How to make an origami seal

This traditional origami project is a simple one. It should take the beginner only a few minutes to complete. Follow the directions carefully and only move on to the next step when you are confident that all previous steps have been correctly completed.

In order to begin this model, you’ll need a piece of paper that has been cut into a true square, a pair of scissors, and a place to work. Use any paper you have on hand for your practice folds a sheet of copy paper works well. Practice with inexpensive paper and then move on to colored or patterned paper once you have successfully mastered the folds of the model.

Before you begin folding, you’ll need to find a suitable place to work. Folding against a hard, flat surface works best for making the sharp creases and accurate folds needed for a successfully completed model. A table, hardback book, or even a floor will work. Make creases even sharper by running a pencil or ruler edge 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 seal 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.
  4. Bring the upper-right edge of the model down to meet the center horizontal crease line. Crease and unfold.
  5. Repeat Step 4 for the upper left edge.
  6. Bring the lower right edge of the model up to meet the center horizontal crease line. Crease and unfold.
  7. Repeat Step 6 for the lower left edge.
  8. Pinch the model at its top and bottom points along the pre-existing crease line. Bring the top and bottom points together at the center. The model should collapse along the crease lines made in Steps 2-7 to form a long diamond shape. The points you are holding will stick straight out from the model. Press the diamond shape flat.
  9. Fold the model in half lengthwise so that the points that are sticking out from the top are now protruding from either side. Re-position the model so that its flat edge is resting on your work surface and the model is standing on its own. The model will now resemble a two-layered pyramid shape that has one triangular flap pointing toward you and another pointing away from you. These flaps will form the seal’s front flippers.
  10. Open up the model at its top-right edge. Hold the layers of the model together at its top point and press up on the bottom right edge. The right side of the model should flatten out and its point should be sticking straight up.
  11. Reverse the crease of the flattened right side of the model to form the seal’s upper body and head. Pinch to keep in place.
  12. Bring the top of the upper body portion down so that the tip flattens out. Pinch into place to create the seal’s head. Re-position the head, if necessary, so that it tilts upward.
  13. Use scissors to snip the left edge of the model. This will create the seal’s rear flippers. Make the rear flippers as long or as short as you like.
  14. Adjust the front flippers, if necessary, so that the seal stays upright.

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