Mary Lovehandmade
Winnipeg, Canada

How to make origami dragon

The world of origami is amazing and engaging. Once you made a bird or a tulip, nothing will stop you on your way in getting acquainted with those little things. If you feel this way, here is a detailed guide to help you master the origami dragon.

Square base

As many other origami figurines, origami dragon starts from the classic square base. All you need to get that desired square is to fold the origami paper in several directions. This sequence looks like:

  • Take a square sheet of paper;

  • Fold it in half in one direction;

  • Unfold it and fold in half in another direction.

If you use a paper with one colored side, this side has to be outward.

Now, unfold the paper and flip it over - top side is colored.

  • Fold it in half diagonally;

  • Unfold it and repeat the same in the opposite direction.

All you have to do now is to collapse your square: just let the diagonals go down when the direct folds go up. Once the four corners of the paper are in one point (let us call it “a pole”), your preliminary base is ready. Make sure that the outward of the square is colored.

Bird base

As soon as your square is ready, you can proceed to get the next form – bird base. In order to make this element, you have to perform two so-called “petal folds”. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Put the square in front of you with the pole down. In this position, you have two layers of the paper from both sides of the centerline;

  • Take the right corner of the top layer and fold it to the centerline to get the right triangle with the 30° angle on the pole;

  • Repeat the same step with the left corner;

  • Fold down the upper corner of your square. The smallest sides of the right triangles, folded before, define the curl line. By now, your origami has to have a side diamond-like shape.

Before carrying on, make sure that you thoroughly made all three folds by going over them several times.

  • Unfold them, slightly lift the top layer of the paper from the pole, and put your index finger over the rest layers. Now, completely unfold the top layer by letting the opposite corners of the square go towards each other and line up on the centerline. The first petal is ready.

  • Flip over your origami and repeat the same from the other side.

Your bird base is ready to be converted into an origami Chinese dragon.

Easy origami dragon

Put the diamond-like base in front of you: the long centerline goes vertically and separated corners are on the top.

  • Bend both sides of the front petal towards the centerline, thoroughly crease;

  • Fold down the rear petal towards the low corner of the diamond;

  • Fold the front element in half along the centerline from the right to the left;

  • Fold the back element in half along the centerline from the left to the right;

  • Turn the origami horizontally; fold the front element upward in half from the left to the right and the rear element backward in half from the left to the right. At this stage, you have three ends at one point, the fourth one (the future head of the dragon) in the opposite position, and a short centerline that goes vertically;

  • To form the wings, take the front and the rear ends and fold them along the short centerline;

  • To start creating the neck, fold in half the elements that are under the long centerline towards it; upward and backward respectively;

  • Take the origami in your hands, bend down the neck at an angle of 45° to the horizontal centerline, at first - frontward, and then – backward. Holding the future dragon with your fingers at the beginning of the neck (right near the short centerline), flatten the neck by spreading two edges, and fold the 45° curl lines along the short centerline. The first neck bending is ready. Repeat this one more time by leaving a small gap between the bends. Once this step is finished, the upper line of the neck is approximately vertical and goes down;

  • Fold the neck upward by leaving a small gap between the nearest bending; do it upward and backward to get the clear curl lines. Flatten the neck and fold it in the opposite direction; curl lines will help you with that. After that, the neck goes up;

  • To form the head, bend the neck in half at an angle of about 90° to make the head look forward. Fold the end back down and forth to form the mouth;

  • Repeat the folds twice (or more if you want) on the tail;

  • To finish the wings, bend them down, up, and down again from both sides.

Spread the wings and the chest of the dragon to ensure the standing position. An amazing origami dragon is ready!

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