How to Make an Origami Bow and Arrow

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Use origami folds to make a bow and arrow out of paper.
Use origami folds to make a bow and arrow out of paper. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Origami is the art of paper folding and is thought of as a Japanese art, but it likely came from China, where paper was invented, according to Origami Instructions.com. There is also a tradition of paper folding in Spain, brought by the Moors, and in South America. However, the oldest known written document about origami is from Japan, with a date of 1797, and the Japanese elevated the art form, according to the website. Making an origami bow and arrow is a relatively simple origami project.

Bow

Fold one sheet of 6-by-6 origami paper in half in a book fold, which means to fold it down the center like a book. Crease the fold and then unfold. Fold it in half using a book fold the opposite direction. Crease it and then unfold it. You should have creases that cross in the center of your paper.

Fold each of the four corners of the paper in to meet at the center of the paper. Make a mountain fold -- folding the paper back, away from you instead of toward you -- along the center line so that you have a double triangle with two loose flaps at the bottom on each side of the triangle.

Begin on either side and take the right corner flap in your fingers. Fold so that the point touches the long, folded edge of the large triangle, and the edge that was the bottom edge of the flap is now even with the long, folded edge of the triangle as well. Repeat the process with the left side. Turn the triangle over and repeat it on the opposite side as well.

Take the top point of the triangle on the side facing up and fold the point down so that it nests between the two side triangles. Fold the straight edge that is now at the top down so it just touches the point of folded-over triangle. Turn the piece over and repeat for the opposite side.

Arrow

Fold the second piece of 6-by-6 origami paper in half using a book fold again. Fold the paper again lengthwise, and then unfold it so there is a crease down the center. Position the paper so the folded crease is at the top and the open side is at the bottom on a table.

Pull the top folded edge down so that it meets the center crease. Fold the bottom edges up to meet in the middle. Crease both folds. Turn it so that the paper is vertical on the table.

Fold the top right corner down and across so that it meets the opposite side of the column and forms a diagonal fold starting at the left top corner. Crease it and unfold it. Repeat the process for the left side.

Fold the top portion of the column down at the bottom points of the triangle creases you just formed. Crease it and open it. Make another fold across the column approximately one-fourth of an inch below the bottom points of the folded triangles. Fold the column down to create a fold at the base of the points. You should have created a small crease on the back of the arrow.

Fold the long sides in on the bottom section of the arrow, starting at the bottom and working up to the crease. The fold will be the most narrow at the crease. Fold the right top corner back over to the left side to form a point, and then fold the left side over to finish the point of the arrow. Tape or glue it if necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • The arrow requires more difficult folds. It may be easier to practice with a larger piece of paper before attempting to make the smaller arrow.

References

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