In nearly every culture around the world, horses are regarded as beautiful, strong, and resilient creatures. They’ve played a major role in our collective history, as well, forever changing the landscape of transport and agriculture. 

If you love horses, why not make a little paper horse to display in your home or office? If someone in your life shares your passion, it would also make a wonderful gift. 

How to Make an Origami Horse

horse origami
A graceful, beautiful origami horse.

Origami Creation House has a great Skillshare class that will teach you how to make origami horses in under 15 minutes. If you prefer learning through video, be sure to watch it here

Otherwise, keep reading to learn how to make an origami horse step by step. 

Step 1

Start with a square piece of paper that’s colored on one side and white on the other. This will give your horse a nice two-toned look. With the colored side up, fold the square on the diagonal, unfold, and fold again on the opposite diagonal. Your square should now have two creases running through it in the shape of an X. 

fold paper

Step 2

One by one, bring each corner of the square into the middle (where the X creases intersect). You should end up with a smaller square that looks like an envelope. 

gray folded paper

Step 3

Open up the square back to its original shape. Fold it in half and unfold. Turn the square over by 90 degrees and fold it in half again. Your square should now have two new creases in the shape of a cross. 

fold paper

Step 4

With the colored side still up, bring the bottom and top edges of the square into the middle crease, then unfold both sides. 

fold paper

Turn the square over by 90 degrees and repeat with the remaining two edges. 

fold paper

Step 5

All the creases you’ve made up until this point will make it look like there are 16 little squares and two triangles in each square. Grab one corner of the paper and bring it over to the opposite corner, but not quite all the way—stop at the point one little square away from the corner. Unfold and repeat with the other three corners. 

fold paper

Step 6

Grab one corner of the paper and bring it over to the point one little square away from that same corner. It will look like you’re adding a dog ear to the corner. Repeat with the opposite corner (skip the one directly to the right or left). If they’re not already, turn the paper so that the two dog ears are stacked vertically. 

fold paper

Step 7

Take both dog ears and fold them towards the middle, lining up their flat edges with the vertical crease that’s located to the left of the middle crease. You’ll notice leftover paper on the right side—gently push it down to help it lie flat. The leftover paper should now look like a house-shaped flap.

Step 8

Holding the base of the house-shaped flap, bring the two sides together to meet in the middle and hold them upright against the base. You’ll see a colored triangle at the tip of your new flap. Fold it upwards to lay it flat. 

Step 9

Fold the colored triangle back down, but not exactly on the natural crease. The new crease should be about ¼ inch above the natural crease. 

Step 10

Place a finger inside the flap and push the triangle down, reversing the two new creases you made in Step 9. 

Step 11

Bring the top flap of the triangle down so it looks like a square. Take the bottom right corner of the square and give it a little dog ear. Close the flap back up. You’ve just completed the horse’s head. 

Step 12

Turn the paper so that the horse’s head is facing down. Take the top half of the paper and bring it down along the middle crease to make a triangle. Then, fold the triangle back up along the horizontal crease just below the middle crease to make a smaller triangle. Flip the paper over. 

Step 13

Take the triangular flap on the right and bring it over into the middle so that its top edge lines up with the vertical middle crease of your paper. The paper won’t lie flat at this point, but you can use a finger to press down underneath the bit that doesn’t lay flat. 

Step 14

Slip a finger into the triangle that’s facing down and open it up. Bring it over to the right to form a rhombus. The bottom point should become the right corner of the rhombus. You’ll now be able to flatten everything. 

Step 15

Repeat Steps 13 and 14 on the other side. 

Step 16

Take the right side of your right rhombus and fold it over the left, so that our rhombus becomes a triangle. Do the same with the left rhombus. 

Step 17

Take the triangle at the very top and fold it down to meet the middle of the horse. Open it back up. 

Step 18

Fold the whole thing in half from left to right. You’ll notice that the head of the horse will stay behind. 

Step 19

Holding the horse loosely, push the tail in a little bit so that it forms a smaller triangle than before. The crease you made in Step 17 will help you do this. Press firmly to create a new set of creases. 

Step 20

To make sure the horse stays closed, take one of the triangular flaps on the bottom and insert into a pocket on the other side. Your origami horse is now complete! 

Try It for Yourself

Be sure to snap a photo of your origami horse and share it under the Student Projects section of the class. We’d love to see how it turns out!  

If you had fun making paper horses, Skillshare has tons of other classes that will teach you to make all kinds of origami animals. Want to turn your horse into a unicorn? There’s a tutorial for that, too! 

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