How to make an origami butterfly

Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, and there’s nothing more satisfying than creating a beautiful butterfly out of a single sheet of paper. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make your own origami butterfly step-by-step. So grab a piece of paper and let’s get started!

make an origami butterfly

Origami, the art of paper folding, has captivated people for centuries with its simplicity and beauty. If you’re interested in exploring this ancient Japanese art form, creating an origami butterfly is a perfect place to start. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making an origami butterfly. So, gather your materials and let’s dive into the world of folded wonders!

Materials Needed

Before we begin, let’s gather the necessary materials for this project. You will need the following items:

  1. Origami paper: Square-shaped paper specifically designed for origami. It is lightweight and holds creases well.
  2. Scissors: Used for trimming paper (if necessary) or adding details.
  3. Pencil: Helpful for marking specific points or making delicate folds.
  4. Flat surface: A clean, flat area to work on, providing a stable foundation for your origami masterpiece.

Now that we have everything we need, let’s proceed with the step-by-step instructions.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Folding the Base

To begin, we will fold the base of our origami butterfly. This base serves as the foundation for the subsequent folds. Follow these steps:

  1. Start with the origami paper in front of you, colored side facing down.
  2. Fold the paper diagonally in half to form a triangle, ensuring the corners meet precisely.
  3. Unfold the paper and repeat the diagonal fold in the opposite direction, forming an X-shaped crease.
  4. Rotate the paper 90 degrees.
  5. Fold the paper horizontally in half, bringing the bottom edge to meet the top edge.
  6. Unfold the paper again, and you will have a square shape with two intersecting creases.

Creating the Wings

Now that we have the base, it’s time to shape the butterfly’s wings. Follow these steps carefully:

  1. Orient the square base so that the folded lines are in a diamond shape, resembling an open book.
  2. Fold the top and bottom edges towards the centerline, meeting at the middle crease.
  3. Rotate the paper 180 degrees.
  4. Fold the top and bottom edges towards the centerline again, meeting at the middle crease.
  5. Gently fold the model in half along the middle crease, bringing the top edge to meet the bottom edge.
  6. Open up the wings by pulling the top layer slightly away from the center, forming a kite-like shape.

Shaping the Body

To complete the origami butterfly, we will shape its body. Follow these steps to add the final touches:

  1. Fold the upper portion of the body in half towards the wings.
  2. Flip the model over.
  3. Fold the bottom portion of the body up, meeting the upper portion.
  4. Unfold the bottom portion and tuck it inside the upper portion, creating a pleat.
  5. Adjust the wings and body as needed to achieve the desired appearance.

Customization Options

Now that you have mastered the basic origami butterfly, feel free to explore various customization options. Here are some ideas to inspire your creativity:

  1. Color combinations: Experiment with different colors for the wings and body, creating unique visual effects.
  2. Patterned paper: Use origami paper with patterns or prints to add an extra touch of elegance.
  3. Decorations: Glue small beads, sequins, or other embellishments onto the wings for a more elaborate design.

Remember, origami is not just about following instructions; it’s about expressing your creativity!

Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to origami, here are some tips to help you along the way:

  1. Start with larger paper: Working with larger-sized origami paper makes it easier to handle and see the folds.
  2. Take your time: Origami requires patience and precision. Rushing through the steps may lead to mistakes.
  3. Practice with scrap paper: Before using your special origami paper, practice folding with regular printer paper to familiarize yourself with the techniques.
  4. Use tutorials and diagrams: Online tutorials and origami books often provide detailed step-by-step instructions that can be helpful for beginners.
  5. Enjoy the process: Origami is a calming and meditative activity. Embrace the journey and appreciate each fold.

Benefits of Origami

Engaging in origami offers several benefits beyond the joy of creating beautiful paper sculptures. Here are a few reasons why you should give origami a try:

  • Stress relief: The repetitive nature of folding paper can have a soothing effect, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
  • Mindfulness: Origami requires focus and concentration, promoting mindfulness and helping you stay in the present moment.
  • Creativity enhancement: Origami encourages creative thinking and problem-solving skills, stimulating your imagination.
  • Fine motor skills: The precise folds in origami help improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Origami Butterfly as a Symbol

The butterfly holds a special place in many cultures as a symbol of transformation, beauty, and freedom. In Japan, the butterfly (cho) represents joy and marital bliss. In Chinese culture, it symbolizes young love and the arrival of spring. Throughout history, the butterfly has been associated with various meanings across different civilizations.

Fun Origami Butterfly Projects

Once you have mastered the art of making origami butterflies, you can explore other creative projects. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Origami butterfly mobile: Create a hanging mobile by making multiple origami butterflies and attaching them to strings at different lengths.
  2. Origami butterfly greeting cards: Use your origami butterflies to decorate handmade greeting cards for birthdays, weddings, or any special occasion.
  3. Origami butterfly wall decorations: Fold a collection of origami butterflies and arrange them on a wall as a vibrant and eye-catching art installation.

With origami, the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination soar!


Congratulations on learning how to make an origami butterfly! This simple yet elegant art form allows you to create stunning paper creations and explore your creativity. Whether you choose to make a single butterfly or embark on larger origami projects, the process of folding paper can be both relaxing and rewarding. So, gather your materials, follow the instructions, and enjoy the magical journey of origami!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use regular paper for making an origami butterfly?
    • While it’s possible to use regular paper, origami paper is recommended for its specific qualities, such as its square shape and ability to hold creases.
  2. How long does it take to learn origami?
    • Learning origami depends on the complexity of the models and your dedication. With practice, you can become proficient in basic origami folds within a few hours.
  3. What is the easiest origami butterfly pattern for beginners?
    • The classic origami butterfly pattern described in this article is suitable for beginners. It provides a solid foundation for more intricate designs.
  4. Are there any safety precautions while folding origami?
    • Origami is generally safe, but be cautious when using scissors or other sharp tools. Keep them away from children and handle them with care.
  5. Can children make origami butterflies?
    • Yes, children can enjoy making origami butterflies. It’s a great activity for enhancing their fine motor skills, creativity, and patience. Adult supervision may be needed for younger children.

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