Almost any flower can be made using the techniques of origami and a piece of square paper. The daffodil is not particularly difficult, but does require many folds. The first attempt at a many-stepped piece of origami is best made with a larger square of paper---10 by 10 inches would be ideal, as long as the paper is not thicker than normal origami paper. Make one daffodil and give it away, or make an entire bouquet to place on a windowsill.
Colour side up, fold the square paper in half bottom right corner to top left corner (creating a triangle). Unfold it. Fold it in half from the bottom left corner to the top right corner (again, creating a triangle). Unfold the paper.
Turn the paper over. Fold it in half again, left side to right side, (creating a rectangle). Unfold and repeat the fold from the top edge and the bottom edge (creating a rectangle). Unfold it again.
Lay the paper, colour side down, on the table. Refold the paper in half from the bottom edge to the top (rectangular shape).
Hold the paper pinched between thumb and forefinger in the lower right and in the lower left corner (both hands). These two corners are at the folded end of the shape, not the open end.
Lift the paper up and bring your fingers toward the centre so that the diagonal creases meet in the middle. The four free corners of the paper come together at the top, and the shape is like a 3-dimensional letter x when viewed from the top or the bottom.
Flatten the shape by folding the flap at the front to the right and the flap at the back to the left. You will have a smaller square, or a diamond shape when you lay it on the table with the open points of the form to the top. (Note: Steps 1 to 6 are what's known as the preliminary base in origami. It's used to begin many forms.)
With the shape flat on the table, open ends to the top, lift the top left flap so it's standing up.
Put your finger into the flap to open it out. Remove your finger and very carefully flatten out flap you just created. This will make a little triangular pocket on this side of the shape.
Turn the shape over and repeat Steps 7 to 9 on the other side, so that both sides are the same.
Fold the small flap on the left onto the one on the right (of the little pocket you just made). The edges should meet. Make sure to crease the fold.
Lift the large flap on the left so that it's vertical (as in Step 7). Repeat Step 8 on the lifted flap.
Turn the form over and repeat Steps 10 to 11 on the other side.
Lay the form flat on the table, open end to the top. Take the left side corner of the form and bring it to the centre line, matching the edges up. Make the same fold on the right side. Unfold both folds.
Fold the bottom point of the form up to the top point, creasing it well since there are several layers of paper in the fold. Unfold it.
Put your finger at the top point to keep the form steady. Use another finger to open the front flap by first pulling its bottom edge up and toward you (the two small side triangles will stand up). Push the bottom part of the opening flap down (along the previously folded diagonal lines) to flatten it out. The two side triangles will also flatten out. You should see the shape of an upside-down kite within the shape of a larger kite. Lift the bottom point of the top layer (the upside down kite) up toward (not to) the top point of the form (essentially re-creasing the horizontal fold line made in Step 14).
Turn the form over and repeat Steps 13 to 15.
Fold the top left flap across to the right. Repeat on the bottom left flap.
Repeat Steps 13 to 15.
Turn the paper over. Repeat Step 17. Repeat Steps 13 to 15 one last time.
Lift the top left flap and fold it over to the right. Turn the form over and repeat. You should have a solid diamond on both sides (no flaps).
On the top flap (or layer) of paper only, fold the bottom left edge into the centre line and crease the fold. The fold goes up past the centre line. Repeat in the right side. These are smaller folds, so make them carefully.
Turn the form over and repeat Step 21.
Fold the top two left layers or flaps over to the right. Repeat Step 21. Turn the form over and repeat.
Fan the flaps (petals) in an outward direction to make the final daffodil. Use your fingers to help shape the petals.
All folds should be creased well with a fingertip. This flower has many folds in it, which means a larger square of paper will be easier to manipulate, especially the first time. Use yellow paper if you'd like the flower to be true to life in colour.
Tips and warnings
- All folds should be creased well with a fingertip. This flower has many folds in it, which means a larger square of paper will be easier to manipulate, especially the first time. Use yellow paper if you'd like the flower to be true to life in colour.