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How to make an origami swan

Make this easy origami swan with one sheet of square paper! Follow our handy step-by-step tutorial to make your own in just a few minutes.

How to make an origami swan 2

This traditional Japanese origami swan is easy to make and looks great with double-sided paper. This simple origami swan uses one piece of 15 x 15cm paper and shows a peek of the reverse with detail for the wing. It’s a stable model, so will stand up on its own without support. This origami swan is an ideal first origami project, as it only takes a few minutes to make and only uses simple folds.

If you like this origami swan, then be sure to check out some of our other origami articles – like this origami crane, or these (super easy) origami cats – or how about this adorable origami owl?

If you fancy boosting your stash, check out our pick of the best origami paper, or how about trying out these brilliant origami Christmas decorations? 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 origami paper

Buy now: £14.99, Amazon

Working with speciality origami paper can make the whole process more enjoyable, as it won’t rip, it’s easy to crease and the design won’t crack. It enables greater manipulation as it’s thinner than regular paper, so if you’re keen to get into origami, it’s worth investing in some proper paper. With this pack, you get a whopping 180 sheets with 45 beautiful traditional designs, check out the plethora of 5-star reviews on Amazon for this product!

How to make an origami swan


Step 1

Start with a square of origami paper.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using double-sided origami paper which is red on one side and yellow on the other.

Fold in half along the diagonal and unfold.

How to make an origami swan - step 1

How to make an origami swan - step 1b

How to make an origami swan - step 1c

Step 2

Fold one side up to meet the crease you have just made.

How to make an origami swan - step 2

Step 3

Repeat on the other side to create a kite shape.

How to make an origami swan - step 3

Step 4

Turn the model over.

How to make an origami swan - step 4

Step 5

Again, fold the sides up to meet the central fold.

How to make an origami swan - step 5

Step 6

Repeat on the other side.

How to make an origami swan - step 6

Step 7

Mountain fold the whole model in half.

How to make an origami swan - step 7

How to make an origami swan - step 7b

Step 8

Fold the neck up by using an outside reverse fold. To do this, open the neck slightly as you bring it up, and fold what was the bottom of the model up and around the body.

How to make an origami swan - step 8

Step 9

Fold the head down. Use an outside reverse fold again, to create the head. Make the head around 5cm long. It’s longer as we need to accommodate for the beak in step 11.

How to make an origami swan - step 9

Step 10

Open up the head by pulling out the hidden paper on both sides of the head.

How to make an origami swan - step 10

Step 11

Create the beak by first pleating the end of the head, then pushing the beak inside the head. This is called a double reverse fold. Squash the head to firm up the creases.

How to make an origami swan - step 11

How to make an origami swan - step 11c

Step 12

If you like, give your swan a tail by doing an outside reverse fold at the end of the swan’s body. This is not part of the traditional Japanese origami swan – just a cute little detail I like to add.

How to make an origami swan - step 12

How to make an origami swan - pink and yellow_

More origami paper

1. 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.

2. Marbled origami paper

How to make an origami crane

Buy now: £10.99, Amazon

This paper collection features more contemporary designs – but aren’t the marbled designs gorgeous? This collection features 10 different designs, with 10 sheets of each. This would also make a great kit to use with matting and layering in card making.

3. Handmade origami paper

Handmade origami paper - image 5, 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.

4. 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.

5. Plain origami paper

Origami for beginners

Buy now: £7.99, Amazon

Coloured on one side and white on the other, having a stash of plain origami paper is great for practising models. There are 50 different colours in the pack and each sheet is 20 x 20cm, just a little larger than the traditional 15 x 15cm square sheets.

How to make an origami swan_

We hope you’ve enjoyed this easy origami swan! We have plenty of other origami projects here on Gathered, too – like this origami lampshade, these origami cats or this traditional origami crane.