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How to Make an Origami Dragon
2019-09-12 10:03
Origami has been a Japanese tradition for centuries and is a modern art form. There are many different methods used to fold dragons and each has its own style and artistry. Most dragons are intermediate to advanced-level origami creations, but you can attempt a beginner level dragon if you are just starting out. By following a few steps you can create a beautiful origami dragon.

1,Try this dragon if you are an intermediate-level origami folder. You should know how to fold the origami bird base and origami flapping bird before trying this method. If not, go onto Method 2 for making a beginner level dragon.
2,Start with a square piece of origami paper. A good size is 7 centimeter (2.8 in) x 7 centimeter (2.8 in) paper but other sizes will work. If you are a beginner it is best to start with bigger paper (20cm by 20cm) because it is easier to work with. [1]
If you only have a regular letter size piece of paper, make it square by folding the left corner diagonally down to the right side. Then take the upper right corner and fold it down to the left, connecting to the left corner where the first fold was made. There will be a bottom rectangle left over; fold this backwards and crease it well. Unfold the whole paper and cut (or tear if you creased it really well) off the rectangle. You will now have a square piece of paper.
3,Fold paper diagonally, horizontally and vertically to create asterisk-like creases. You should do each of these individually, unfolding before the next fold. Be careful and exact with your folds, making sure the creases are deep and the corners are sharp.
4,Squash fold the paper into a square base. Fold the top corner of the paper down to the bottom, bringing the right and left corners to the bottom at the same time. Bring the right and left corners to the bottom by folding the paper in between the bottom and top layers, or squash folding it. It should now look like a square diamond.
If you are using colored paper, the colored side should be on the outside at this point. Start with the colored side down when making the square base to do this.
5,Turn it into a bird base. Fold the top layers of both sides to the center and then fold the top triangle down. Unfold these three folds. Do a petal fold by lifting the top layer from the bottom corner all the way up, folding in the sides at the same time along the crease to create a diamond. Turn the paper over and do the same thing on the opposite side: fold along the sides to the center and the top triangle down, unfold these folds, lift up the top layer all the way to the top and fold in along the sides to create a diamond. This is the bird base.
While completing the bird base and bringing the bottom corner to the top corner the paper will look a bit like an open flower.
6,Pull up the flap of paper on both sides and then squish the layer so it overlaps. This makes the head and tail. It will now look very pointy, with a point on the left that will be the head, a point in the middle that will become the wings and a point on the right that will become the tail.
To make the head, lift the left side flap slightly and pull the top corner of the paper down in between the back and top layers. Bring it so that it is angled slightly down (so the head will eventually be pointing diagonally up) and crease the fold.
To make the tail, lift the right side flap slightly and pull the top right corner down in between the back and top layers. Crease it where it is horizontal when you look at it so that it will extend straight out.
7,Turn the diamond around so the head is facing upward. Rotate the paper 180 degrees. You want the unfolded point of the diamond pointing to the top so that you can add detail and continue with your folding. Now the head will point up on the left side.
8,Add details to the head. You can add a jaw and horn and/or thin the neck to add detail to the head and make it more dragon-like.
To add a jaw, fold the tip of the head down to the lower corner on that side and unfold. Hold the neck with one hand and push the head against the neck with your other hand. The neck should fold inwards so that the head folds slightly over the neck, creating a jaw.
To add a horn, fold the tip of the head down to the bottom point of the jaw and unfold. Open the head by spreading the top layer from the bottom layer so you can fold this small piece backwards. This will create a horn on the top of the dragonhead.
To thin the neck, fold in both sides. Take small parts of the bottom edges of the neck and fold them in between the layers. Do this in about three different pieces to trim the fat on the neck and make it slimmer.
9,Add details to the tail. Fold to make it look thinner and/or spikier. It's up to you. Be creative!
To put spikes in the tail, open the layers of the tail and fold back the tip upwards wherever you wish your spike to be. Then fold most of the rest of the tail back out, leaving a small crimp in the tail. You can do this near the tip or in the middle of both. You can do a few crimps as well. Reclose the tail.
To thin the tail, open the layers and fold the bottom edges inwards. This can again be done in multiple locations to create a thin, whippy-looking tail.
10,Add details to the wings. Starting with the left wing (with head facing to the left), fold the top layer of the top corner down to the bottom corner between the head and tail and unfold. Open the left flap of the wing and then fold down the entire wing and tuck inside the loose flap, closing down over the wing. Then fold the loose flap to the left and open the wing by bringing the bottom corner to the top again. Fold the right and left corners to the inside and unfold. Push in the right side (should be colored) of the wing so that it pops in. Re-crease the left side by bringing the left corner to the colored side. Keep a thumb over the right side while you do so to prevent it from popping out again. Repeat with the right wing.
11,Open the wings by pulling on the chest and tail. Pull gently on the chest and tail of the dragon to make the wings pump as if it is flying.