How to make an origami barge

This origami project is a bit complex and has many steps. Simply follow the directions carefully and make sure that each step has been completed correctly before moving on to the next one.

Practice folding your barge with any paper you have on hand. As long as the paper is cut into a true square, it will work. Start with plain, white copy or typing paper. Once you have mastered the folds of this model, move on to a colored or patterned paper for your display version.

For the best results, fold against a hard, flat surface such as a table or hardback book. You’ll need this type of work surface in order to make accurate folds and sharp creases. Keep a pencil or ruler on hand and run one over your creases 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, the color you want for the exterior of the barge should be facing down.
  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.
  4. Bring the top point down to the center of the model. Use the intersection of the creases created in Step 2 and 3 as your guide.
  5. Repeat Step 4 for the remaining three points of the model to create a square shape.
  6. Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the horizontal center. Use the pre-existing horizontal crease line as a guide.
  7. Repeat Step 6 for the bottom edge of the model.
  8. Bring the left edge of the model in to meet the vertical center. Use the pre-existing vertical crease line as a guide.
  9. Repeat Step 8 for the right edge of the model. Two rectangular flaps now form the top layer of the model.
  10. Bring the upper edge of the left rectangular flap over to lie along the model’s left edge. Crease and unfold.
  11. Repeat Step 10 for the lower edge of the left rectangular flap.
  12. Bring the upper edge of the right rectangular flap over to lie along the model’s right edge. Crease and unfold.
  13. Repeat Step 12 for the lower edge of the right rectangular flap.
  14. Lift the left rectangular flap up just enough to locate the two free points located at the flap’s midpoint. Grasp these points and pull one up and the other down. This will cause the flap to collapse into a boat shape. Press flat.
  15. Repeat Step 14 for the right rectangular flap. Two boat shapes, long edges together, now form the top layer of the model. Turn the model over.
  16. Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the vertical center crease line. Crease and leave folded.
  17. Repeat Step 16 for the right edge of the model. Turn the model over.
  18. Open up what remains of the two boat shapes at the top of the model. You will not be able to lay them flat at this point.
  19. Locate the two pointed flaps that meet at the center of the model. One is pointing down from the top and the other is pointing up from the bottom.
  20. Open up the top pointed flap a bit and bring it up so that it collapses into a small boat shape. This will also cause the top of the model to lie flat on your work surface. Press flat.
  21. Repeat Step 20 for the bottom pointed flap. You should now be able to see four small pointed flaps at the center of the model.
  22. Hold the center of the model secure between thumb and forefinger. Pull the left flap out to the left. The left side of the model will unfold into a diamond-shaped flap. Press flat.
  23. Repeat Step 22 for the right flap. The model will now resemble two overlapping diamond shapes with a square at the center. Turn the model over.
  24. Bring the model’s two top points down to the center. Use the intersection of pre-existing crease lines as a guide. Crease and leave folded.
  25. Repeat Step 25 for the two bottom points.
  26. Bring the right point of the model into where the right top and right bottom points come together. Crease and leave folded. The right side of the model will be square-shaped and the left side will be pointed.
  27. Bring the right edge of the model over to meet the vertical center of the right square shape. Use the pre-existing flaps as a guide.
  28. Bring the upper-left edge of the model down so that it almost meets the horizontal center crease line. Crease and leave folded.
  29. Repeat Step 28 for the lower left edge. The result will be a narrowed left point
  30. Fold the model in half lengthwise from bottom to top.
  31. Grasp the model by its left point and right edges. Pull out and up. The bottom of the barge should expand.
  32. Insert a finger in between the model’s paper layers and carefully open up the bottom of the boat until it is flattened out and the barge takes on a relatively rounded shape.

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