How to Make an Origami Gecko

Written by anthony king
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How to Make an Origami Gecko
The simple act of folding paper can produce thousands of different objects. (Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Origami is a Japanese art form whereby a series of folds on a piece of paper creates different shapes or objects. The word origami is derived from two Japanese words, "ori," which means folding, and "kami," which means paper. One such design is the origami gecko. Completing a sequence of creases and folds will create a faithful three-dimensional rendering. However, one must be precise with the instructions or the gecko could end up looking like nothing more than a crumpled up piece of paper.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Square sheet of paper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fold the paper in half vertically so that the left edge meets the right edge of the paper.Unfold the paper and refold upwards so that the bottom edge of the paper meets the top edge. You will now have a paper with four square sections. Fold the right edge to the paper in to meet the centre crease. Now fold the left edge of the paper in to meet the centre crease. Unfold the paper back to its starting position.

  2. 2

    Rotate the paper 90 degrees so you have six sections on the left side of the centre crease and six sections on the right side of the centre crease. Fold the right edge of the paper in to meet the centre crease. Fold the left edge in to meet the centre crease as well. Unfold the paper once again to its starting position.

  3. 3

    Fold the bottom edge of the paper up to meet the bottom most horizontal crease on the paper. Fold the bottom most horizontal crease up to meet the centre horizontal crease. Rotate the paper so that the top edge of the paper becomes the bottom edge. Repeat this step to make the same folds on this half of the page.

  4. 4

    Rotate the paper so that the right edge of the page becomes the bottom edge of the page. Repeat Step 3. You should have an 8-by-8 segmented piece of paper. You will need to get your paper into a 16-by-16 segmented grid to continue. To do that, simply fold each crease, starting at the bottom, up to meet the crease above it. Rotate the paper so that the right edge becomes the bottom edge and repeat by folding each crease up to meet the crease above it once again.

  5. 5

    Unfold your paper back to its starting position. Locate the centre vertical crease in the middle of the page. Pinch the creases directly to the left and directly to the right of the centre crease together and then fold the paper in half.

  6. 6

    Fold the bottom right corner of the top layer up to meet the left corner of the centre horizontal crease. From the bottom left corner of the now folded layer, place a heavy crease on the first four triangle segments of the diagonal line. Do not crease the top four triangle segments of the diagonal line. Unfold the bottom right corner back down flat.

  7. 7

    Flip the paper over so that the back right edge of the paper now becomes the front left edge of the paper. Just as before, fold the bottom left corner up to meet the right corner of the middle horizontal crease. Now place a heavy crease on the bottom four triangle segments of the diagonal line without creasing the top four triangle segments. Unfold the corner back down flat. Flip the paper over so that the front top edge now becomes the bottom back edge and repeat Steps 6 and 7.

  8. 8

    Unfold your paper back to its original starting position. Fold the bottom right corner all of the way up to the top left corner of the page. Place a heavy crease on only the bottom four triangle segments of the diagonal line. Place a heavy crease on the top four triangle segments of the diagonal line without creasing any of the remaining parts of the diagonal line. Unfold the page and repeat this step in the opposite direction by folding the bottom left corner up to the top right and repeating the four-triangle segment crease at the top and bottom.

  9. 9

    Fold the paper in half along the centre vertical crease. Count down five horizontal creases from the top edge of the paper and fold down on that fifth crease. Locate the square segment at the top right corner of the paper. Fold the top right corner of this small square segment down to meet the bottom left corner of this square. Unfold the back up on the fifth crease from the top to return to the beginning of this step. Repeat this action by now counting down seven horizontal creases, folding the paper down and then creasing the top right square segment.

  10. 10

    Repeat the action at the end of Step 9, only this time count down nine horizontal creases and repeat the sequence of folds. Once again, repeat this action by folding down on the 11th horizontal crease and repeating the sequence of folds. One last time, count down four horizontal creases and fold the paper down. This time however, take the bottom right corner of the folded down flap and fold it up to meet the top left corner of the middle crease. Locate the small square segment at the top right corner of the paper and place a heavy crease on the diagonal line running through it. Unfold your paper back to the original starting position.

  11. 11

    Align your paper so that the centre triangle creases are oriented horizontally. Beginning at the bottom edge, start creasing up paper up like a fan by creasing up and then back, alternating as you move up the grid. Rotate the paper so that the bottom edge now becomes the left edge. Fold the bottom right horizontal crease down. Pinch the right, left and bottom edges of the crease you just made together, making sure to squeeze the bottom left and right corners so the form collapses inward. Repeat this step for the left bottom edge of the paper.

  12. 12

    Rotate the paper so that the top edge becomes the bottom edge of the paper and repeat Step 11. Open the model to create the scales of the gecko by folding the inside creases in the centre of the paper down. Fold up individually along the 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th creases from the bottom. Fold down along the top crease of the model to create the head. Once you finish this fold your origami gecko will be complete.

Tips and warnings

  • Use green paper to add a realistic touch to your origami design.

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