Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Origami Elephant Tutorial

Who doesn't love an adorable little elephant? I know I do! Here's how to make a fun little elephant friend for your desk or a fellow elephant aficionado.

Note that this is not an easy origami elephant to make since there are a lot of tricky folds, but the result is super cute :)
Start with a sheet of paper in the dimensions of 6 inches x 2.75 inches. You can also use a dollar bill since the dimensions will also work.
Flip over the sheet of paper so that the design is on the bottom.
Fold the paper in half length-wise.

Tip: Use a pen to slide along the folded edge so that the edge becomes sharp and crisp.
Now fold the paper in half the other direction.
Fold down the top two corners so that a triangle forms.
Fold down the edge again (like folding a paper airplane!).
Fold at the shorter base of the triangle you have formed.
Fold the paper in half now backwards so that the top edges match up. You are doing this to create some creases you need later for the legs.
Fold the bottom half backwards up to the crease you just created. (You are dividing the bottom half).
Fold the newest bottom section backwards to divide it again. Then divide the upper half of it by folding upwards this time.
Now do the same thing to the opposite side of the middle section (the middle section will become the body and these complicated side folds will become the legs). Divide the upper section into two by folding backwards along the indicated line.
Divide the section closest to the middle body section into two by making an upward fold.
Now you can tuck the folds you made by folding upwards underneath the body.

They call these upward folds "valley" folds because they dip down like a valley in the center. The folds you made by folding backwards are called "mountain" folds because they rise up in the center.
This is what your folds should look like from the side once you tuck them under.
Fold down the four corners of the middle section.
Open up these folds and gently pull them towards the center.
Fold down to create this kind of indentation on the sides.
Okay, this looks complicated, but all you have to do is to line up the blue edges with the red edges. The white lines show where the folds will be in the middle of these sections.

Note about this diagram: Don't fold the tip of the "trunk" (the long triangle part at the top). The blue and white lines go through it just for the line to fold the main sections below it.
This makes the two legs! Phewf, the hardest part is over now. Note that I have folded at the top blue line backwards in this picture. This also makes it easier to line up the blue and red lines shown in the diagram.
Flip over your origami and fold backwards along the indicated line.
Fold forwards along the indicated line.
Fold your origami in half.
Can you start to see your elephant now?

Fold along the indicated line to create the beginnings of an ear.
This is how it will look.
Now fold another line that is slightly more slanted, but intersects with the top of your previous fold.
It will look like this.
Tuck the red fold inwards under the white fold.
This is how it should look.
This needs to happen on both sides of the elephant s that you have an ear on each side and a trunk in the middle.
Fold down the trunk to create the downward slope of the trunk. The fold is about halfway down the trunk.
Open it up and tuck it inwards to give it a more three dimensional feel.
Now make a new fold going upwards so that your elephant has a raised trunk.
Give your elephant trunk a little curl by folding the tip.
Give your elephant a sloping backside by making a fold and tucking it inward.
It makes him much cuter!All done! Isn't he awesome!

He's in the shop now waiting for you.

Don't forget to post photos of your finished work on the Flickr page here.

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Mel said...

Love your little elephant, he is so cute the spots are great.
Mel said...

Awww, thanks Mel! Polka dots are the best!

Me said...

Ohhh!! Fantastic!! I love this so much. I think I'll make one or two to use as props for future shop items. Thanks so much for sharing this! said...

That sounds like a great idea! Send me a link to the pics when you're done! I'd love to see them!

Anonymous said...

Very cute! Excellent tutorial! said...

Thanks, Keith!

Zemphira ~ Scatter Art. said...

Very fun! Nice post - I love the elephant!

Anonymous said...

I love this tutorial! I would love to make some of my own elephants to create a mobile for our baby, who is due in February.
I was just wondering if you could share with us where you buy this gorgeous origami paper?
Thanks in advance! said...

A baby mobile would be super cute! I actually prefer to use a good quality scrapbooking paper for these elephants. It helps the elephants to stand better. Origami paper is thinner so it would make light weight elephants, and be ideal for smaller elephants.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great tutorial! so easy to follow all the steps. Thanks for sharing!

Claudia Chee said...

just did it! thank you for your accurate tutorial! I now see you posted it on my birthday, and it's really a present you made to me.
Thanks a lot, get on like this! greetings from Italy1

Lina Toro said...

Thank you for your precise instructions! I did it... I just have one problem, he doesn't stay steady and falls into his trunk :(, Poor guy, I don't know how to correct that!

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