How to make an origami giraffe

This giraffe is a beginner-intermediate level origami project that should take approximately ten minutes to complete. Unlike most origami projects, this one requires more in the way of materials than the single square sheet of paper. In order to complete this model, you will also need a ruler, pencil, scissors, and some markers or crayons. You will also need a sturdy work surface upon which to fold. Folding against a hard surface will give you the sharpest creases possible and this, in turn, will help your model better hold its shape.

You can choose just about any paper you like for this project. Simply make sure that it will be able to hold a crease well and that it is cut into a perfect square. One type of paper that works well for origami is copy paper it is inexpensive and is readily available Some papers are manufactured specifically for origami, but these tend to be a bit pricey for practice models. Once you have mastered the folds of your model, then you might want to consider moving on to more expensive, specialty papers.

  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 giraffe’s exterior is facing down.
  2. Bring the left point of the model over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.
  3. Bring the upper-left edge of the model over to meet the vertical center crease line made in Step 2. Crease and leave folded.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for the model’s upper-right edge. The model should now resemble an upside-down kite shape.
  5. Bring the model’s top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold.
  6. Grasp the upper portion of the model between your thumb and forefinger and hold the bottom portion steady with the opposite hand. Push the top portion down toward the bottom so that the crease line made in Step 6 meets the straight edges of the model’s top layer. Crease and leave folded.
  7. Fold the model in half by bringing the model’s right edge over to meet the left edge. Crease and leave folded. The upper portion of the model should now appear as if it is protruding from the interior of the lower portion.
  8. Rotate the model to the left so that the lower-left edge becomes the straight, bottom edge.
  9. Hold the bottom portion of the model securely between thumb and forefinger. With the opposite hand, bring the top point to the right so that it angles out to the right to the same degree that it angled to the left. A portion of the paper that has been folded into the model’s interior will lift during this step. Press flat into the new position.
  10. Fold the left edge of the model’s top layer backward, between paper layers, so that there is a straight folded edge between the top point and the lower-left corner. It may help to pencil in the intended crease line first. Crease and leave folded.
  11. Repeat Step 10 for the model’s bottom layer to create a symmetrical model.
  12. Use a ruler and pencil to draw a horizontal line that extends a little less than halfway up the model’s lower portion.
  13. Use a ruler and pencil to divide the model’s bottom edge into four equal portions.
  14. Use a ruler and pencil to draw a vertical line between each mark made in Step 13 and the horizontal line drawn in Step 12. The bottom of the model should now be divided into four square sections.
  15. Use scissors to cut out the second section over from the left edge (through both layers). Also cut out the section that borders the slanted right edge. This creates the giraffe’s legs and tail.
  16. Bring the top point of the model down along the right edge to meet the point where the top portion is enclosed within the bottom portion. Crease lightly and unfold. The resulting crease line should mark the midpoint of the model’s upper-right edge.
  17. Use scissors to cut from the midpoint marked in Step 16 upward at a slight angle. Cut approximately 3/4 of the way toward the left edge – do not cut all the way across.
  18. Open up the left edge of the model just a bit and push the top point of the model down and to the left, just above the cut line made in Step 17. The crease line of the manipulated portion will reverse as you push. Push until the pointed portion is jutting straight out to the left and is partially enclosed within the folds of the model. Press flat. This creates the giraffe’s head.
  19. Move the giraffe’s head until ears are visible at the model’s upper right. The ears are formed by the cut edge created in Step 17.
  20. Use a pencil and ruler to mark the midpoint of the bottom edge of the giraffe’s head.
  21. Use scissors to cut from the point marked in Step 20 upward and to the left. Cut all the way through, at an angle, to create a blunted giraffe’s face.
  22. Use markers or crayons to give the giraffe eyes and to decorate the body, as desired.

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