How to Make a Paper Knife

paper kunai

Learning how to make a paper knife is easy when you utilize both video instructions and online origami diagrams.

Folding a Kunai Knife

Supplies needed: 2 squares of paper, one slightly larger than the other, and tape

  1. Fold your smaller piece of paper in half diagonally to form a triangle.
    Step 1- fold in half
  2. Fold in half again to form a smaller triangle and crease. Unfold.
    step 2- fold again and unfold
  3. Fold the right side down so the edge meets the center crease.
    Step 3- fold down right side
  4. Fold again to the left, and once more to complete the fold.
    step 4- fold to the left
    Fold to the left
    Step 4a- fold again to the left
    Once more to the left to complete the fold
  5. Tuck the bottom tails into the little pouch formed at the bottom.
    Step 5- tuck in the tails
  6. Now, turn the triangle on its side and squish down to form a kite shape.
    step 6- squish
  7. Complete the blade by flattening
    Step 7- flatten the blade
  8. Flip over and tape the backside to reinforce the seam and set aside.
    step 8- reinforce
  9. Now for the handle. Roll your larger square of paper into a straw and tape the seam.
    step 9- roll the handle
  10. Flatten just about half of the paper straw, and fold down at a 90 degree angle.
    step 10 flatten and fold
  11. Make a series of 90 degree folds to create the loop at the end of the handle.
    step 11- a series of folds
  12. Tape the loop to secure.
    step 12- tape the loop
  13. Insert the handle to the bottom of the blade. Tape to secure.
    step 13

Congratulations on your new paper kunai!

finished kunai

Kunai Knife

The kunai knife is a commonly known ninja weapon. It does not look like a typical knife today. This knife had multiple purposes in ancient Japan, from gardening to weaponry. The kunai knife diagrams are dominant in Naruto origami, based on the popular Japanese anime television series.

A kunai knife has a sharp, pointed head that looks like a spear. Unlike a paper sword, the handle of a kunai knife is short and has a looped hole at the end. The kunai knife is an intermediate level project. While the folds are fairly easy, the knife has many steps. Follow directions in a diagram or watch video tutorials on useful origami websites like the following:

  • Find two versions of the kunai knife at The Paper Kunai Knife tutorial shows how to make the knife using a pencil and rectangular sheet of paper, while the Origami Kunai set of instructions offers a way to make the knife using a square piece of paper.
  • Get a tutorial diagram for a kunai knife at Click on the diagram to make it larger. It relies heavily on origami symbols with few written explanations, so make sure you know what each symbol represents.
  • Origami Austria has a PDF diagram that includes both visuals and written instructions for making a kunai knife.

More Paper Knives

You can figure out how to make a paper knife that is not kunai style, too. Advanced origami folders might enjoy planning their own Swiss army knife, like the one by Joseph Wu. You can also try making an origami flip knife or a ninja throwing knives out of paper.

The LoveToKnow tutorial How to Make an Origami Knife shows readers how to make a folding knife with both written instructions, illustrated by photographs depicting each step.

Another place to find instructions on how to make a paper knife is through origami books. Look for one that is themed for ninja weapons or Japanese weapons and check the index to see if a knife diagram is included. Pick up a book that includes basic folding instructions if you are a novice origami artist.

Tips on How to Make a Paper Knife

Add your knife to your collection of paper weapons and display it on a mantel, in a bookcase or on a set of shelves. You could even make a separate collection of knives in and of itself, with various knives on display. Include the kunai knife, flip knife, folding knife, and throwing knife in your collection.

Follow these tips to ensure that your paper knife project is a success:

  • Learn the basic origami folds and bases before starting to fold a knife. Having a few reference websites or books available makes it easier for beginners to follow the diagrams.
  • Pause an instructional origami video if there is a section you do not follow. Watch it several times before continuing to the next step.
  • Knives have a very pointed, sharp tip. Line and crease your paper knives firmly so that you have a realistic looking knife. Crisp corners and folds are a necessity when folding a paper knife.
  • Make your origami model with foil paper in silver for a unique effect. Choose gray or black cardstock for a knife that needs to be sturdy.
  • Try making a knife using dollar bill origami techniques.

Add a paper knife to your other origami weapons. Use the diagrams, videos and instructions above if you do not all ready have a favorite knife to fold. After your knife is finished, display it proudly with your origami throwing stars, paper guns and paper sword.

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How to Make a Paper Knife