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How to make an origami duck

Make this beautiful origami duck following our step-by-step origami tutorial! Grab a piece of 15 x 15cm paper and fold your own origami duck.

How to make an origami duck - completed origami duck, image 5

Learn how to make an origami duck with our easy-to-follow step-by-step photo tutorial! This easy origami model captures a duck as he’s splashing around in the pond, or, if you prefer, fold the wings down so that he’s swimming around peacefully, without a care in the world. This model will actually float on water, too!

How to make an origami duck - completed origami duck, image 4

Like this origami duck? Check out some of our other origami projects here on Gathered, like this origami crane, origami swan, origami owl or origami butterfly.

If you fancy boosting your stash, check out our pick of the best origami paper, or if you’re on the hunt for more easy origami projects, we have them all collated here, in our easy origami for beginners article.

We love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to share your origami projects with us on InstagramFacebook or Twitter, too!

Buy some beautiful origami paper!

Bird themed origami paper

Buy now: £5.63, Amazon

This origami paper pack features eight different bird prints reproduced from Japanese woodblocks in the ukiyo-e style of art, each with a coordinating solid colour on the reverse. The paper is slightly larger, 20 x 20cm, so you can use it for more complicated designs, too. The bird illustrations are gorgeous, and although you only get 48 sheets in a pack, we think it’s worth the money – just look at the mandarin ducks!

How to make an origami duck - completed origami duck, image 2
How to make an origami duck - completed origami duck, image 3

How to make an origami duck

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Step 1

Start with a 15 x 15cm piece of square paper. For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using a double-sided sheet of paper which is orange on one side and yellow on the other. Fold in half along the diagonal.

How to make an origami duck - step 1d

Step 2

Fold one side of the paper up, leaving a 15mm (1.5cm) pleat at the top.

How to make an origami duck - step 2

Step 3

Fold the paper in half along the vertical and re-open.

How to make an origami duck - step 3a
How to make an origami duck - step 3b

Step 4

Fold one side down to meet the vertical crease you just made in the previous step.

How to make an origami duck - step 4

Step 5

Fold the tip up as shown.

How to make an origami duck - step 5

Step 6

Repeat for the other side – fold the other side down to meet the vertical crease.

How to make an origami duck - step 6

Step 7

Fold the tip up to mirror the other side.

How to make an origami duck - step 7

Step 8

Turn the model over. Fold a small triangle down at the top (about 2cm).

How to make an origami duck - step 8a
How to make an origami duck - step 8b

Step 9

Fold the tip of the triangle up again, making a small pleat. This will be the duck’s beak! This bit may be a little fiddly due to the small size of the beak, so using a cocktail stick may help.

How to make an origami duck - step 9

Step 10

Fold the model in half. Rotate the model 90 degrees anti-clockwise.

How to make an origami duck - step 10a
How to make an origami duck - step 10b

Step 11

Fold the two wings either side up – you can fold them down again later, but we need the wings out the way to make the neck in the next step.

How to make an origami duck - step 11a
How to make an origami duck - step 11b

Step 12

Fold the neck up so that it sits at a 90-degree angle to the body. Open the model up as you fold the neck up, so that there is a piece of neck either side of the body. This is called an outside reverse fold.

How to make an origami duck - step 12b

Step 13

Fold the points on the bottom of your origami duck inwards. This will allow your duck to sit up by itself (or float if you decide to put it in water!).

How to make an origami duck - step 13a
How to make an origami duck - step 13b

Step 14

Fold the head down, using another outside reverse fold, so that it is positioned at a 90-degree angle to the neck. The two sides of the head should sit either side of the head.

How to make an origami duck - step 14

Step 15

Manipulate the beak so that it points upwards. To do this, gently pull it into position, then crisp the creases using a bone folder or ruler.

How to make an origami duck - step 15

Step 16

Fold the tail down, so that it lines up with the edge of the wing.

How to make an origami duck - step 16

Step 17

Open up the tail to reveal a square-diamond shape.

How to make an origami duck - step 17

Step 18

Fold the bottom of this square diamond up, aligning the bottom edge with the top edge (i.e., fold in half along the horizontal).

How to make an origami duck - step 18

Step 19

Fold the tail back on itself by folding in half along the vertical.

How to make an origami duck - step 19

Step 20

Pull the tail up and out (go gently), then press the creases to secure in place.

How to make an origami duck - step 20

Step 21

Tidy up your origami duck’s derriere by folding each side inwards.

How to make an origami duck - step 21a
How to make an origami duck - step 21b

Step 22

Finally, fold the wings down (or leave them up if you prefer) to complete your origami duck!

How to make an origami duck - step 22a
How to make an origami duck - step 22b
How to make an origami duck - step 22c

How to make an origami duck - completed origami duck, image 1
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Beautiful origami paper to buy!

1. Handmade origami paper

Handmade origami paper - image 1, Amazon

Buy now: £12.99, Amazon

Okay – so you’ve practised a model, and now you want to make a special one? Perhaps as a gift, or to make a topper on the front of a card? Well, this handmade paper is perfect for when you want to create something a little more special.

2. Double-sided origami paper

How to make an origami crane

Buy now: £8.54, Amazon

This is the origami paper we used for the steps photos – it’s great, because not only is it double-sided, but the sides are different colours so it really adds a little bit extra to those designs where you see both sides of the paper. Plus it comes as loose leaf, which is handy.

3. Traditional origami paper

Traditional origami paper, Amazon

Buy now: £6.39, Amazon

This pack of origami paper comes in traditional designs with a great price point. There are 24 different designs and 100 sheets. They’re double-sided, too so if you’re looking to get into the hobby without splashing too much cash – this is a great option.

4. Botanical origami paper

Origami for beginners

Buy now: £6.11, Amazon

This collection of botanical-inspired origami paper features beautiful designs of leaves and feathers in a palette of greens and blues. We love the peacock feathers! If you want more peacock inspired prints, why not download our free peacock pintables – just be sure to cut into squares before folding this origami duck.

5. Metallic origami paper

Metallic origami paper

Buy now: £7.57, Amazon

This metallic collection of origami papers features 10 different colours, with a pearly, iridescent finish. For simple designs this paper is great – and we think this paper would look great for our origami duck!


Zdeněk Macháček
Mandarin duck photograph by Zdeněk Macháček
How to make an origami duck - completed origami duck, image 5

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, how to make an origami duck. We have plenty of other origami projects here on Gathered, too – like this traditional origami crane, this origami owl or these adorable (and super easy) origami cats.