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Paper dogs are simple to fold, and they make the cutest little companions to keep on your work desk. Want to learn how to make an origami dog? Follow along with the instructions in this post to create your very own in less than 15 minutes.
How to Make an Origami Dog
To learn how to fold an origami dog step by step, let’s turn to this Skillshare class from Origami Creation House. Follow the written instructions below or feel free to watch the full class if you need any clarification.
Start with a square piece of paper that’s colored on one side and white on the other. With the white side up, fold the square in half into a rectangle. Unfold, rotate the paper by 90 degrees and fold in half again. Your square should have two creases that split it into four smaller squares.
Bring two corners of the square together to fold it in half along the diagonal, then unfold.
Rotate the paper so that the diagonal crease you just made runs vertically down the middle of the square (the square should look like a rhombus in this position). Fold the right, left, and bottom corners into the middle of the square. Your paper should look like an open envelope.
Turn the paper over and rotate it so that the triangular flap of the envelope is facing right. Take the bottom edge of the paper and fold it to meet the crease that runs horizontally down the middle. Do this gently so that the flap on the other side can come out from the bottom. Once it’s out, you can press down to strengthen the crease.
Repeat on the other side.
Rotate the paper so that the envelope flap is facing down. You’ll notice two triangular pockets in the top right and left corners. Place your finger into the left pocket, pull it out to the left, and flatten it into a new shape. The new shape should have a small triangle sticking out beyond the edge. Repeat this on the right side.
Imagine a horizontal line running from the tip of the small triangle on the left to the tip of the small triangle on the right. Holding the paper in the air, take the top edge of the paper and fold it down along this imaginary line. Do this gently so that the large triangular flap from the other side can make its way to the top of the paper. If you do this while resting the paper against a flat surface, the flap won’t come up.
Turn the paper over. You should see a triangular flap at the top of the paper, two triangular flaps on either side, and a rectangle in the middle (though it has a pointy bottom edge, we’ll refer to it as a rectangle).
Take the tip of the triangular flap on the left and fold it upwards to meet the top corner of the flap, where it intersects with the rectangle. The bottom corner of the triangular flap should meet with the middle crease of the rectangle. Use your fingers to flatten the new crease, but only until you reach the middle crease of the rectangle. Unfold and do the same thing on the right side.
Working with both sides at the same time, fold along the two creases you made in Step 7. The bottom of the rectangle will fold down the middle crease and stick upwards. You can pinch it together and fold it over to the left side to lay it flat.
Turn the paper over. Take the bottom half of the paper and fold it up to meet the middle. The bottom edge of the flap on the right should meet the crease that separates the two diamond-like shapes.
Take the flap on the right and bring it up so it points at the sky. Holding the flap up, fold the rest of the paper underneath in half.
Grab the tip of the triangle on the left and fold it down to meet the bottom tip of the triangle.
Grab the same tip and fold it back up, but this time at an angle. The left corner should be in the same place as the previous fold, but the right corner should be about ¼ of an inch below the previous fold.
Unfold both of the folds you made in Steps 11 and 12. Separate the two papers that make up the triangle so you can take a look at both sides from above. You should see two sets of diagonal creases, stacked on top of each other. Make the top creases into mountain folds (facing outwards) and the bottom creases into valley folds (facing inwards). Stack the folds on top of each other and fold the whole thing in half again. You now have the dog’s tail.
Take a look at the long thin flap on the right—you’ll see two lines that separate the white part from the colored part. Fold the flap down along the bottom line. Unfold and fold it in the opposite direction, as well.
Hold the place where the flap meets the dog’s back. Gently separate the flap with two fingers and open it up. The top of the flap should come down at a 90 degree angle. The middle of the white triangle will form a new crease and sit perpendicular to the dog’s back. Press everything down to strengthen the new creases.
To make the paper dog’s face, take the tip of the triangle on the right and bring it over to a point just right of the bottom left corner of the white triangle.
Grab the same tip and fold it back up, creating a new crease about a ¼ of an inch below the crease you made in Step 16. The distance between the two creases should be slightly larger on the left, than on the right.
Grab the same tip and fold a small bit of it towards you, keeping the top edges lined up.
Unfold the three creases you made in Steps 16, 17, and 18. The next part will be similar to how you made the dog’s tail. Place a finger inside the triangular flap to open it up until you can look at both sides from above. Make the top creases into mountain folds, the bottom creases into valley folds, and stack the folds on top of each other. Fold the tiny crease you made in Step 18 up so that a little white triangle shows at the tip. Fold the head in half again.
Take the top left corner of the dog’s head and fold a small bit of it backwards to round out the head.
Your origami dog is now complete!
Try It for Yourself
Once you’ve made your origami dog, be sure to snap a photo and share it under the Student Projects section of the class. We can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Looking to make other origami animals? Try making an origami cat next!
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