How to make an origami crawling beetle

This origami beetle is what is termed an śaction model. This means that some movement is involved in its completion. In this case, you move the model in a way that causes the beetle to crawl up a folded track, through the center of the model, and out the other side. This is a beginner-intermediate level project and should only take approximately five minutes to complete.

In order to fold this model, you’ll need a piece of paper that has been cut into a perfect square, a pair of scissors or a craft knife, and a suitable place to work. Begin with a standard sheet of copy paper or something similar. Once you have mastered the folds of the model, then you can move on to more appropriately colored or patterned paper, if desired.

Choose a hard, flat, and stable folding surface like a table or floor. This will allow you to make the accurate folds and sharp creases necessary to achieve a correctly completed model. Avoid soft or cushioned surfaces (sofas, pillows, bed, etc.). Make your creases even sharper by running a ruler or pencil edge over each one as you work.

  1. Position one square of paper on your work surface so that its 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 model is facing down
  2. Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.
  3. Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.
  4. Turn the model over and position it so that its points are now facing up and down, left and right.
  5. Bring the left point of the model over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.
  6. Bring the top point of the model down to meet the bottom point. Crease and leave folded.
  7. Grasp the left and right points of the resulting triangle and push inward. The model should collapse along pre-existing folds. The result will be another triangle shape that has one folded flap sticking out from the back of the model and another sticking out from the front.
  8. Fold the front flap to the left and fold the back flap to the right so that your model will lie flat. Position your model so that its open end is facing toward you.
  9. Bring the bottom point of the model (top layer only) up to meet the top point. Crease and unfold.
  10. Turn the model over and repeat Step 9.
  11. Bring the bottom point of the model (top layer only) up to meet the center horizontal crease line to create a triangular flap. Crease and leave folded.
  12. Bring the bottom edge of the triangular flap created in Step 11 up to meet the horizontal crease line to create a folded horizontal strip. Crease and leave folded.
  13. Fold up the horizontal strip created in Step 12. Crease and leave folded. The bottom edge of the resulting strip should lie along the model’s horizontal center.
  14. Turn the model over and repeat Steps 11-13.
  15. Bring the left point of the model (top layer only) over to meet the right point to create a smooth surface. Press flat.
  16. Turn the model over and repeat Step 15.
  17. Bring the lower-left edge of the model (top layer only) up to meet the center vertical crease line. Crease and leave folded.
  18. Repeat Step 17 for the model’s lower right edge.
  19. Turn the model over and repeat Steps 17-18.
  20. Bring the right point of the model (top layer only) over to meet the left point. Press flat.
  21. Turn the model over and repeat Step 20. Two leg-like points should be formed at the bottom of the model. These will serve as the beetle’s track
  22. Use scissors to cut asymmetrical, diamond-shaped sections from the top of the model. The top point of the model will be the top point of the diamond shape. This diamond shape is the beetle.
  23. Slide the diamond shape between the model’s two bottom legs so that each leg is positioned between the diamond’s top and bottom layers. This secures the beetle on its track.
  24. Grasp the points of the model’s legs between thumbs and forefingers and move your hands in a rapid back and forth motion, alternately bringing one hand toward your body and the opposite one away. The beetle will move upward along the track as you move your hands, will disappear into the folds of the model, and then reappear at the top. You may have to practice your hand movements a bit until you establish the correct pattern of movement.

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