Paper ****erflies are not only dainty and chic, they're also fun to make. Try your hand at origami to create one or, if you're more of a crafting beginner, fold a simpler version with pretty pleats. When you're finished, use your ****erflies as decor or give them to friends and family as gifts.

EditFolding an Origami ****erfly

  1. Fold the paper in half, then open it and fold it in half the other way. Make sure to crease both of the folds. Line up the edges when youíre folding to ensure the crease is directly in the center.[1]
    • If your paper is the same color or pattern on both sides, it doesnít matter which side you start on. However, if one side is white, or the ďbackside,Ē begin with that side facing up.

  2. Fold the paper in half diagonally, open it, and fold on the other diagonal. Bring 2 opposite corners together to create the folds. Press down firmly to create defined creases. Repeat on both diagonals. Open the paper to lie flat after you fold it.[2]
    • Your 4 folds should intersect in the exact center of the paper.

  3. Bring the right and left creases together, creating a triangle. With the paper laying flat in front of you, press the right horizontal crease to the left one. As you do this, the paper should collapse onto itself in a triangle shape along the diagonal creases you made.[3]
    • Press down on the triangle to crease the paper once itís collapsed.
    • If the paper isnít folding properly, go back over your original creases again. If they arenít defined enough, the paper will have trouble falling into the shape.

  4. Fold the 2 top corners into the center. When you created the triangle shape, it made 2 layers. Grab the corners on the top layer and line up their edges with the crease in the middle of the triangle.[4]
    • Try to align the corners with the crease perfectly so they arenít overlapping or so there isnít a large gap between the edges in the center.

  5. Flip the triangle over and fold the bottom up, leaving a small tip showing. You arenít folding it completely half. Instead youíre folding it about 1/3 up from the base of the triangle. Hold the fold in place gently with your hand.[5]
    • Donít crease the fold.

  6. Bend the top layer of the tip over the base. There are 2 layers at the tip of the triangle. Peel the top 1 forward, folding it over the wide triangle bottom youíre currently holding in place. The tip will be the head of the ****erfly.[6]
    • Crease the fold that you make with the tip. This will help secure the body of the ****erfly in place and prevent it from unraveling.

  7. Pull down the pieces from the bottom layer to create the lower wings. With the top layer folded over, bring the bottom layer of the tip in the opposite direction. The points of the 2 triangular pieces should be facing down, away from the folded head.[7]
    • It may help to hold the folded tip with your thumb while you pull the other pieces down so that the ****erfly doesnít come apart.
    • Re-crease the folded tip after you arrange the bottom pieces if necessary.
    • Trim the edges of the wings if you want a smaller ****erfly.

EditMaking a Pleated Paper ****erfly

  1. Fold the square piece of paper in half, creasing it. Line up the edges of the paper when you fold it to make sure youíre creating a line directly down the middle. Press firmly with your fingernail to form the crease.[8]
    • Use any type of paper youíd like, whether itís origami paper, colorful cardstock, or even pretty gift wrap.
    • The size of your paper doesnít matter, as long as itís square. If you have a rectangular piece, simply trim it down so all of the edges are the same length.

  2. Unfold the paper and cut along the crease line. Use your scissors to cut the piece of paper in half. The groove of the crease should help guide your scissors in a straight line through the paper.[9]
    • Make sure your scissors are sharp so they donít tear or crinkle the paper.
    • If you have trouble cutting in a line, hold your scissors against a straight edge, like a ruler, while you cut.

  3. Make accordion folds with one of the pieces of the paper. Fold a small piece lengthwise, then flip the paper over to fold it back onto itself. Continue flipping the paper from side to side as you fold along the entire length of the paper. Think of this motion as similar to making a pleat or a fan.[10]
    • You can make the folds as thick or as thin as you'd like.
    • Keep the folds all the same thickness, no matter what size you choose.

  4. Take the other piece of paper you cut and fold it in half lengthwise. Place the 2 longer edges on top of each other. Then create a crease by pressing down along the fold.[11]
    • Try to make the crease as straight and even as possible so it splits the paper directly in half.

  5. Open it up and fold the 4 corners in toward the center crease line. Line up the edges straight along the crease. Your paper will now be in the shape of a hexagon, with 2 pointed ends formed by the folded corners.[12]
    • Leave the corners folded. If they wonít stay in place, use a piece of double-sided tape or a little bit of glue under the flap.

  6. Flip the paper over and make accordion folds on each side of the crease. Fold one half the paper in towards the center. Then repeat on the other side. This will be the top half of the ****erflyís wings.[13]
    • Make the folds as large or as small as youíd like, depending on the size of your paper.

  7. Bend both pieces of pleated paper in half. Press the pleats together and hold the paper between your thumb and forefinger. Carefully fold one end onto the other, creasing it firmly.[14]
    • The paper wonít stay folded, but thatís okay. You just want to make a crease, so the paper is in a V-shape.

  8. Place 1 piece above the other and tie them together at the center. Arrange the 2 pieces so that they form a ****erfly shape. Pinch them together while you tie string or cord around both pieces.[15]
    • To secure the 2 pieces together better, you can add a dab of craft glue or hot glue in the middle.
    • Having a friend hold the pieces together while you tie the string makes it easier to get a tight knot.
    • You can also use ribbon or a pipe cleaner instead of string.

  9. Pull out the pleats to open up the wings. Scrunched-up folds donít exactly resemble a beautiful ****erfly. Gently pull the pleats apart so that the 2 pieces of paper look like 1 large wing on each side instead of 2 disjointed ones.[16]
    • Be careful not to rip the paper when youíre arranging the pleats.

EditThings Youíll Need

EditOrigami ****erfly

  • 1 square piece of paper

EditPleated Paper ****erfly

  • 1 square piece of paper
  • 1 piece of string, cord, or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape (optional)
  • Glue (optional)

EditSources and Citations

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