form the original triangle with the tips pointing downward. Next grab the triangle in the center on the top fold and take the creased tip on the right side and push it inside the folded paper. The resulting shape should be a diagonal fold on the right side and the left side will still be flat across the top. Repeat this step with the left side. Now the shape should be that of a triangle with four folded inside flaps pointing downward. Next insert a finger into one of the flaps and flatten it to resemble a diamond shape. Do this to both flaps to complete the diamond. The finished item should have two flaps on each side of the center point. Remember that all flaps should point and open downward. This is the Crane base.

Morning Glory Blossoms

Start with the Crane base. Then fold the side tip to the inside crease line. Do this to both sides of the diamond shape. Turn the folded paper over, and repeat this step to the remaining two tips. Grab the left bottom part of the fold and crease it so that the open edge touches the center creased line. Do this to the right side as well. Turn over the paper and repeat this step to the other two open edges as well. Take a pair of scissors and cut an arc across the top point (the center) of the folded paper, cutting from fir top of the first folded tip from left to right. Grab the closest flap on top and bend it forward. This action will open up the blossom part of this flower. Holding the paper at the top of the second folded flap will allow for easier spreading of the blossom. Once the blossom is open, flatten the right and left side top flaps to complete it. Looking at this flower from the top, it should have a round blossom.

The Balloon Base

Start with a square piece of paper with the colored side facing down, and place the paper at an angle to get a diamond shape. Grab the right tip and fold the triangle in half to the left edge and crease, then open up the folds you just created. Next, fold the paper in half and then half again to make more creases; now the paper is square shaped. Open up the paper again to reveal eight creased, four like a plus and four like an X. Grab the left and right side of the paper and push the their center creased to touch each other. Crease into triangle shape. There are now four flaps total. Flip the triangle so that the flaps are at the top of the project.

Iris (flat petals) and Lily (curved petals)

Start with the Balloon base. Now insert the pointer finger into the right flap and push that flap toward the center crease so that the flap's crease lines up with it and crease it into the rhombus (elongated diamond) shape. Turn paper over and repeat step. There are now two long flaps and two wide flaps. Take the right top flap and fold it to the center so it will be out of the way to make your next fold. Insert the pointer finger into the wide flap and line up the inside crease with the flap's crease and make the rhombus shape again. Fold the new left flap back over to the right side so it is in the original position. Fold the remaining left flap toward the center so it will be out of the way for the last fold to be made. Repeat final step so that there are four sides with four flaps of the rhombus. Now the rhombus has the open base with four flaps pointing upward in the center and eight flaps pointing upward at the edges.

Grasp the top flap at the left edge and fold it downward until its edge meets the center crease. Repeat this step for the right edge as well. Make sure the tip of each crease comes to a point at the top of the flower. Do this step for all four sides. There are now two creased tips on the left and two creased tips at the right of the top. Holding the flower by the bottom tip, grab the left flat flap and fold the flap's tip to the center crease, keeping it pointed at the bottom and crease. Repeat step on the right flap. Now repeat this step to the other three sides of the flower. Looking down into the flower from the top, there should be two tall flaps and four smaller flaps.

Grasp the flower at the bottom and use a thumb to come up under the right flap to spread it open at the top. Do this to all four flaps to create the pointed petals. If designing an Iris, the flower is complete. If designing a Lily, take a pencil and curl the petals by putting the pencil underneath each petal and twisting the paper downward.

Completing the Flowers

Once all the blossoms have been completed, it is time to add the greenery. Wire stems or pipe cleaners will work well for the stems. Cut out leaves from tissue paper and wrap them onto the stems. A big bouquet of Morning Glories, Iris and Lilies make wonderful gifts for invalids, birthday surprises and Mother's Day. Finish the bouquet by adding ribbon around the stems or enclosing the flowers in a few large sheets of tissue paper.

Origami is not that complicated, but there are a lot of steps to get to the finished flower. The satisfaction of a job well done will outweigh the frustration it takes to get to the finished product. And just think of the smiles that will be produced because you took the time to "make" a bouquet for a loved one!

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