Making an origami elephant is not only a really cool craft skill, but it makes for a great present for your favorite origami lover. This is an intermediate-level origami project, made from a single sheet of square paper. If you are a beginner at origami, you may find this project tricky, but it's so cute, you won't regret learning how to do it.
Watch Now: How to Make an Origami Elephant
If you carefully follow these 10 succinct steps below, you'll be an origami elephant-making master. We suggest working on a flat, clean work surface that won't hinder you from making clean folds, and going slow and steady if you're not sure.
- 1 sheet square-shaped paper
The First Folds
- Start with your paper white side up, if it has one. Fold the paper in half, from left to right and then bottom to top.
- Next, fold the top and bottom edge to the horizontal central crease and unfold.
- Fold the left and right edges to the vertical central crease and unfold.
- You now have a neat grid of 15 equal sections.
Rotate the Paper
- Rotate the paper so that it is a diamond.
- Fold the top, bottom and left corner to the central crease–not the right corner (keep this corner on the right side–this will become the elephant's head).
- Fold the bottom edge up to meet the top-most horizontal crease. Unfold.
- Repeat the last step, fold the top corner down to the lowest horizontal crease, and the right and left corners to their opposing creases.
Flip and Fold
- Fold the paper as shown, creasing only where indicated.
- Repeat for the other diagonal crease.
- Flip the paper over, from top to bottom, keeping the right (uncreased) section on the right.
- Fold the left corner to the right, to the point indicated. For thick paper, avoid the middle diamond.
Fold the Corners In
- Fold the corner back over to the left.
- Flip the paper over, from top to bottom.
- Fold the bottom right section diagonally up to the left, followed by the top right section.
- Fold the right section over to the left, squashing the diagonal folds you just made.
Rotate and Fold
- Rotate the paper.
- Now you can grab the bottom section and flip it under and behind. The top flap will come down to the bottom.
- Next, you'll fold the left and right corners of the lower section to the central crease.
The V-Shape Fold
- Flip the paper over to the other side.
- There is a V-shaped crease on the top of the front-most flap–these creases need to be re-folded as valley creases.
- Flip the model over and rotate as shown.
- Fold the model in half, from top to bottom.
Forming the Trunk
- Hold onto the elephant's trunk and the back of his head, push gently. A new crease will form.
- There should be a diamond shape on top of the elephant. Open out the bottom of the model and push on that diamond, flattening it.
- Pinch the diagonal edge that appears on the left.
Shaping the Other Side
- Fold the flap over to the right.
- There is already a crease here; fold it over and tuck it behind.
- Now you need to repeat these steps on the other side of the elephant.
- Find the back of the elephant and pinch it, keeping that diamond intact.
- Make a small, thin fold.
- Open the flap that was under the tail-end of the elephant.
- Hold it as shown.
- The left of the diamond shape needs to be folded into pleats over to the right.
Finishing the Elephant