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10 Folding Techniques You Need to Know for a Beautiful Origami Masterpiece



10 Folding Techniques You Need to Know for a Beautiful Origami Masterpiece

The art of paper folding is one of the best ways to showcase your creativity. But if you are new to the art of Origami, there are basic techniques that you need to master first. After all, that is the goal of paper folding.

So if making Japanese origami is your thing, here are some folding paper techniques you need to know:

Valley Fold

Folding a paper in order to form a V-shape is called Valley Fold. There are two kinds of Valley Fold:

Rectangular Valley Fold

You will need a square paper to make a rectangular Valley fold. To do it, you just need to fold the paper in half ‒ either horizontally or vertically. However, you need to make sure that the edges of your paper are well-aligned.

Diagonal Valley Fold

Just like with the rectangular Valley Fold, you will need a square paper. But instead of folding the paper vertically or horizontally, you will need to fold the paper diagonally.


Mountain Fold

Mountain Fold is similar to the Valley Fold, although it is done upside-down. Thus, instead of a V-shape, you will come up with a mountain-like figure


Square Fold

Also known as Square Base, the Square Fold is a pre-requisite in making complex origami. Here are the procedures in creating a Square Fold:

  1. Make a Mountain Fold vertically and horizontally, thus making a cross-shaped crease on your paper.
  2. Make a Valley Fold on all opposing angles on your paper. You should have an X-shaped crease on top of the cross-shaped crease.
  3. Fold the X-shaped crease inwards, giving you a smaller square paper. Now you have a square fold.

Chair Fold

Before you make a Chair, Fold, you will need to understand what a Half-valley Fold is. Half-valley Fold is similar to Valley Fold, but instead of folding the paper all the way to the other edge, you only need to fold your paper half-way.

Now, here’s how you can make the basic Chair Fold:

  1. Make two vertical and one horizontal Half-valley Fold. You should have three creases on your paper.
  2. Lift the edge of your horizontal Half-valley Fold. This will serve as the “backrest” of your chair.
  3. On both sides, just underneath where the horizontal and vertical creases meet, make a small diagonal fold to make the sides of the chair.

Congratulations! You now have a chair fold.

Kite Fold

Also known as Kite Base, Kite Fold is the result of applying to Valley Folds on a square paper.

First, apply a Diagonal Valley Fold, and then apply smaller Valley Folds on each “flap” so that the edges of the paper meet at the center. The paper should look like a kite afterward.

Inside Reverse-Fold

An Inside Reverse-Fold is used for creating smalls flaps. It is called “inside reverse” because it shows the inside of a flap.

Here’s how you can do an Inside Reverse-Fold:

  1. On a square paper, make a diagonal Valley Fold.
  2. Fold the top part of the paper diagonally on either side to make a crease. Just make sure that the open edge of your paper is on your left side.
  3. Open the paper a little while applying a Valley Fold on the top-center crease of the paper. As such, you are also applying Mountain Fold on both sides of the flaps.

You will know that you have completed the Inside Reverse-Fold when (1) it has a beak-like form and (2) that it shows the inside of your paper.

Outside Reverse-Fold

The Outside Reverse-Fold uses the same principle as the Inside Reverse-Fold.

What makes it different is that after folding the top part of the paper on either side of the flap to make a crease, you will open the paper a little so you can give the flap a Mountain Fold. It should look like a bird looking back once you are done.

Rabbit Ear Fold

Although it does not look exactly like a rabbit’s ear, this folding technique could come in handy when making advance origami.

  1. Make two diagonal Valley Folds make an X-shaped crease on a square paper.
  2. On one side, make a Half-valley Fold. Make sure that the edge meets at the center, and then unfold.
  3. Do the same on the other end. You should have three creases intersecting in the center on one side of the paper.
  4. Apply three Valley Folds, one on each crease that meets at the center. You should have a small flap standing up at the center.
  5. Fold it towards the left, and you now have a Rabbit Ear Fold.

Pleat Fold

The Pleat Fold features a Valley Fold alternating with a Mountain Fold; thus, it has at least two parallel-fold lines.

To achieve this paper folding technique, you just need to make a horizontal Valley Fold. And the make a vertical Valley Fold, thus making a small square. After that, make a Mountain Fold using the top flap of the paper.

You should see a Z-like shape when you are done.

Crimp Fold

A Crimp Fold is like a Pleat Fold; only it has back-to-back zigzagging (or a combination of Valley Fold and Mountain Folds) lines.

Here’s how you can do a Crimp Fold:

  1. Make a horizontal or vertical Valley Fold.
  2. From the left side edge, make a Valley Fold. Make sure to leave at least a one-centimeter gap between the edges. This will be Valley Fold #1. Unfold.
  3. From the right side edge, make another Valley Fold (Valley Fold #2), and then unfold it. Now you have two vertical creases in the middle of your paper.
  4. Open up and flatten your square paper, and then fold it from right to left on Valley Fold #1.
  5. Fold it on Valley Fold #2, making a zigzag in the middle. And then fold it horizontally to have a Crimp Fold.

Remember: Master the basic paper folding techniques first before moving to advance levels. A good exercise would be making origami bookmarks. Which folding paper techniques mentioned above would you like to give a spin? Let us know in the comments!

Andi Croft is a freelance writer whose main interests are topics related to business, technology, and travel. This is brought about by her passion about going around the world, meeting people from all walks of life, and bringing along with her the latest tech to enhance her adventures.