How To Fold An Origami Iris

This iris a beginner-intermediate level project. Just follow the directions given and do not proceed to the next step until you’re sure that all prior steps have been completed correctly.

You’ll need a square of paper for your iris. Practice with any plain, white paper you have on hand, but make your display version from a special colored or patterned paper. Use blue or purple paper for a realistic bloom or any color necessary to achieve the desired look. Make sure that any paper you use is a bit heavier than the average loose-leaf notebook paper.

The only other thing you’ll need before you begin folding is a well-lit, suitable place to work. In order to achieve accurate folds and sharp creases, you should fold against a hard, flat surface. A table or hardback book will do nicely. Run a pencil or ruler edge over each crease as you work to make them even sharper.

  1. Position a square of paper on your work surface so that its points are facing up and down, left and right. If you are using two-sided paper, make sure that desired dominant color is face up.
  2. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold.
  3. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold. Turn the paper over.
  4. Position the paper so that the square’s edges 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. Position it on your work surface so that the open end is facing away from you.
  9. Bring the lower right edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the vertical center crease. Crease and unfold. Now bring the lower right edge backward along the same crease line. Crease and unfold.
  10. Open up the upper-right edge of the model and bring the right point over to the center crease. The right side of the model should collapse along the crease lines made in Step 7. Press the resulting kite shape flat.
  11. Bring the right point of the kite shape over to meet its left point. Press the model flat.
  12. Bring the lower right edge of the model over to meet the vertical center crease. Crease and unfold. Now bring the lower right edge backward along the same crease line. Crease and unfold.
  13. Open up the upper-right edge of the model and bring the right point over to the center crease line. The right side of the model should collapse along the crease lines made in Step 10. Press the resulting kite shape flat. Turn the model over.
  14. Repeat Steps 7-11.
  15. Bring the top of the model down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold.
  16. Bring the upper-left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the center vertical line. Crease and unfold. Bring the same edge backward along the crease line you just made. Crease and unfold. Repeat for the upper-right edge.
  17. Bring the top flat edge that lies between the top and horizontal center of the model down toward the bottom point. The left and right edges of the model’s top layer should come together and the pulled down edge should collapse into a point. The resulting shape should be a small, upside-down kite shape. Press flat.
  18. Bring the bottom point of the small kite shape you just made up toward the top of the model. Press flat
  19. Repeat Steps 14-16 for the back of the model and the two sides.
  20. Turn the layers of the model as if they were book pages until you have a smooth surface on the front and back and there is an equal number of paper layers on either side of the model.
  21. Bring the lower-left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the vertical centerline. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the lower right edge. Turn the model over and repeat.
  22. Repeat Steps 18-19
  23. Bring down each of the model’s four upper flaps to form petal. Adjust the petals as desired.

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