How to Make a Paper Bird

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When making a paper bird, such as an origami crane, use colorful paper to make the final product look even better. Use precise folding techniques to create an origami bird with instructions from a former middle school art teacher in this free video on paper crafts.

Part of the Video Series: Origami & Paper Crafts
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Video Transcript

How to make a flapping wing bird out of a single piece of paper. It's going to help if your paper is exactly square, so that's what we've got and it's just a little more fun when it does have color. But straight white would work. Starting with the color side down, I'm going to bring the corner opposite on a diagonal, and bring the crease down and crease it out to either side. Now if you're having problems doing creasing for some reason, you can, you can line this up, bring it down the center, you could use a ruler, or you could even use a pencil, something that just has a nice hard edge to it if you're worried about using your hands. So we've got the X and what we're going to be doing is making all the folds that are necessary for making this flapping wing bird. So now you're going to do a rectangle and do one on the opposite side. If I do all my folds, it usually helps my piece go together a little bit better. So I now have an X and I have a cross going across both sides. Having the point side of the paper to me, I am going, you see this diagonal line right here? What we're going to do is take the one corner and I'm going to hold my finger down at the point of the end of that diagonal line and I'm going to bring the edge of this colored side up to that center line and crease it down so it's a nice sharp point. Going to turn it around, hold that point down just to keep it lined up better, make sure that end's lined up, lined up to the edge of that paper, and crease that. Now, that's only one of the corners. Right here, you can see there's three lines coming up that center one and two on the other side. We have to do this corner, this corner and this corner. So, I now have all four corners and it kind of, if you want to do a quick check, it kind of tucks in like a four pointed star. Not that we're going to leave it that way, but that's kind of a quick check that you could use. Alright so you have all of your folds ready. So what we gotta do is start folding it back down and inverting it inside itself. So going back to our first diagonal. See where are lines now, there's kind of like a line here that's like an exact square. So what we're going to do is hold this down, slip my hand inside and bring the paper up to that line, but tuck it in on the inside. And sometimes you have to guide it a little bit. And then just re-crease it so it's tucked in. Holding that side down, because I've just done that side, I'm going to lift up the other side, and bring it up to that square edge line that I pointed out to you, guiding it in a little bit and folding it down like that. So, you have one end that's all together and you have another end that has all the flaps. Now the flap side is going to continue being towards you, the solid side will be away from you. What you're going to do, you see on here we kind of have the small lines here? They kind of form a kite. So what you're going to do is you're going to hold all these loose ends down, picking up the one flap, kind of open it wide and guide it in on those lines that you previously had put in there. It should just fold right down in, and crease it down, make it good and solid. Turning it over you do the same thing on the other side. Hold all the flaps, the loose flaps down, pick up the one piece and guide it in on those lines that you previously had, crease them down and bring that down flat, and make sure your crease is there. Picking that flap back up, and laying it down here, turning it over and doing the same thing on the other side. So what you're going to have is solid up here and a split down here. On the split side, there are two little pre-folds that are there, you can see them. If you have to mark them you can do that. But what you're going to do is use those as a guide line and crease it up and the same thing on the other side. Bring them back down, and then I would turn it over and do the same thing in the other side. Sometimes when you do folds back and forth on opposite sides, it just pops in a little bit easier for you. So we'll bring those back down, so it would be like this. You're going to reach inside, the inside part here and you're going to push this up with your thumb and help it invert itself, and there's the beginning for the head or the tail, whichever one comes out the best way. Once again, same thing on the other side. Invert your index finger in there and reach down and start bringing this up. And you should just guide it, it should just invert itself. And you have both sides. I think this one's a little bit nicer, so we'll use that for the tail. You bring these down a little bit, not all the way down but just kind of bring them down like this. And we want to make this look a little bit different than the other side, so what we're going to do is make the head here and you just fold it how you want it, how you think it'll look. Then fold it back the other way, straighten it back out. Reach up inside between the legs there, that will be his feet and you just invert it down in. And that should be like that, and then you have your flapping wing bird. So I hope you've enjoyed this. This is Lynn Reynolds and here's your flapping wing paper bird.


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