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How to Make a Paper Sphinx

Updated July 20, 2017

Symbol of an ancient world, half-lion half-woman and mysteriously missing part of its nose, the Sphinx has mesmerised people for centuries. Some fortunate folk manage to travel to Egypt to see the real thing at least once during a lifetime. Others need to be content with models and pictures. Among these options, making a paper Sphinx is perhaps the easiest. This is also a safe, effective tool to educate children and keep them busy.

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  1. Fold the paper edge to edge, diagonally, to form a triangle. Press down firmly on the crease. Open the fold and repeat the process for the other two edges. The paper should now have four triangle-shaped creases.

  2. Fold the paper once into a rectangle. Open the fold and repeat the process for the other two edges.

  3. Fold both edges of the paper along the central crease. The piece of paper should now be long and rectangular.

  4. Fold one edge of the paper in half along the central crease that divides the rectangle into squares. An 'X' shaped crease should be formed on one half of the paper. Open the fold and repeat this process with the other edge along the shorter side of the same segment.

  5. Open the lower segment by the edges and fold inward to form a boat-shaped bottom. Fold the lower ends of the boat edges inward.

  6. Fold the top half of the square-shaped paper along two diagonal creases that would have appeared from earlier folding. The top segment should now have a triangular-shaped front.

  7. Fold the remaining edges of the boat backward so as to wrap around the base of the model. The paper should now resemble a small aeroplane.

  8. Fold the pointed front tip of the paper backward, horizontally. This is to begin forming the head of the sphinx. Press down firmly on the crease. Repeat the process in the opposite direction to make the fold more pronounced. Open and make an inverse fold. In other words, fold the remaining two edges, or those that you didn't fold in the first half of this step, toward each other. The paper should start taking the shape of a sphinx with an identifiable head and body.

  9. Fold the top half of the sphinx over the lower. Fold in the opposite direction as well. Make a fold in the middle of the upper segment. Fold in the opposite direction. Open the creases in this segment and stuff toward the centre so as to shorten the neck. The paper will now look like the sphinx is resting on its front legs with head raised.

  10. Fold the pointed end of the head in either direction. Open the fold and stuff the pointed end inside to create a snubbed nose. Use a fine-tipped black marker to draw eyes and a mouth as well as detail the front feet.

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Things You'll Need

  • Square-shaped paper (preferably light brown/sand coloured)
  • Fine-tipped black marker pen

About the Author

Ayesha Aleem

Ayesha Aleem has been writing professionally since 2008. She has worked with "Elle," the Community Newspaper Co. in Massachusetts and Gannett News Service. She has also covered the U.S. Congress for the "New Bedford Standard-Times." Aleem holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and English literature from Bangalore University in India and a Master of Science in journalism from Boston University.

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