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How to Make an Origami Dolphin (Step by Step Guide)

A collage of crafting an origami dolphin.

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Dolphins are beautiful and playful aquatic mammals that are fast swimmers, like to communicate with each other, and are incredibly intelligent. No wonder they are one of the most beloved animals in the world.

This article will teach you, step-by-step, how to turn a flat piece of paper into a cute little bottlenose dolphin through origami.

A collage of crafting an origami dolphin.
Active Time 12 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Difficulty Medium

Materials

  • Black marker
  • Scissors

A piece of paper

  • Size: 14 x 14 cm (5.5 x 5.5. inches)
  • Color: Any color of your choice

Instructions

Step 1

Folding paper triangular for crafting a dolphin.

Lay the paper in front of you so it looks like a square. Start making a diagonal crease by folding the paper in half, taking the bottom right corner, and folding it over to meet the top left corner. Make sure to press down the fold so your crease is visible.

Once done, open the fold so your paper is back to a square.

Step 2

Second step in crafting a origami dolphine.

Repeat the process with the other side by taking the bottom left corner and folding it over to meet the top right corner. Press down firmly so that your crease is clear.

Open the fold so that your paper looks like a square again. Only this time, you should have two distinct creases that form an X by intersecting in the middle.

Step 3

Third step in crafting a origami dolphine.

Rotate your paper 90° so that one of the corners ends at the top (i.e., your piece must look like a rhombus/diamond).

Step 4

Fourth step in crafting a dolphin.

Take the top right side of the diamond and fold it inward to meet the vertical crease running down the middle.

Flatten the fold’s edge with your finger to make a visible crease.

Step 5

Fifth steps in crafting a dolphin.

Repeat the same process with the opposite side. Take the top left edge of your diamond by folding it over to meet in the middle. It would help if you now had your paper looking like an upside-down kite with two triangular folds that meet in the middle.

Step 6

Sixth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Open the two folds so that you are back to having your paper look like a diamond again, and rotate the paper 180° so that the last two creases you made look like a V.

Step 7

Seventh step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Now, repeat step 4. Take the top right side of the diamond and bring it over to meet the vertical crease running down the middle.

Flatten the fold with your finger to make the crease more visible.

Step 8

Eight step in crafting an origami dolphin.

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Repeat the process with your diamond’s opposite side (top left). Like in step 5, fold it over to meet in the middle.

Your paper should now look like an upside-down kite again with two triangular folds.

Step 9

Ninth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Open the two folds so that you are back to having your paper look like a diamond again.

Step 10

Tenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Working with the diagonal creases, fold the two righthand sides of the diamond inwards simultaneously.

Step 11

Eleventh step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Flatten the protruding point’s edges by pressing it firmly between your thumb and index finger.

Step 12

Twelfth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Repeat step 10 by folding the diamond’s two left sides inwards simultaneously. Flatten all the edges of the protruding point.

Step 13

Thirteenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Fold the two protruding points, either upward or downward, to make it flat. Then turn your paper sculpture over so the folds are out of sight and face down your work surface.

Step 14

The fourteenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Take the top point of your new, stretched diamond and fold it downward to meet the horizontal crease running through the middle. And, as always, flatten the edges of the fold.

Step 15

Fifteenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

You will now make a horizontal crease near the top.

Bring the point of the triangle back up, making the base of the fold 1 cm from the top. Press down firmly so the crease will show up clearly.

Step 16

Sixteenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Once you have made the crease, open the fold again, so the point faces down towards the middle.

Step 17

Seventeenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

In the following two steps, you will make a pair of tiny folds using the top corners of your shape. They should look like a little dog’s ears by the end.

Starting with the top right corner, make a small fold inward. Big enough so that the point of the ‘ear’ aligns with the horizontal crease you created in step 15.

Step 18

Eighteenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Follow the same method as in step 17 by folding the left corner inwards to make the second ‘dog ear.’

Step 19

Nineteenth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Flatten both protruding folds by firmly pressing down on them with your fingers.

Step 20

Twentieth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Fold the larger triangle upward using the horizontal crease you made earlier as the base. The triangular fold must overlap with the ‘dog ears’ on either side. Press down to flatten.

Step 21

Twenty-first step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Turn the top point down so that the small triangular fold is roughly the length of an adult’s fingernail (about 1 cm). Press down on it firmly to flatten it.

Step 22

Twenty-second step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Fold the entire paper shape inward in half, with the longer sides closing together on each other like a book.

Step 23

Twenty-third step in crafting a dolphin.

Press down on all the shape’s edges to ensure it is flat.

Step 24

Twenty-fourth step in crafting a dolphin.

The following two steps are trickier, so it might take a couple of attempts before you get it right.

Lift the flap (that will become the dolphin’s dorsal fin) and open it like a book, exposing the inner surfaces. When opening it up, it should look almost like a tent.

Step 25

Twenty-fifth step in crafting a dolphin.

Bring the sides together so that they are facing you.

Step 26

Twenty-sixth step in crafting a dolphin.

Now flatten all the edges of the dolphin’s dorsal fin.

Step 27

Twenty-seventh step in crafting a dolphin.

Once done, turn your dolphin around so that you can work on the other side.

Step 28

Twenty-eight step in crafting a dolphin.

The fin facing you now will become the dolphin’s pectoral (bottom) fin. To do this, take the longest side of the protruding triangle, and fold it inwards to meet the body at the vertical crease.

Step 29

Twenty-ninth step in crafting a dolphin.

Press down to flatten the pectoral fin.

Step 30

Thirtieth step in crafting a dolphin.

‘Butterfly’ your dolphin by unfolding it so you can see all the previous folds you made (steps 14-22).

Step 31

Thirty-first step in crafting a dolphin.

Take a pair of scissors and make an incision in the tail of your dolphin – roughly 2 cm long.

Step 32

Thirty-second step in crafting a dolphin.

Turn the butterflied dolphin around so the fins are face down on your work surface.

Step 33

Thirty-third step in crafting a dolphin.

Close the central fold again, leaving you with the earlier dolphin shape and dorsal fin facing you.

Step 34

Thirty-fourth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Take the edge of the tail and fold it 90° towards your left so you end up with the tail fin pointing upwards.

Step 35

Thirty-fifth step in crafting a dolphin.

Separate the two tail fins and press down to flatten them.

Step 36

Thirty-sixth step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Turn your dolphin around. Take the edge of the tail fin facing you and fold it 90° towards your right so the tail is pointing downwards. Flatten the edge of the fold.

Step 37

Thirty-seventh step in crafting an origami dolphin.

To represent the eye, take a black marker and make a dot in the upper half of the dolphin’s head towards the front.

Step 38

Final step in crafting an origami dolphin.

Repeat step 37 on the other side so the dolphin has two eyes (one on each side).

And that’s your paper dolphin done!

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