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How to Fold an Origami
Square Base

Origami square baseMany favorite origami models begin with the square base, including the famous crane.

It's also known as the preliminary base or fold.

Always take your time and align the edges perfectly.  If a fold is slightly off, it’s usually worthwhile to re-do it.

Click to see more folding tips.

1 sheet of perfectly square paper   Click to see cutting tips.

These instructions are more detailed than usual so that first-time folders can use this as a tutorial to learn a squash fold.  It's also worth mentioning that our instructions are written for right-handers. Left-handers should feel free to adjust accordingly.

Task 1:  Make “helper creases.”

Your first task is to make your paper have the creases shown here.

 1.    If your paper is not the same color on both sides, place it so that the side you want to show when it's finished is down. (Most instructions will simply say to start with the white side up.)

2.  Fold the right side to the left side, forming a rectangle.

3.  Crease well and unfold.

4.  Fold the bottom edge to the top edge.

5.  Crease well and unfold.

6.  Fold a corner to the opposite corner, forming a triangle.

7.  Orient it with the fold away from you.

8.  Fold the triangle in half, forming a smaller triangle.

     If you let go of it, the top triangular flap might pop up like this. >

     And, if you were to completely unfold it now, you would see the creases shown in the first photo.








      Task 2: Complete the first side of the base.

10.   Working with the top flap, open it so you can work inside it.

11.   Hold the points together with your left index finger.

12.   Slide your right index finger all the way up into the top.

13.   On the outside, squash the paper down to form a square.

     Be careful not to form any new creases.  Only use the helper creases made in Task 1.

Your model should look like this.

origami square base step 3aorigami square base step 3borigami square base step 3corigami square base step 4

      Task 3: Complete the second side of the base.

14.   Turn the model over.

15.  Flip the triangular flap all the way to left and crease again along the existing center crease. This makes the next fold easier.

16.  Lift and open the triangular flap.

17. Squash-fold another square just like you did on the first side.  Refer to back to Steps 10 through 13, if needed.

The completed square base. 

Nice work!

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origami square base step 5

origami square base step 6

origami square base step 7

origami square base final

 Click to make something else from our Origami Model Library

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