How to make an origami bluebird

This origami project is suitable for beginners and can be folded in approximately five minutes. Follow the directions and move on to the next step only when you are certain that all prior steps have been correctly completed. The only equipment you need is a square of paper and a place to work.

Use any kind of paper that you like for practice. Start out with a plain, white copy or typing paper first and then move on to special patterned or colored paper if desired. Any paper you choose should be heavier in weight than the average sheet of notebook paper.

Make sure that your work surface is stable, hard, and flat. The appropriate surface will allow you to make the accurate folds and sharp crease needed for successful completion of your model. Run a ruler or pencil edge over each crease as you work for even sharper creases.

  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 the color you want for the exterior of the bird is face down.
  2. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.
  3. Bring the lower left edge over to meet the vertical center crease line. Crease and leave folded.
  4. Bring the lower right edge over to meet the vertical center crease line. Crease and leave folded. The result is a kite-shaped model. Turn the model over.
  5. Bring the top point of the model down so that the resulting crease line lies along the top edges of the flaps created in Steps 3 and 4. Crease and leave folded. Turn the model over.
  6. Bring the upper left point to the center of the model. The left half of the model’s upper edge should come down to lie along the center vertical line. Crease and unfold.
  7. Bring the upper right point to the center of the model. The right half of the model’s upper edge should come down to lie along the center vertical line. Crease and unfold.
  8. Bring the bottom point up to meet the upper left point. Crease and unfold.
  9. Bring the bottom point up to meet the upper right point. Crease and unfold.
  10. Push the upper left and right corners to the center of the model and down, in between the two layers of the model. The model’s top layer should collapse along the crease lines made in Steps 6-9. Left and the right wing-shaped flap should now extend downward from each side of the model.
  11. Turn up the tip of the left-wing shape so that it points out to the left and extends past the model’s edge. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the opposite wing shape. This creates the bird’s feet.
  12. Fold the model in half lengthwise, from right to left. Crease and leave folded. Rotate the model so that the top point (the bird’s neck) is now to your left and the bottom point (the bird’s tail) moves up to jut out towards your right.
  13. Push down on the folded edge of the bird’s head, close to the tip, so that it flattens out. Reverse the pre-existing crease so that the pushed-down portion of the neck is enclosed between the two paper layers and the tip points downward and out. This forms the head of the bird.
  14. Bring the tail over to the front of the model. The resulting crease line should be just to the right of the bird’s legs. Crease and leave folded.
  15. Bring the tailback to the right and create another crease that sits on top of the crease made in Step 14. Make the smallest crease that you can. Crease and leave folded. This creates a small pleat, or crimp, in the bird’s tail.

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