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How to Make an Origami Elephant
Learn how to make 3D origami elephants! This is an intermediate-level origami project, made from a single sheet of square paper. If you are a beginner at origami, you may find this project tricky, but with some patience and perhaps a few attempts, you will successfully create this origami elephant.
These plump little elephants make great gifts for your friends, and kids will especially love them. Making origami elephants is not only an enjoyable activity to try, it's also helping to bring... awareness to a great cause.
The Wildlife Conservation Society set up 96Elephants.org–a campaign dedicated to stopping the ivory trade. They recently broke the guinness world record for the most origami elephants ever folded! You can help spread awareness yourself using the hashtag #ElephantOrigamiChallenge on social media when you post a picture of your completed elephant.Continue to 2 of 12 below.
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Origami Elephant - Step 1
Continue to 3 of 12 below.
- Start with your paper white side up if it has one. Fold the paper in half, from left to right and then bottom to top.
- Next, fold the top and bottom edge to the horizontal central crease and unfold.
- Fold the left and right edges to the vertical central crease and unfold.
- You now have a neat grid of 15 equal sections.
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Origami Elephant - Step 2
Continue to 4 of 12 below.
- Rotate the paper so that it is a diamond.
- Fold the top, bottom and left corner to the central crease–not the right corner (keep this corner on the right side–this will become the elephant's head).
- Fold the bottom edge up to meet the top-most horizontal crease. Unfold.
- Repeat the last step, fold the top corner down to the lowest horizontal crease, and the right and left corners to their opposing creases.
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Origami Elephant - Step 3
Continue to 5 of 12 below.
- Fold the paper as shown, creasing only where indicated.
- Repeat for the other diagonal crease.
- Flip the paper over, from top to bottom, keeping the right (uncreased) section on the right.
- Fold the left corner to the right, to the point indicated. For thick paper, avoid the middle diamond.
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Origami Elephant - Step 4
Continue to 6 of 12 below.
- Fold the corner back over to the left.
- Flip the paper over, from top to bottom.
- Fold the bottom right section diagonally up to the left, followed by the top right section.
- Fold the right section over to the left, squashing the diagonal folds you just made.
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Origami Elephant - Step 5
Continue to 7 of 12 below.
- Rotate the paper.
- Now you can grab the bottom section and flip it under and behind. The top flap will come down to the bottom.
- Next you'll fold the left and right corners of the lower section to the central crease.
- You can flip the flaps up to make it easier to see.
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Origami Elephant - Step 6
Continue to 8 of 12 below.
- Flip the paper over to the other side.
- There is a V shaped crease on the top of the front-most flap–these creases need to be re-folded as valley creases.
- Flip the model over and rotate as shown.
- Fold the model in half, from top to bottom.
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Origami Elephant - Step 7
Continue to 9 of 12 below.
- Hold onto the elephant's trunk and the back of his head, push gently. A new crease will form.
- There should be a diamond shape on top of the elephant. Open out the bottom of the model and push on that diamond, flattening it.
- Pinch the diagonal edge that appears on the left.
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Origami Elephant - Step 8
Continue to 10 of 12 below.
- Fold the flap over to the right.
- There is already a crease here; fold it over and tuck it behind.
- Now you need to repeat these steps on the other side of the elephant.
- Find the back of the elephant and pinch it, keeping that diamond intact.
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Origami Elephant - Step 9
Continue to 11 of 12 below.
- Make a small, thin fold.
- Open the flap that was under the tail-end of the elephant.
- Hold it as shown.
- The left of the diamond shape needs to be folded into pleats over to the right.
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Origami Elephant - Step 10
Continue to 12 of 12 below.
- Fold the top corner over and underneath the elephant. It will secure his 'legs.'
- Now you can shape the trunk however you like. You can fold it to be pointing up or down. After deciding, make a crease and then inside reverse fold it.
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Make a Family of Origami Elephants!
Now that you've made your origami elephant, what to do with it? Well, why not fold a whole family of different sized, different colored elephants! You can experiment with different textures–use thicker paper for a more professional look.