How to make an origami lifeboat

Water vessels are a common subject in origami, the ancient art of Japanese paper folding. This model is a simple one and can be completed in just a few minutes. The most challenging part of this model is that it must be turned inside out in order for it to take its final shape.

In order to begin folding your lifeboat, you’ll need a piece of paper that has been cut into a true square and a suitable folding surface. Practice with any plain, white paper you have on hand and make your final version from a special colored or patterned paper. Make sure that any paper you use is a bit heavier than the average loose-leaf notebook paper.

You’ll also need a well-lit workspace and a hard, flat surface upon which to fold. Folding against this type of surface will help you achieve the accurate folds and sharp creases needed for a successful model. A table or hardback book will work well. Run a pencil or ruler edge over each crease as you work to make them even sharper.

  1. Position a 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 boat is facing down.
  2. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.
  3. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.

4, Bring the upper right point of the model down to its center. Use the intersection of crease lines made in Steps 2 and 3 as a guide.

  1. Repeat Step 4 for the remaining three points of the model to form a diamond shape. Turn the model over.
  2. Position the model so that its edges are facing up and down, left and right.
  3. Bring the top edge of the model down to the center. Use the intersection of crease lines made in Steps 2 and 3 as a guide.
  4. Repeat Step 7 for the bottom edge of the model. Turn the model over and position it so that its long edges are facing up and down. Locate the four points that meet at the model’s center.
  5. Bring the left point over to meet the left edge. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the right point. Turn the model over and position it so that its short edges are facing up and down.
  6. Being the upper left point down toward the center of the model. The left half of the upper edge will come down to lie along the vertical centerline. Crease and leave folded.
  7. Repeat Step 10 for the remaining three points of the model.
  8. Bring the upper-left edge of the model down to meet the vertical centerline crease and leave folded. Repeat for the upper right, lower right, and lower left edges of the model. Turn the model over and fold it in half, lengthwise from left to right.
  9. Pick the model up and locate the three folded edges that make up its left edge. Pull the model apart at the two outer edges so that the center folded edge is flattened out. Your model should now be shaped like a boat.
  10. Turn the model inside out very carefully.
  11. Lift up the flaps at either end of the boat to finish the model.

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