How to make an origami monkey

This traditional origami monkey is a fun model that will take the intermediate-advanced level enthusiast approximately ten minutes to complete. Follow the directions carefully and move on to the next step only when you are sure that all previous steps have been correctly completed. You may have to work this model several times before you achieve the desired look.

The first item you’ll need to acquire in order to fold your monkey is a square of paper. Practice with any paper you have on hand until you have mastered the folds of the model. Make your final version from a brightly colored or patterned paper. The paper you use should be heavier than the average sheet of loose-leaf notebook paper.

You’ll also need a well-lit, appropriate place to work. In order to achieve accurate folds and sharp creases, you have to fold against a hard, flat surface. A table or hardback book will do. Run a pencil or ruler edge over each crease as you work to make them even sharper.

The only other item you’ll need is a pair of scissors. This model requires that one portion of a fold be cut in order to achieve the appropriate look.

  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 monkey is facing down.
  2. Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.
  3. Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold. Turn the paper over.
  4. Position the square so that the edges are now facing up and down, left and right.
  5. Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold. Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded. You should now have a rectangular-shaped model.
  6. Grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward. It should collapse along the pre-existing folds. The result will be a diamond shape that has one folded flap sticking out toward the back of the model and another sticking out toward the front.
  7. Bring the front flap back to meet the left point of the diamond and bring the back flap up to meet the right point. Make sure all of the creases are as sharp as possible and that your model lies as flat as possible. Position the model so that the open end is pointing toward you.
  8. Bring the lower-left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the model’s vertical centerline. Crease and unfold. Fold the lower left edge backward along the crease line you just made. Crease and unfold.
  9. Repeat Step 8 for the lower right edge of the model.
  10. Bring the top point of the model down to meet the bottom edge. Crease just enough to mark the horizontal center. Do not make a sharp crease.
  11. Bring the top point of the model down to the center of the model. Use the crease line made in Step 10 as a guide. Crease and unfold.
  12. Bring the bottom point of the model (top layer only) up toward the top of the model, opening up the top layer as you go. The top layer should collapse along the crease line made in Step 11 and the bottom point should come behind the top point to touch your work surface. The left and right points of the model will meet at the center. The result will be a narrow diamond shape at the top of the model. Press flat.
  13. Turn the model over and Repeat Steps 11-12.
  14. Bring the right point of the model top layer only) over to meet the left point. Press flat. A small kite shape will now be formed at the lower half of the model.
  15. Turn the model over and repeat Step 14.
  16. Rotate the model so that its two legs are now facing toward you
  17. Bring the top point of the model (top layer only) down to meet the existing horizontal crease line. Crease and leave folded.
  18. Bring the upper-left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the vertical centerline. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the upper-right edge.
  19. Bring the left half of the model (top layer only) over to meet the right point. Press flat.
  20. Bring the left point of the model over 3/4 of the way toward its vertical center. Crease and leave folded. Fold in the upper-left edge of the model just enough to create a straight edge that runs from the new left point to the model’s top point. Crease and leave folded.
  21. Bring the two interior flaps that were folded together in Step 17 back to the left. Press flat.
  22. Repeat Step 19 for the model’s right point.
  23. Fold the model in half lengthwise, from left to right. The open end of the model should be facing to the right.
  24. Use a pair of scissors to snip through the top point at its fold. Continue the cut down to the midpoint of the model, taking care not to cut through other layers in the process. Opening up the model a bit should help. This divides the top point into a top and bottom layer.
  25. Grasp the top point (top layer only) between your right thumb and forefinger. Your forefinger should be on top. Twist the point down and out to the right as far as it will easily go. Pinch into place so that it sticks straight out to the right. This forms one arm of the monkey. Repeat the process with the remaining top point to create the other arm.
  26. Push the bottom point (top layer only) out to the right along its left edge. The end of the folded point will flatten out. Reverse the crease of the flattened portion and pinch in place to create one foot. Repeat for the remaining bottom point.
  27. Push down at the model’s upper left corner. The upper layers will open and flatten out. Reverse the existing crease and pinch into place to create the monkey’s head.

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