Something New Sunday: Origami Parrot, Parts One and Two.

26Jul09

As promised it’s time for our second new feature of the week here at tea@elevensies. Every week, Char or I will be bringing you Something New Sundays. Think of them as tea-powered, creativity-centric DIY instructables. They might be useful, or tasty, or beautiful, and sometimes they’ll just be about pure fun. Our hope is that you’ll treat yourself to a little at-ease time: time to pick up something new, and find creativity in corners of your life you might never have expected.

This summer, I’m spending a few days volunteering at a kids camp as a guest art teacher. One day during each week long session, I come in and teach the kids how to do origami — to go with the pirate theme of the camp, I teach the kids how to make parrots! It’s been a total blast getting to work with the kids (who range in ages from 8-18), and they have a great time learning how to do something new. I was 7 when I first fell in love with origami, so it’s also really special for me to pass on this art form.

So without further ado: how to fold an origami parrot. (post the first!)

Part One: Prep Steps

In case you haven’t got any origami paper lying around the house, snag a plain 8.5×11 piece of paper from your printer. For the beginners: do not not NOT NOT use anything heavier than normal printer paper. You will hate life if you do.

1. Position your paper like so.

2. Fold the bottom corner to the top edge, forming a triangle. The edges should line up as perfectly as you can get them.

3a. Fold the excess rectangle over your triangle, like so:

3b. Unfold, and recrease in the opposite direction. Repeat this a couple times, being careful to fold along exactly the same line, and crease crease crease. Then unfold so that you have your flat piece of paper.

4. Lick along that crease/recrease (this loosens the fibers of the paper just enough). Then, carefully tear along the crease.

5. Voila! You’ve got a square! This will work on any size of paper, and because you don’t need scissors you can make it anywhere at anytime.

Part Two: Fold a Bird Base

1. Refold the triangle you made from making your square. Crease. Then unfold.

2a. Fold a triangle in the opposite direction. Crease, then unfold (2b).

You should now have two creases making an “X”.

3. Flip the paper over

4. Fold in half from top to bottom, this time forming a rectangle. Crease, then unfold.

5. Fold in half from left to right, forming a rectangle. Crease, then unfold.

6. Rotate the paper so that one of the corners is pointing towards you.

7. Grasp the left and right corners in both hands. Slowly bring them towards the bottom corner.

The creases you made in steps 1-6 should fold in on themselves.

Once the corners all meet at the bottom, flatten the paper so it looks like this:

8a. Grasp the top layer of paper on the right side:

8b. Fold the bottom right edge so that it lines up with the center crease:

9. Grasp the top layer of paper on the left side, and repeat step 8:

10. See the top triangle? Fold it down, and crease. The kids call this the cobra step:

11. Unfold steps 8-10.

12a. Grasp only the top sheet of paper at the bottom:

12b. Begin to pull it up and away from you. You may find it helpful to hold the bottom layers down with your other hand as you pull. As you lift, the sides will start to naturally come in. Help guide them, so that the top sheet continues to move up and away.

12c. Continue to flatten out the corners until you have a tall diamond shape:

13. Flip the paper over.

14. Repeat steps 8-12.

Tada! A finished bird base:

Now let’s start making this look like a parrot! Jump over here to head to the rest of the steps!

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