Cooks and Crafts: Origami Horse

The crisp and colorful final products help celebrate the Chinese New Year (photo by Amy Rose).
The crisp and colorful final products help celebrate the Chinese New Year (photo by Amy Rose).

This past Friday rang in the Chinese New Year, I thought it would be pretty fun to find an origami craft to help celebrate. This year is the Year of the Horse.

Origami is a really tricky art form. People who can create origami pieces really well astound me. I feel like your fingers have to do nearly as much acrobatics as the paper does in order to get the piece together. But if you take it slowly and relax, origami can be very fun with very minimal mess.

I have discovered, through the help of the internet, a way to create an origami horse that actually makes a pretty believable equine creature. It is a little complicated, so refer to the video below, or a step by step instruction guide with photos if this particular guide proves too confusing.

Video by Silvia Pak

Origami Horse


A square sheet of paper

  1. Start with square sheet of paper with colored side face down.

  2. Make a fold from one diagonal to another then unfold.

  3. Take the right and left corners and fold them towards the center. Your paper should now resemble a kite.

  4. Fold the corners created by instruction 3 into the center line. You should now have a smaller diamond.

  5. Now you do what is called a “squash fold” to both sides. Basically, you put your index finger into one of the pockets your foldings in instruction 4 created, and reverse the small fold so that it goes the opposite way. When its finished it will look like a smaller diamond is sitting on top of a larger diamond.

  6. Fold your piece in half longways, so that the little flaps you've created in instruction five are visible.

  7. Now your piece looks like a triangle. On the half of the triangle that does not have a flap, crease it upwards. Once it is creased, bring it back to the triangle.

  8. Next we do what is called an “inside reverse fold.” Along the crease you created, you are going to open to the diamond again on the half of the triangle you just worked on. Fold this portion up until you reach the crease you just created then seal the fold once that half is perpendicular to the rest of the paper. If you fold the verticle part again more towards the top, you have created the head of the horse.

  9. Remember that smaller diamond the other half of the triangle had? There should be one on each side of the now slightly demented triangle. Take one of the small diamonds and fold it outwards. This will make a triangle again, with the head of the horse peeking up over it. Do the same to the other side.

  10. We're going to do an “outside reverse fold” to create the legs. Crease the triangle end that hasn't been used yet towards. Unfold it again then invert the crease you created and fold it again. The legs should look like two sideways triangles that overlap the back of the  body of the horse.

  11. Working on the front legs of the horse, create a narrow, vertical outward fold. Perform on both legs individually.

  12. The neck of the horse is looking a little wide. Create a narrow vertical inward fold along a small, invisible line on the horse's neck and tuck both halves inside of the neck of the horse.

  13. Back to the legs, invert the back legs so that the bottom of it is flat. You can draw little hooves if you want.

  14. Draw eyes, a mane, and maybe even a saddle and you've got your horse!

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