How to Make an Easy Origami Butterfly

Use This Japanese-Inspired Art to Decorate

  • 01 of 07

    How to Make an Easy Origami Butterfly

    Origami Butterfly Tutorial
    Chrissy Pk

    Using this easy-to-follow tutorial, you can learn how to make a little origami butterfly. Origami is the art of paper folding, which was popularized by the Japanese. The word "origami" means "folding paper." Ori is "folding" and kami is "paper" in Japanese.

    This paper butterfly model is a traditional origami model with a simple but elegant look.

    These paper butterflies can make great wall decorations as well as embellishments on handmade cards, scrapbooks, and even as the finishing touch on gift wrapping.

    For a bold look, use solid colored paper. For an elegant Japanese look, try to find some authentic washi paper. Washi paper is made from local fibers native to Japan and is processed by hand and made in a traditional manner. The fibers come from the inner bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub, or the paper mulberry bush. 

    You will need one sheet of square paper for each origami butterfly. You could also use other types of paper, such as newspaper, music sheets, or wrapping paper to make these if you do not have any fancy origami paper.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Get Started

    Origami Butterfly Tutorial
    Chrissy Pk

    Before you get started, make sure your folds are as crisp and clean as possible. Do not overdo the folding, you do not want your paper to rip. If you have two-sided colored paper, start off with your paper white-side-up. This will make sure that your butterfly is colored (the color of the other side of the paper) when it is done.

    1. Start by folding diagonally, both ways.

    2. Fold the paper in half, both ways.

    3. Fold all four corners into the center.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Flip Over

    Origami Butterfly Tutorial
    Chrissy Pk

    5. Flip the paper over.

    6. Fold all four corners into the center.

    7, 8. Unfold the previous step and flip the model over to the other side.

    9. Unfold the paper.


    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Get Ready to Make Flaps

    Origami Butterfly Tutorial
    Chrissy Pk

    10. Fold the right side into the center.

    11. Fold the left side to the center too.

    12. Holding the paper in the center, pull the right flap out to the right.

    13. Pull the left flap out in the same way.

    14. Flatten the top section.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Make More Flaps

    Origami Butterfly Tutorial
    Chrissy Pk

    15. Make the same right and left flaps for the bottom section.

    16. Flatten what you have. It should look like a squat, more horizontal hexagon.

    17. Fold the top section behind.

    18. Flatten the model.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Fold It Into a Quarter of Its Size

    Origami Butterfly Tutorial
    Chrissy Pk

    19. Flip the right layer down.

    20. Flip the left flap down.

    21. Fold a small section inwards where indicated.

    22. Fold the model in half to the right.


    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Finish Up

    Easy Origami Butterfly Tutorial - Step 1
    Chrissy Pk

    23. Fold a small section over where shown.

    24, 25. Unfold the back layer to the left.

    26. Reverse fold the left side of the fold you just created.

    If the butterfly did not come out as the illustration, just give it another go. The culprit is usually that your folds are not as precise as you had hoped. Start again. It becomes easier with practice.