How to make an origami duck

Feathered creatures have always been popular subjects in origami. This traditional origami design requires a bit of patience and practice, but can be achieved by most origami enthusiasts. As with most origami projects, this model begins with a square of paper and a flat, stable work surface.

Practice folding your duck with plain, white copy or typing paper first. After you have achieved the desired look, then use appropriately colored and patterned paper. You can use two-sided origami paper if you like (white on one side, colored on the other). This paper comes pre-cut into squares and is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. It is relatively expensive, though. You could get a similar look from a heavier weight gift wrapping paper. Check out local discount paper stores for bargains as well.

The only other item you need in order to fold this model is a suitable place to work. Your creases will be sharper (very important to the success of your model) if you fold against a hard, flat surface such as a table or hardback book. To make creases even sharper, run a ruler edge or pencil over each one as you work.

  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 plane 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 cease 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. Position the model so that its narrowest portion is pointed toward you.
  6. Bring the top point down almost all the way to the bottom point. Approximately 1/4 of the model should still be visible from underneath the resulting top layer. Crease and leave folded. Two narrow rectangular flaps should now be positioned along the model’s top edge.
  7. Fold the top layer’s bottom point up toward the top of the model. The resulting crease line should lie along the bottom of the two rectangular flaps created in Step 6. Crease and leave folded.
  8. Fold the model in half lengthwise from left to right. Crease and leave folded.
  9. Bring the right point of the model (top layer only) to the left so that the very tip extends just past the model’s left edge. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the opposing point. The tips should be even with each other.
  10. Position the model so that the points folded back in Step 9 are jutting out from the upper left of the model.
  11. Grasp the model between thumb and forefinger at the points folded back in Step 9. Use your other hand to open up the bottom point along its length as much as you can.
  12. Push the bottom, opened-up portion of the model up and to the left until it is perpendicular to the model. Reverse the pre-existing crease and pinch into place. This will become the neck and head of the duck.
  13. Re-position the model so that the neck and head portion points straight up. You should now be able to see the duck taking shape.
  14. Grasp the pointed head and neck portion of the model at the point where it meets the body of the duck.
  15. Bring the point of the neck portion down and to the left so that its length above the base points straight out to the left. The head and neck portion will flatten out a bit.
  16. Reverse the pre-existing crease line along the head and neck portion of the model while still holding the point where the neck meets the base. Pinch into place and release your hold.
  17. Form the beak of the duck by pressing down along the top of the head portion. Push in toward the center of the model so that the portion you are pushing reverses its pre-existing crease line and becomes enclosed between the head’s two paper layers. The very tip of the head portion should stick out from between the layers. Pinch into place and position as desired.
  18. Form the tail of the duck by pressing down at the right end of the model. Press so that the folded edge flattens and then reverse the pre-existing crease line. The tip of the tail should be sticking out from between the folds. Bring the tip of the tail up so that it points upward from between the fold.

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