Mastering the Art of Origami: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting a Paper Whale

Origami, this ancestral Japanese art of paper folding, allows you to bring astonishing creations to life. Among the many possibilities, making a paper whale is a project that is both charming and accessible to beginners. Follow this step-by-step guide to fold your own origami whale and add a nautical touch to your paper collection.

Choosing paper for your origami whale

Before you begin, select your paper carefully. Square origami paper, preferably in a size ranging from 15×15 cm to 20×20 cm, is ideal for this project. Origami-specific papers provide adequate flexibility and strength for folding. Choose a color that recalls the shades of the ocean or opt for patterned paper to give character to your creation.

Paper preparation

Paper preparation

To start:

  1. Position your square of paper on a flat surface, one colored side down.
  2. Make a diagonal fold by joining opposite corners, then open the paper flat.
  3. Make the diagonal fold in the other direction and open again.
  4. Turn the paper over with the colored side up and fold it in half, horizontally, then vertically. Your paper is now prepared with fold lines that will serve as guides.

Let’s start folding the whale

Create the origami base

Form the origami base:

  1. With the folds marked, bring the corners towards the center of the square, thus forming a small envelope.
  2. Press the creases firmly to refine the marks.

The body of the whale

Once the envelope base is created, follow these steps to form the body of the whale:

  1. Open the folds slightly to lift one corner of the envelope and flatten it upwards. This will be the back of the whale.
  2. Repeat for the opposite side of the envelope, which will form the belly of the whale.

The head and tail of your paper cetacean

Shape the head and tail:

  1. Taking one of the ends which will be the tail, bend it so as to obtain an acute angle, emphasizing the contrast with the rounded back.
  2. Make a reverse fold on the part that will constitute the head to form it clearly.

Refine the details of your whale

Now is the time to add more details to your origami whale to give it its final look.

Fins to complete the silhouette

Add the fins:

  1. On the sides of the body, make small folds outwards to bring out the side fins.
  2. Make sure you have symmetry for a harmonious result.

The tail, a distinctive element of the whale

The elegance of the origami whale lies partly in the style of its tail:

  1. Separate the two parts of the tail slightly and bend them outwards to make them look more real.
  2. Mark the folds well so that the structure of the tail stays in place.

An expressive face for your creation

For your whale to reveal its character, work on its face:

  1. Carefully bend a small part of the head to form the muzzle.
  2. Consider adding a touch of expression with drawn eyes or stickers.

Tips for making your whale origami a success

As you follow these instructions, you may find a few tips helpful in perfecting your origami technique:

The importance of Precise Folding:

  • Never underestimate the importance of clean, precise creases. They are the key to a successful figure.

Patience and Gentleness:

  • Be patient and gentle in your movements. Origami is a Zen practice that requires calm and concentration.

Repetition and Improvement:

  • Don’t hesitate to start again several times. Each attempt will allow you to improve your folding skills.

Sources of inspiration:

  • Nourish your creativity by discovering new models and techniques. There are many resources, books and videos, that can enrich your origami practice.

Origami, more than a hobby: a meditative art

Creating an origami whale is not just a pleasant hobby. It is also a meditative activity and an exercise in concentration. Each fold leads you to let go of daily stress and focus on the present moment.

Making an origami whale for beginners is ultimately not that complex. With diligence, a few sheets of paper and a commitment to learning this delicate art, anyone can produce a charming marine figure.

Dear origami lover or curious about new experiences, don’t wait any longer to immerse yourself in this world of folds and subtle creations. Immerse yourself in the adventure and, fold after fold, bring a majestic paper whale to life.

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