Learn to Origami – How to Do Origami

Origami is a art of work with long history. With the basic folds techniques, we can transform a piece of origami paper into something really interesting and funny.

Origami can be a lovely family activity. You can make origami with your children. In this page, we will guide you everything about how to learn origami.

What’s Origami

You may wonder what’s origami. It is a word coming from Japan. It included two parts: “Ori” means “folding” and “gami” means “paper”. It involves transforming the origami papers into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting. Typically, in the process, there should be no use of scissors or glue. This a a typical difference between origami and crafts. But we believe that’s why the magic happens.

Materials you will need


To learn origami, the basic material you need is origami paper. Origami paper is a specialized paper designed for origami . There are several types of origami papers.

Standard origami paper- single side paper: Standard paper is the most common type, usually white on one side and colored on the other side. We use standard paper for our tutorial on Origami Ok. Single side paper is mainly designed for educational purpose.

Double-sided paper – sometimes patterns colors might also be used on both sides. It belongs to standard paper, mainly used for some special module designs requiring two colors or patterns.

Origami lines and symbols

Understanding the lines and symbols are extremely important for reading the following our tutorial. We include a chart for you to reference.

origami symbols | origami Ok

Origami Lines

solid black line | origami ok

Solid line: Solid lines are used to define a edge of paper.

gray line | origami ok

Gray line: gray line indicates creases. When you fold and unfold a paper, there will be a crease leaving on the paper. Then a gray line is used to note mark this crease.

dashed line | origami ok

Dashed line: a dashed line is used to indicates a valley fold.

dash dot dot line | origami ok

Dash dot dot line: Dash dot dot line indicates a mountain fold.

dotted line | origami ok

Dotted line: a dotted line is often used to indicate lines and edges occurs behind the layers and invisible. Or a position after this specific step or fold.

Origami Arrows

In addition to lines, you may encountered with different types or arrows.

Arrows | Origami Ok

An arrow with a filled black arrow head is used to show directionality in a valley fold.

arrows | origami ok

An arrow with a half hollow head is used to show directionality in mountain folds.

fold and unfold | origami ok

A zig zag arrow indicate fold and unfold.

flip over| Origami Ok

A loop the loop arrow indicates flip over the papper.

rotate the paper | origami ok

Two arrows in a circle indicates rotating. It may come with numbers in the center showing the rotate degree.

enlarge view | origami ok

A filled white arrow to indicate when the next view is drawn larger.

pleat fold | origami ok

a single lined or double lined z shape arrow with filled head is used to indicate a pleat fold.

Repeat arrow | Origami OK

An arrow with short intersecting lines (maybe 1 or 2 even 3) indicates repeating. The number of the line indicates how many times you should repeat in the following process.

Basic folds

After knowing the basic lines and symbols, let’s learn how to make the very basic folds.

Valley and Mountain Fold

valley fold | Origami Ok

A valley fold is shown by a dashed line. And you need to fold in forward.

mountain fold

A mountain fold is shown by a dash dotted line, you need to fold in backward.

Inside and Outside Reverse Fold

Inside Reverse Fold

An inside reverse fold is used to indicates invert a flap inside the paper, rather than visible on the outside.

outside reverse fold | origamiok.com

An outside reverse fold is used to indicates reserve the flap outside the paper.

Rabbit Ear Fold

A rabbit ear fold is used to create a triangular flap on a square or rectangular section of paper. The finished fold looks like one ear of a rabbit.

Rabbit Ear Fold | Origami Ok
Rabbit Ear Fold | Origami Ok

Squash Fold

Squash fold involving opening and flattening a pocket. It can be made based on both single layer of multi- layer folds.

Squash fold | Origami Ok
Squash fold | Origami Ok

Pleat Fold

Pleat fold creates a zigzag fold in the paper. It involves making a valley fold and a mountain fold. Then fold the paper back to form a zigzag.

pleat fold |origami ok
pleat fold |origami ok

Crimp Fold

A Crimp Fold in origami is a technique used to create a sharp zigzag or offset in a section of the paper. It is very much similar to a Pleat.

how to make crimp fold | origami ok
how to make crimp fold | origami ok

Petal Fold

Petal fold can transform a flat of paper to be transformed into a three dimensional models, like the petal of flowers. But it is also the starting points of many other models including flowers, birds.

how to fold petal fold | origami ok
how to fold petal fold | origami ok

Video tutorial for basic folds

We have made video introducing the basic folds.

Basic Base

For advanced origami lovers, you may find lots of diagram starting from a basic base. Following are the most popular bases.

Kite Base

Kite base is named after the appearance. It is one of the easiest base but commonly used in many diagrams. It involves folding the two edges diagonally to the center crease. Check detailed kite base step by step instruction.

How to make Origami Kite Base | Origami Ok
How to make Origami Kite Base | Origami Ok

Video of Kite Base

Square base

Square base is the most common and popular base. Lots of the advanced bases are starting from square base. Square base has a four equal sides with four layers on one end and sealed points on the others.

how to make origami square base | Origami Ok
how to make origami square base | Origami Ok

Video of square base

Bird Base

Bird base is one of the several bases in origami. It is mainly used to make “bird” in traditional origami. It is featured by the protruding points which can further transforming to elegant, streamlined shape.

how to make origami bird base| origami ok
how to make origami bird base| origami ok

Video of Bird Base

Frog Base

Frog base, is named because it is mainly used as the starting point for making frogs. It has flaps that can be further transformed into the leg and body of a frog. This involves lots of repetition.

origami frog base | Origami Ok
origami frog base |origami ok

Video of Frog Base

Water Bomb Base

Water bomb base, like the kite base is named after the shape. Traditionally, it is used to transfer a paper to resemble a water filled ballon. It creates 4 layered triangle.

how to make water bomb base | Origami Ok
how to make water bomb base | Origami Ok

Video of Water Bomb Base

Fish Base

Fish base has a sharp with fins resemble the fins of a fish.

origami fish base | origami ok
origami fish base | origami ok

Video of Fish Base

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