Origami Tree (Pyramid Tree)

Origami Tree (Pyramid Tree)

This origami tree has been around for a long time. It is often called “Origami Tree” or “Origami Christmas Tree”. Here, I give it a new name to distinguish it from all the other origami trees that are in existence, I call it a Pyramid Tree because each section is shaped like a pyramid.

2014: it has been noted that this design is actually not a traditional model; rather, it was created by Makoto Yamaguchi. As such we should keep the original name as stated by the designer.

Paper sizes:
If you are using 6″ origami paper, then a good size would be 6″, 5″ and 4″ squares. Note that the undersides of each pyramid-layer will be white. If you use paper that is the same color on both sides then you won’t get that problem.

If you are using computer / photocopy paper then the largest size you can use is 8.5″ x 8.5″. Here, you can use 8.5″, 7.5″, 6.5″, 4.5″ and 3.5″ squares to give you a 6-layered tree. The units become difficult to fold when the paper is less than 3″ square.

If you want a larger (taller) tree. you can cut large sheets of wrapping paper to the appropriate sizes.

The trunk of the tree should be made with paper the same size as the largest sheet used to make the top of the tree. In this example, photocopy paper was used and they were:
    brown: one 6″ square,
    green: one 6″, one 5″ and one 4″ square.

Cut your paper to size and start folding with the largest sheet.

origami pyramid tree

origami pyramid tree




Make Top Units of the Pyramid Tree

origami pyramid tree

Step 1:

Make a Preliminary Base. Fold and unfold along the diagonals to get an X-shaped crease mark. Turn paper over.

origami pyramid tree

Step 2:

Fold in half (left to right). Unfold.

origami pyramid tree

Step 3:

Fold in half (top to bottom).

origami pyramid tree

Step 4:

Begin to collapse the model into a Preliminary Base. Bring the top-left and top-right corners towards each other. Allow the top section to swing up…

origami pyramid tree
Keep going…

origami pyramid tree

Step 5:

Swivel the top-flap towards the right. There should be a similar flap behind, fold this one towards the left.

origami pyramid tree

Step 6:

Work with the top layer of paper only. Bring the bottom-corner to the right-corner as shown.

origami pyramid tree

Step 7:

Press the paper (yellow arrows) to establish a crease. Unfold.

origami pyramid tree

Step 8:

Fold the top-layer of paper up so the bottom-corner meets the top-corner.

origami pyramid tree

Step 9:

Turn the model over.

origami pyramid tree

Step 10:

Repeat step 6: bring bottom-corner to the right corner.

origami pyramid tree

Step 11:

Press the paper where indicated (yellow arrow) to establish crease. Unfold.

origami pyramid tree

Step 12:

Fold the top-layer in half (bottom to top).

origami pyramid tree

Step 13:

Like turning the pages of a book, turn the top-right flap towards the left. Similarly, turn one flap (that is behind the model) form left to right.

origami pyramid tree

Step 14:

Repeat steps 6 to 12 on the remaining two flaps.

origami pyramid tree

Step 15:

The next few steps will make the model 3D so it won’t lie flat anymore.
Pull down the paper where the crease meets the edge of the paper (blue dot).

origami pyramid tree
Bring the corners together (red dots).

origami pyramid tree
Notice that you form:
    1) a platform and
    2) a small triangle.
Fold the small triangle back so it wraps around behind.

origami pyramid tree
Tuck the small triangle in between layers of paper. This locks the platform in place giving the model 3D structure.

origami pyramid tree

Step 16:

This is how it looks like, top view. Repeat step 15 on the adjacent flap.
    1) pull paper down
    2) wrap triangle around
    3) tuck triangle in between layers.

origami pyramid tree

Step 17:

Repeat step 15 on the remaining two flaps.

origami pyramid tree origami pyramid tree origami pyramid tree

The last flap is the most difficult one to make because the model is already quite compact and tight. It gets even harder when the paper is smaller. Shown above is how the last flap can be tucked in between the layers. This is a bottom view.

origami pyramid tree
Top view.
One unit or tier of the Pyramid Tree is done.

origami pyramid tree
Side view.
Make more of these units using paper that is one inch smaller on each side.

Make the Trunk of the Pyramid Tree

origami pyramid tree

Step 1:

Make a Preliminary Base with the brown paper. Fold and unfold along the diagonals to get an X-shaped crease mark. Turn paper over.

origami pyramid tree

Step 2:

Fold in half (left to right). Unfold.

origami pyramid tree

Step 3:

Fold in half (top to bottom).

origami pyramid tree

Step 4:

Begin to collapse the model into a Preliminary Base. Bring the top-left and top-right corners towards each other. Allow the top section to swing up…

origami pyramid tree
keep going…

origami pyramid tree

Step 5:

Swivel the top flap towards the right. There should be a similar flap behind, fold this one towards the left.

origami pyramid tree

Step 6:

Make a Squash Fold. To do this, lift the top-right flap.

origami pyramid tree

Press the tip down to squash it flat.

origami pyramid tree

Turn the model over.

origami pyramid tree

Step 7:

Repeat Squash Fold on this side of the model. Lift the flap and…

origami pyramid tree

press down evenly.

origami pyramid tree

Step 8:

Repeat Squash Fold on the remaining two flaps.

origami pyramid tree

Step 9:

This is how it looks like when all 4 flaps have been squashed. Like turning pages of a book, turn the right-flap to the left. Swivel one flap (behind the model) the opposite direction.

origami pyramid tree

Step 10:

Fold the trunk of the tree the same way you did for the top of the tree (see step 15 above). Bring the bottom-corner to the right-corner.

origami pyramid tree
Press the paper (yellow arrows) to establish a crease. Unfold.

origami pyramid tree

Step 11:

Fold the bottom section up.

origami pyramid tree

Step 12:

Turn model over.

origami pyramid tree

Step 13:

Repeat step 10: bring bottom-corner to right-corner.

origami pyramid tree

Establish crease, then unfold.

origami pyramid tree

Step 14:

Fold the bottom section up.

origami pyramid tree

Step 15:

Repeat steps 10 to 14 with the two remaining flaps.

origami pyramid tree

Step 16:

Flare open the model.

origami pyramid tree
Pinch the flaps so they are in pairs (top view).

origami pyramid tree

Step 17:

Make the tree trunk 3-dimensional the same way you did with the top of the tree in step 15 above.

origami pyramid tree
When you tuck the small triangle in between the layers of paper, make it so the flaps are joined as pairs.

origami pyramid tree

Step 18:

Repeat on the other three flaps.

origami pyramid tree

Step 19:

This is how it looks like when all 4 flaps are done (top view).

origami pyramid tree

Bottom view.

origami pyramid tree

Prepare all flaps before assembly.

Assemble the Pyramid Tree

origami pyramid tree origami pyramid tree origami pyramid tree

Completed Pyramid Trees

origami pyramid tree
Three tiers
origami pyramid tree
4-Tier music patterns
origami pyramid tree
5-Tier Sparkle paper
origami pyramid tree
6-Tier rainbow colors

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