Have you ever wondered how to fold origami frogs? These tiny paper creatures are quite simple to make and have a very special meaning—in fact, you should carry a small frog with you everywhere you go! Read on to learn how you can make one out of paper in a matter of minutes.
Symbolism of Origami Frogs
Frogs have a couple of different meanings in Japanese culture. For one, they represent good fortune. It’s not uncommon for Japanese people to carry a small frog figurine in their wallets to ensure that their money is spent wisely and is always in abundance. Japanese tourists often carry a frog figurine on them when they visit the casinos in Las Vegas.
The second meaning comes from the fact that kaero, the Japanese word for frog, also means “to return.” For this reason, small frog figurines are gifted to travelers to ensure their safe return. They’re also gifted to extended family and children who leave home for the first time to remind them to visit often.
How to Make an Origami Frog
Learn how to make origami frogs so you, too, can experience good fortune and give meaningful gifts to your friends and family. Skillshare instructor Katelyn Prince will show you how to fold an origami frog step by step in her class Fold an Origami Frog that Jumps. Not only is this paper frog small enough to fit in your pocket, but it can also jump a great distance!
To make your own paper frogs, follow the instructions below or check out the full class.
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 paper in half to create a rectangle.
With your rectangle in a vertical position, pull one of the top corners down to meet the opposite edge and press to make a crease. Unfold and repeat the same with the other top corner. You should end with an X-shaped crease.
Turn the rectangle over and pull both corners down to the opposite edges of the X crease. Your new crease will run through the middle of the X. Unfold the rectangle back to its original shape.
Turn the rectangle over. Press on the point where all three creases meet so that the surface of the paper goes from convex to concave.
Take the two edges of your horizontal crease and bring them together to meet in the middle. Press them down flat and do the same with the triangle that’s formed above them. Your paper should now look like a house—a square base and a triangle on top. Press down firmly on everything to strengthen the creases.
The top part of your triangle should have two unattached flaps. Take one of these flaps and fold it about halfway up. You should have a little triangle hanging off the edge. Do the same with the other flap. You’ve now completed the frog’s head and two front legs.
Take the bottom edge of the frog and fold it up to meet the bottom of the head.
Take the right edge and fold it to meet the center of the frog. You’ll need to lift up the frog’s front legs slightly to make sure you’re folding in the right place. Do the same with the left edge.
Take the new bottom edge and fold it up to the center of the frog, where the front legs come together.
Unfold the frog so that it looks like it did at the end of Step 7. You’ll notice a square in each of the bottom corners of your frog. Gently squeeze each corner so that the bottom and the side edges come together to form a triangle. These will be the frog’s hind legs.
Keeping the hind legs pointing outwards, bring the bottom edge to the middle of the frog. The sides will naturally fall inwards, as well. Press down firmly to strengthen the new creases.
Bring the right hind leg downwards along the new crease. Do the same with the left hind leg.
Lastly, fold the edges of the hind legs slightly to make the feet.
To make the frog jump, push down on its low back and release—the folds of the hind legs will act as springs and propel your frog forward.
Tips and Tricks
This origami frog involves folding the paper on top of itself multiple times, and the more times you fold, the harder it gets. For a smoother process and a neater looking frog, use origami paper—it’s slightly thinner than printer paper and easier to fold.
That being said, if you’re looking to make a frog that will jump an impressive distance, use thicker paper—your frog will be more difficult to fold and may not look as neat, but it will have a lot more bounce in its hind legs.
Starting with a smaller piece of paper will also help your frog jump. For best results, try a square of printer paper with sides that are 2.5 inches long.
Try It for Yourself
Once you’ve made your origami frog, be sure to snap a photo or a video of it jumping and share it under the Student Projects section. You can even make a few and host a frog jumping contest!
Looking for more origami tutorials? Skillshare has tons of other classes on origami. Whether you want to make animals, birds, or fish, there’s something for everyone.
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