Fun and Games

Origami butterfly

By Mrs M. Ramsay and Roxanne Ramsay (Aged 7½)

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding.

In this article we'll give you all the instructions you'll need to turn a flat piece of paper into a beautiful butterfly!

Before you start

It is important that you know how to do two important folds that are referred to in the instructions below:-

An illustration showing how to do valley and mountain folds


  1. Start with a (biggish) square of paper. Make a valley fold horizontally across the paper. Then make mountain folds along the diagonals. Corners A and E will make the front wings, and C and D will be the back ones.
    An illustration showing a valley fold across the paper and mountain folds on the diagonals
  2. Bring corners A & C together. Then bring corners B and D together. Tuck in the horizontal creases to make a triangle shape.
    An illustration of the triangle that results from bringing corners A and C together and also corners B and D.
  3. Fold down corners C & D to the right-angled point of your triangle.
    An illustration showing corners C and D folded down.
  4. Make a valley fold across the triangle.
    An illustration showing a valley fold across the triangle.
  5. Fold flaps C & D to the front. Fold the outside edge of each flap towards the center to allow the flaps to lie down flat. (These are the back wings).
    An illustration of the triangle with corners C and D folded to the front.
  6. Make a mountain fold at E. Then make a valley fold to form a little point peeking up from behind your model (This will be the head).
    An illustration showing what will be the head of the butterfly.
  7. Fold the butterfly in half using a valley fold. Bringing wing A to wing B so that the butterfly is side on.
    An illustration of the valley fold made down the midline of the butterfly
  8. Valley fold along wings A and C near the head to make the body. Turn over your model and do the same on the other side with wings B and D.
    An illustration of the valley fold on the A and C wings.
  9. I hope you now have a butterfly. If you pinch the body the wings flap a little.
    An illustration of the completed butterfly

Why not colour in or decorate the butterflies you've made.

This article was originally printed in the Bug Club Magazine Vol 7, No 6, December 1999