Buying decorations to spruce up your house for the holidays is fun, but making your own can be even more gratifying—especially if you can get your kids in on the fun. While origami is typically thought to be a hobby for more handy adults, it's equally geared towards children if they have the right project and instruction—and a great method for creating some fun paper decorations of your own this Halloween.
Learn how to make a simple origami crow and help set a scary scene this Halloween (though this origami bird could also be a raven or blackbird if you'd like—it all depends on the color paper you choose). What's nice about this origami bird is how it stands up on its own, making it an especially spooky addition to a window for trick-or-treaters.
When you're done folding your creation, you can stand your crow on any ledge, as long as there's room for its tail. If you're looking for more origami birds to make, try your hand at this peace dove, which works well as a decoration, a fun little gift to friends or family, or as an embellishment on a greeting card. Or keep with the Halloween spirit and make an origami witch hat or ghost!
- 1 square sheet of paper about 6 inches by 6 inches, black on both sides
- If you are using two-tone paper, start with your paper white (or another color) side up. If your paper is black on both sides, it does not matter how you begin.
- Begin by folding your paper in half, from the left to the right.
- Unfold the paper.
- Next, fold the paper in half again, this time horizontally from top to bottom.
- Unfold the paper.
- Flip the paper to the other side, smoothing out your creases slightly so it lays flat.
- Fold the paper in half diagonally, connecting the lower left corner with the upper right corner. Unfold, then fold diagonally again, this time connecting the lower right corner with the upper left corner.
- Unfold the paper completely. At this stage, you should be left with the remnants of an X crease on your paper.
Bring in the Corners
- Flip your paper back to the other side.
- Bring the left and right corners together into the middle.
- Given the folds previously made, the top point will collapse down on top.
- You will end up with what is called an origami "square base" or "preliminary base."
Make the Base
Using your origami square base as a starting point, you will continue folding to create an "origami bird base."
- Fold the lower left and right edges of your square down to the central crease, as shown.
- Fold the top point down over the top.
- Unfold the sides.
- Reverse the left and right creases you just made.
- Open out the lower section.
- Reverse the folds, bringing the bottom point up to the top.
Form the Legs
- Repeat the process on the other side and you will have the completed origami bird base.
- Fold the two bottom points up the central horizontal crease. This will form the bird's legs.
- Fold both points down and out to opposite sides to form the legs.
Create the Feet
- Unfold the last step and reverse fold the feet. Your paper should look like the second photo in the group below.
- Flip the top section of the foot down.
- Repeat the previous two steps on the other foot.
- Fold the top down.
- Flip the model over to the other side, from left to right.
- Fold the model in half. Your photo should look like the first photo in the bottom row of photos above.
- Fold the head down to a good angle.
- Open out the top and reverse the fold there.