How to make an origami church building

This origami church is a beginner-intermediate level project that should take approximately ten minutes to complete. You’ll need a 3-inch or larger square of paper, two toothpicks, and paint, pencils, crayons, or markers.

The paper you use should be approximately the same weight as a sheet of copy paper and should be able to hold a crease well. Practice with inexpensive paper first and then move on to special colored or patterned paper only after you have mastered the folds of the model.

Take the time to make each crease as sharp as possible the sharper the creases, the more accurately and easily your model will come together. Fold against a hard, flat, stable surface and run a ruler or pencil edge over each crease as you work.

  1. Position a square of paper on your work surface so that the edges 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 church is facing down.
  2. Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded.
  3. Bring the left edge of the resulting rectangle (both layers) over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.
  4. Anchor the left side of the model against your work surface and open up the model’s right edge. Push the model’s upper right corner over and down until it meets the midpoint of the bottom edge. The top layer of the model’s bottom right corner should come over to meet the bottom left corner, as well. Press flat. The model’s top layer should now consist of a triangular flap.
  5. Turn the model over and position it so that the open end is facing toward you. The model’s remaining straight edge should face to the right.
  6. Repeat Step 4 to create a triangular-shaped model.
  7. Bring the model’s bottom right point (top layer only) up to meet the top point. The right half of the model’s bottom edge should come up to lie along the center vertical crease line. Crease and leave folded.
  8. Repeat Step 7 for the model’s bottom-left point to create a diamond-shaped top layer.
  9. Turn the model over and repeat Steps 7-8.
  10. Locate the two triangles that now make up the model’s top layer. Grasp the top point of the left triangle and lift it up just a bit.
  11. Open up the right edge of the left triangle and simultaneously push down on its top point. The triangle’s paper layers should separate as you push the top point down to meet the bottom point and a square flap should be formed at the model’s bottom left. Press flat.
  12. Repeat Step 11 for the triangle that now makes up the right half of the model’s top layer. The resulting model should now resemble a house.
  13. Turn the model over and repeat Steps 10-12.
  14. Bring the left edge of the model (top layer only) back toward the interior of the model to meet the vertical center. Crease and leave folded.
  15. Repeat Step 14 for the model’s corresponding right edge.
  16. Turn the model over and repeat Steps 14-15.
  17. Locate the two rectangular flaps that make up the model’s top layer. Open up the right edge of the left rectangular flap and push its top-right point down and to the left. The top right point should come down to meet the long, left edge of the model’s second layer and the flap should collapse into the shape of a small house. Press flat.
  18. Repeat Step 17 for the remaining rectangular flap to create a symmetrical model.
  19. Locate the triangular flap at the bottom center of the model – its free point should be touching the bottom edge. Bring that point up as far as you are able. Crease and leave folded. You should now be able to see three roof peaks at the model’s horizontal center and one large roof peak at the top.
  20. Turn the model over and repeat Steps 17-19.
  21. Use pens, markers, paint, or crayons, to add doors, windows, and other embellishments to the church’s facade. Create a cross from two toothpicks that have been glued or tied together in the appropriate position and then stick the cross through the very top of the model. Make sure that the size of the cross is proportionate to the size of the church.
  22. Stand the church upright to display.

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