Origami Bird

origami bird

I love to teach this traditional origami bird. This paper bird is fairly easy to make and it can be finished in 5 to 10 minutes. You don’t need any special tools (no cutting or pasting involved), you just use a square sheet of paper and your fingers for folding.

I recommend using paper that is a different color on the front and back because both sides of the paper will be visible. In the instructions below, I started with the white-side up and this results in a bird with a white head.

Instructions for Origami Bird

Step 1:

Start with a square sheet of paper with white-side facing up. Fold in half along the diagonal. Unfold.

origami bird

Step 2:

Fold the bottom-left edge and the bottom-right edge towards the vertical crease made in step 1.

origami bird

Step 3:

Turn the model over.

Step 4:

Fold the top section down as shown.

origami bird

Step 5:

Turn the model over again.

origami bird

Step 6:

Fold the top-corners of the model down to meet with the mid-line.

Step 7:

Unfold the previous step.

Step 8:

This next step is a bit tricky so follow along carefully.

Peel the top layer of paper away from the rest of the model.

Begin to fold the top layer down.

Use the crease made in step 6 as a guide: the back layer of paper folds along this crease.

The front layers of paper should come together evenly.

Repeat on the other side.

Almost there…

Step 9:

To make the bird’s feet, fold the tips of the top layer (which you just made above) outwards.

Step 10:

Fold the model in half (right side over left side).

origami bird

Step 11:

Rotate so the bird is standing on its feet.

Step 12:

Let’s make the bird’s head by folding the tip down a bit.

The next few steps are commonly used when making origami birds. It is called the “inside reverse” fold.


Pry open the two layers of paper.

origami bird
Push the tip of the paper down so…

origami bird
it lies in between the layers of paper.

Step 12:

Start making the bird’s tail by making two parallel folds along the length of the tail.

origami bird

Step 13:

Pry open the tail section of the model.

origami bird

Step 14:

Top view.
Fold the tail section under the body by folding along the first crease made in step 12.

origami bird

Step 15:

Fold the tail back out using the second crease made in step 12.
This is a common procedure used in origami, it is called a “crimp” fold.

origami bird

Step 16:

Refold the model in half to get a completed origami bird.

origami bird


origami bird
If you use double sided paper (paper with a different color on the two sides, then the bird will be even more interesting.
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