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Creative Crafts: Origami Boat

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Origami boat

Origami boat

The Origins and Uses of Origami

Whether origami has its roots in Japan or China is up for debate. Other internet sources state that before the invention of paper, other materials such as cloth or leather were used for this purpose. The main reason origami seems to have come about is for religious or other ceremonial purposes.

Origami's sacrosanct roots, however, don't impede its more leisure qualities. Origami can be fun and relaxing, and we can still appreciate its holy roots. There is also something very soothing in the concentration and process of the folds that is compatible with therapy. There are higher cognitions and emotions at play during the creative folding process that can be healing.

With some other objects added in, you can create a scene

With some other objects added in, you can create a scene

Inside Out and Upside Down

This boat takes some folding skills and a little bit of vision. I'll try and list the instructions step-by-step so they are easy to follow and include some related photos. I'll eventually try and create a video that will be much easier to follow.

Keep in mind you want to keep your creases tight and after all the folds are completed, you'll have to turn the design "inside out". This is the last step. And during this step you will have to make sure to keep the tuck tight and do a bit of an unfold.

This step might sound complicated and it is at first try, but once you get the hang of it, you'll see that it is pretty simple. There is a word for this particular type of fold/unfold and I don't know what it is in Japanese nor its translation. I just call it upside down and inside out, because that is basically what you do.

Most origami paper is square and for this particular project, it helps if you can use a larger sheet. especially if you are a beginner. However, I will also show some illustrations for those who choose to use a smaller sheet of paper.

Step 1. Fold the Sheet in Half

  • Take any four sided sheet of paper; it helps if the paper is square and larger (10 x 10 at least).
  • Lay paper flat and fold one side to the other, folding the paper in half.
  • Open the paper flat again, flip it over and repeat along the center fold in the reverse direction, so that there is a reverse fold along the original Center Fold.
  • Press flat.

Step 2. Fold Down Each of the Corners to the Center Fold

  • Fold the edges into the center fold so that there are small triangles at each corner. This is a fairly basic fold.
  • Press and crease tightly.


Origami was initially known as orikata (folded shapes). In 1880, however, the craft became known as origami. The term origami comes from the Japanese words oru (to fold) and kami (paper). It is not known why this term was chosen, although scholars have speculated that the characters for this term were simply the easiest for schoolchildren to learn to write.

— Dana Hinders:

Step 3. Fold the Outer Edge of the "Triangle" Into the Center Fold

  • Fold each of the edges of the outer "triangles" into the center fold. Basically do another fold similar to the one you just did.
  • Crease everything tightly. Re-crease the Center Fold if you need to. There may be some overlapping but don't worry about that.

Step 4. Fold the Side Triangles Up Into the Center Fold

  • Fold everything tight and press flat. Again, there may be some overlap and that is fine. Do not worry about that.
  • You should have a diamond shape and set it lengthwise, facing you.
  • Take the tip of the bottom triangle and fold into the Center Fold.
  • Repeat with the tip of the upper triangle.

Step 5. Flip the Paper Over and Grab the "Inner" Folds (From the Original Crease)

  • Now turn the origami so that the smooth end is downward, away from you. You might want to press it flat again, against a flat surface.
  • You should be able to see the edges of from the folds in Step 2, pressed against the Center Fold in your design. See illustrations because this is hard to describe in writing.
  • Basically you are going to see a mess and two parts that look like mirror images. Reach in and take a hold of each side and pull out away from the Center Fold.

Step 6. Press Down, Push Out, and Smooth

  • As you are pulling the inner edges out, push in on the bottom crease of the Center Fold.
  • Continue to pull out on the "top" and push in on the "bottom" so that you are turning the paper, inside out.
  • Make sure all the fold you completed stay in tact. As it flips inside out, maintain the shape.
  • You should see the boat start to take shape and press and complete.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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