If you’ve taken up origami, you might be interested in learning how to make an origami bird. Is it easy? What kinds of folds does it involve? Well, it all depends on what kind of bird you want to make.  

You might have already tried making an origami crane—one of the most popular origami projects—but there’s so much more to learn beyond that. Read on to discover 10 classes and videos that will teach you how to make a paper bird of your choice (or a whole flock of them!). 

How to Make Origami Birds

Origami Swan

Swans mate only once in their lifetime, which is why they’re often used to symbolize soulmates, devotion, and love. Paper swans make the perfect decorations at weddings and anniversary parties or gifts to loved ones. 

If you’re interested in trying your hand at making a paper swan, Skillshare instructors from Origami Creation House have the perfect class. You’ll start with a square piece of paper that’s colored on one side and white on the other to give depth and definition to the swan’s wings. This is a beginner-friendly origami class—there are no complicated folds, and your origami swan can be ready in just over 10 minutes. 

Origami Duck

In Japanese and East Asian cultures, the Mandarin duck is another symbol of eternal love, perhaps even more so than the swan. In fact, the Japanese equivalent of the term “lovebirds” literally translates to “a couple of ducks”.

Skillshare instructor Florine will guide you through the step-by-step instructions for making a paper duck in her class Origami: Personal and Meaningful Gifts, the Basics. Even if you’ve never done origami before, you’ll easily master making this duck—it involves only 12 folds and takes less than five minutes.

Origami Hummingbird

Even though hummingbirds are native to the Americas, they’re considered a symbol of joy, good fortune, and healing in cultures all over the world. Seeing a hummingbird is said to be a sign of good news or the end of a challenging time. According to Feng Shui, it’s a good idea to display hummingbirds in our homes to attract positive energy and good fortune. 

Create your own paper hummingbird to hang in your home by following this video from Gary Easy Origami. The project is beginner-friendly and will take only five to 10 minutes to make. The end result is a beautiful origami bird with a distinct long thin bill and wings that look like they’re keeping the bird suspended in mid-air. 

Origami Parrot

Parrots, particularly Macaw parrots, are often associated with happiness, healing, and fertility. With their bright colors and cheerful personalities, they exude warmth and joy for the benefit of everyone around them. 

To make a paper parrot, follow these instructions from Neil Lin Origami Tutorials. The project looks complicated, but the folds are all simple to do. That being said, it will require some patience—there are quite a few folds that exist simply to make a crease that will help complete another fold more accurately. You’ll also need a pair of scissors to separate different parts of the parrot. 

Origami Parakeet

Parakeets (often called budgies) are another type of parrot—they’re small like sparrows and have long, thin tails. 

To make an origami parakeet, follow this video from Gary Easy Origami. There are only 16 folds, and the bird will take you about five minutes to make. Use a square piece of origami paper that’s colored on one side and white on the other to give your parakeet a white head and neck. You can even draw two little eyes on either side of the head.   

Origami Peacock

Peacocks can not only safely consume poisonous snakes, insects, and plants, but they actually thrive on them. For this reason, many cultures consider them to be protectors of humans and other animals from harm. In Japan, peacocks are associated with the Buddhist deity Kannon, a bodhisattva of compassion and mercy. 

Skillshare instructor Kevin Hutson teaches a unique class on how to fold origami from dollar bills, including instructions on how to make a paper peacock. To try it for yourself, you can use a dollar bill or a piece of paper cut to the same size. The project should take you about 10 minutes to complete. 

Origami Eagle

Nearly all cultures and spiritual traditions view the eagle as a symbol of the power of nature, strength, wisdom, and hope. It is said that seeing this majestic bird in person inspires courage, confidence, and action. 

To make a paper eagle, follow these instructions from Easy Paper Origami. In just five to 10 minutes, you can turn a square sheet of paper into a magnificent eagle soaring through the sky. 

Origami Pigeon

Pigeons, like doves, are symbols of love, harmony, and peace. Unlike most other birds, pigeons can produce crop milk for their young, which is why they also often symbolize nurturing and caring for others. 

To make a simple paper pigeon, watch the class Origami Basics: Learn to Fold 5 Origami Birds from Kevin Hutson. He’ll teach you how to make a pigeon with a white head and neck in under 10 minutes. It requires only 15 folds—some of them don’t have a reference point and will require you to approximate where to fold, but the tutorial provides plenty of guidance. 

Origami Cardinal

Cardinals wear a bright red coat of feathers, offering a warm pop of color, especially in the winter months. For many people, seeing a cardinal reminds them of happy memories and brings them joy, particularly around the Christmas season. 

To make a paper cardinal, follow this simple and clear tutorial from Leyla Torres. Be sure to use origami paper that’s red on one side and black on the other to help the cardinal look its best. The project should take you about 10 minutes to complete. 

Origami Ostrich

The ostrich is the world’s largest bird and, although it has wings, it doesn’t fly. In Ancient Egypt, the ostrich feather was a sacred object that represented purity and truth, while the ostrich egg, due to its large size, symbolized fertility. 

For instructions on how to make this origami bird step by step, watch this video from Easy Origami. It’s a little more complex than some of the other birds on our list, but it’s well worth the effort. 

What’s Next?

Looking for even more tutorials on how to make paper birds? Skillshare has tons of other origami classes that will teach you to make crows, sparrows, cranes, penguins, and other animals. There’s even a lesson on how to make an action model bird that flaps its wings as you gently pull on its tail.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll create! 

Discover New Ways to Create Using Paper

Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make

Written by:

Sayana Lam