Origami Animals

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Origami hens

Making origami animals is something origami folders of all skill levels enjoy doing. Animals, especially cranes, are a large part of origami.

Types of Animals

Cranes are often associated with origami. Traditional Japanese folklore says that folding 1,000 of them will bring prosperity and perhaps even grant a wish of the folder. While the crane may be one of the most recognizable animal figures in origami, plenty of other animals are possible from paper, including:

  • Furry Friends: Dogs, cats, horses, pigs and origami monkeys can be fashioned out of paper.
  • Birds: Beyond the crane, other birds can be created using origami techniques. Make an origami eagle, owl, hummingbird or swan by folding paper.
  • Fish and Water Creatures: Turtles, sea lions, whales, carp and frogs all dwell in the water and can be fashioned into origami figures.
  • Mythical Animals: Get creative and use origami techniques to make an origami dragon or pegasus.

Use shades of the same color to create a herd of horses or flock of birds. By choosing smaller sizes of paper, you can even make a small family to represent your own family. Display the figures on a mantel or shelf; children are usually delighted to add origami animals to their playtime.

Folding Origami Animals

Origami animals can be simple or difficult, depending on the design involved. Some easy origami for kids instructions recommend adding eyes and using pens to create a more realistic animal for children.

Beginners may find making somewhat abstract representations of an animal easier to do than creating frogs that hop and birds with flapping wings. The origami cocotte, or hen, is a simple animal figure novice folders master in the beginning of their origami studies.

Intermediate and advanced origami enthusiasts can create animals that not only look like the real thing, but also have complex origami folds. Beaks, feet, horns and other animal features can be harder to create than the body. Complicated diagrams may involve folding separate papers and combining them into one larger animal figure.


Like other origami figures, origami animals need carefully lined paper edges and crisp creases. Animals are popular in origami and can be part of a larger collection or given as a gift.

Origami Animals