How to make an origami shark

This shark makes a quick beginner-intermediate level project. Use the shark as part of an origami display or string several together into a very scary mobile. Be creative! All you need is a square piece of paper and a place to work.

You can practice folding your shark with plain, white copy paper (or similar) first. After you have folded this model successfully once or twice, then move on to 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.

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 shark 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 lower-left edge of the diamond shape (top layer only) over to meet the vertical centerline. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the lower right edge.
  15. Turn the model over and repeat Step 14.
  16. Fold the top layer of the model in half lengthwise, from left to right. Press flat.
  17. Turn the model over and repeat Step 16.
  18. Fold approximately 1/4 the upper left point down and to the right to fold in between the paper layers. Pinch to keep in place. This forms the mouth of the shark.
  19. Twist the bottom point (top layer only) up and to the left so that it sticks straight out to the left.
  20. Twist the remaining bottom point of the model up and to the right so that it sticks straight out to the right. This completes the tail of the shark.

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