How to Make an Easy Origami Swan

Origami Swan Tutorial
Chrissy Pk

The traditional origami swan is one of the most simple origami bird models out there. A lot of people start off with the origami crane but find it too hard.

This model needs just one sheet of square origami paper and will take just a few minutes to complete. You will end up with a pretty origami swan that can stay up on its own.

You can use this origami model as a minimalist decoration, make lots of them for a stylish wedding display, or it can serve as a great chopstick holder for a Japanese meal.

For a two-color effect, use paper that has a color or pattern that is different on each side. Use origami paper or thin paper for this model.

Origami for Beginners

If you're new to origami, this is the perfect model for you to start with. For extra help, check out a series of origami basic fold instructions for beginners.

You may also be interested in making the origami boat, origami masu box, origami butterfly, and the origami fox box.

Getting Started

Four steps to origami swan folding, including folding over the paper and creating a kite shape.
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Start with your paper white side up. The color will be the main body color.
  2. Fold the paper in half diagonally and unfold.
  3. Fold the left and right edges into the middle.
  4. Flip the model over.

Halfway Done

Steps 5 through 9 for folding origami swan including folding different pieces of the paper.
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Fold the left and right edges to the middle.
  2. Fold the bottom corner up to the top.
  3. Fold down a small section to make the swan's head.

Finishing Touches

Steps 10 through 10 of folding an origami swan, including creating the base.
The Spruce / Chrissy Pk
  1. Fold the top side (the swan head side), in half, lengthwise, backward.
  2. While holding the bottom (swan body) down, only pull the head and neck up.
  3. Decide on a position for the swan's neck and then crease.
  4. You should have a pretty origami swan that can stay up on its own.

If you ended up with a bit of a mess, don't worry. It takes practice to learn origami and making new models. Make sure your folds are as precise as possible and it will turn out well in the end.

History of Origami

The word "origami" comes from the Japanese from ori meaning "folding" and kami meaning "paper." It is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. Traditional Japanese origami has been practiced since the Edo period from 1603 to 1867.

Although associated with Japanese culture, the word "origami" has been adapted as an inclusive term for all paper folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin. The goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Most origami practitioners discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper. Although, the Japanese have a term for cuts allowed on the paper, kirigami.