Start Learning Origami by Folding the Square Base

  • 01 of 07

    Start Learning Origami by Folding the Square Base

    Origami Easter Basket
    Dana Hinders

    Origami base forms may look simple, but they are amazingly versatile. If you know common base forms, you can easily adapt them to make a multitude of projects.

    The square base looks like a square with two layers of paper. It's made with a combination of mountain folds and valley folds. The square base is sometimes called a preliminary ​base or flower base form in recognition of the fact that it's commonly used to make origami flowers or as a starting point for creating more advanced base forms.

    This slideshow will outline how to fold the origami square base and give examples of different projects that you can make using this base form.

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  • 02 of 07

    How to Make a Square Base

    Easy Origami Flower
    Dana Hinders

    To make a square base, begin by placing the paper on the table with the colored or patterned side up. Fold your paper in half diagonally to make a large triangle. Open the paper and fold in half along the diagonal the other way.

    Turn the paper over to the opposite side. Fold the paper in half horizontally, crease well, and open. Fold again in the other direction.

    Using these creases, bring the top three corners down towards the bottom of the paper. Flatten the paper to complete your square base.

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  • 03 of 07

    Use the Square Base to Make an Easy Origami Flower

    Easy Origami Flower
    Dana Hinders

    One project that uses the origami square base is the easy origami flower. This is a very basic design that would be ideal for children who are just starting to learn about the art of paper folding. 

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  • 04 of 07

    Use the Square Base to Make an Origami Lily

    origami lily
    Dana Hinders

    The origami lily also uses the square base form. A single folded lily looks great displayed on a bookshelf or next to some pretty handmade pottery. You can also try attaching this flower to the end of a ballpoint pen to make an attractive yet functional flower arrangement. See our Origami lily flower instructions tutorial for details.

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  • 05 of 07

    Use the Square Base to Make a Paper Basket

    Origami Easter Basket
    Dana Hinders

    A square base can be used to make a tiny origami Easter basket that is the perfect size for holding jellybeans or wrapped hard candies. During other times of the year, the baskets could be used to present small gifts or party favors. Learn how to make this basket by following the directions to make Origami paper baskets for Easter tutorial.

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  • 06 of 07

    Turn a Square Base into a Bird Base

    Origami Cranes
    Dana Hinders

    A bird base is a square base plus two petal folds. The bird base form is used to make the iconic origami crane, which is often used as a symbol of hope and good luck. See our Origami crane instructions tutorial to learn how to fold this model. Legend has it that folding 1,000 paper cranes will grant you one special wish!

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  • 07 of 07

    Turn a Square Base Into a Balloon Base

    Book Origami Picture Frame
    Dana Hinders

    The crease pattern for making a balloon base is the exact opposite of the folding pattern for the square base. To make a balloon base, make the diagonal folds with the colored or patterned side of the paper face down. Make the vertical and horizontal folds with the colored or patterned side face up. Collapse into a triangle shape to complete the base form. To see what projects can be made with a balloon base, review our origami balloon base sideshow.

    Have fun folding and remember that it's OK to make mistakes along your origami journey. "Some new folders are frozen by perfectionism," origami author teacher Christine Petrell-Kallevig said. "Fear of making mistakes leads to feeling overwhelmed, so it's helpful for new folders to understand the difference between precision and perfection."