12 Origami Animal Projects You Will Love!

Did you know that Origami – the traditional Japanese art of elaborately folding pieces of paper into a myriad of shapes – is one of the oldest art forms? 

It’s true! Practiced for thousands of years, even before the paper was invented, using materials such as leather, this fantastic practice has not lost its popularity till this day!

Besides being super fun and exciting for both adults and kids, it also helps people improve visualization skills via hands-on learning. Furthermore, in many classrooms, teachers use Origami in assignments to provide children with an opportunity to practice their problem-solving skills or explain concepts like molecules or other geometric shapes. This helps to bring abstract ideas into something visible and tangible, which children may understand and appreciate better.

And sometimes, Origami is made just for fun, creating lovely crafts or artsy projects that kids would love and adore! 

Regardless of your reasons, we are here to help you with inspiration and instructions! We have compiled a list of 12 beginner-to-expert origami animal tutorials you can try, from origami giraffe to origami butterfly!

Origami Giraffe 

Our first animal origami inspiration comes from Origami with Jo Nakashima. Besides looking super realistic and beautiful, this video offers detailed instructions on creating it. There is also a link for the Giraffe pattern you can download. 

Difficulty level: low intermediate
Materials used: origami paper – 20×20 cm (8×8 inches)

Origami Horse

Don’t let this Origami scare you! Even though this is a two-piece project, it is actually one of the easiest origami horse projects! In this detailed tutorial, Saku B Origami shows you all the steps you need to create the origami horse. The video is not too fast, so even beginners can follow the instructions! 

Difficulty level: beginner to intermediate
Materials used: origami paper – 15×15 cm (6×6 inches)

Origami Duck

Tired of boring duck origami? We have the perfect tutorial for you! Designed by Jo Nakashima & Camila Zeymer in their collaboration tutorial, this origami duck is gorgeous and unique. It has more stunning details that you can’t find in most duck tutorial videos! Check it out!

Difficulty level: low intermediate
Materials used: Kraft paper – 15×15 cm (6×6 inches) 

Origami Tiger

Origami experts, are you ready for a challenge? Most of the origami projects on our list are not that complex and can be done by most people, but we just couldn’t resist adding one for those looking for a challenge! Most tiger origami is focused on just the head of the tiger and is super easy to make. But this one made by Ouwen Tjen is as beautiful and challenging to handle as a real-life animal! 

Don’t you just admire this level of craftsmanship?

Difficulty level: expert
Materials used: Triple Kite Paper 30x30cm (12×12 inches) 

Origami Monkey

Monkey Origami! From the jungle right to your room! Isn’t this such a lovely design? It feels like the monkey is staring at us and will come alive at any second! Made from 2 squares of paper, this design by Nyoman Origami is fun to make! 

Difficulty level: beginner to low intermediate
Materials used: Origami Paper 14×14 cm (5.5 x5.5 inches) 

Origami Unicorn

One of our favorites and adored by many kids for sure, this vibrant, colorful design by Easy Origami and Crafts may be just what you were looking for! Originally created by Yudai Imai, this unicorn tutorial is actually super easy to follow! Even beginners can do it!

Difficulty level: beginner to low intermediate
Materials used: Origami Papers – 2 squares; we recommend going with 15x15cm (6×6 inches)

Origami Penguin

One of the most adorable on our list, the penguin origami is just superb! The tutorial is slow and easy to follow. The design itself is a relatively easy one, which means it can be done by beginners! Origami Princess gives excellent instruction here!

Difficulty level: beginner to low intermediate
Materials used: Origami Paper – 15×15 cm (6×6 inches)

Origami Cat

Super realistic and beautiful, this origami cat tutorial comes from Muneji Fuchimoto ORIGAMI CHANNEL. They have truly outdone themselves with this one! Just look how adorable and cute these cats are!

Difficulty level: beginner to low intermediate
Materials used: Origami paper – 15×15 cm (6×6 inches) 

Origami Dinosaur

Dinosaurs! Who says they no longer exist? Take a look at this dinosaur origami video. Doesn’t it look super realistic and fun to make? And why settle for 1 when you can make four types of dinosaur origami tutorials in one video by Mr. Easy Origami ART DIY: Paper Crafts! How amazing is that! Choose one, or try them all!

Difficulty level: low intermediate
Materials used: Origami papers – 15x15cm (6×6 inches) 

Origami Turtle

This turtle origami tutorial will catch your eye for sure! The design definitely stands out, as it looks more 3D, realistic, and beautiful. Jo Nakashima truly is an expert when it comes to origami animal designs, and the details never cease to amaze us, and here we have another stunning design that is worth checking out!

Difficulty level: intermediate
Materials used: Green Tissue Foil – 20×20 cm (8×8 inches) 

Origami Butterfly

Butterfly Origami is one of the most popular because they are easy to make and super pretty! Just look at these colorful beauties! Hello Origami offers a beautiful tutorial for these origami butterflies. Granted, these may not be the easiest butterfly origami, but they are definitely some of the prettiest! You can use them to decorate your room, stick them on shelves, walls, mirror frames, or even your table lamp!

Difficulty level:  intermediate
Materials used: origami paper – 20×20 cm (8×8 inches)

Dark pink, light pink and yellow butterfly origami


Origami Bird

Classical bird origami is a project many kids learn to make when they are beginners and new to Origami. Why not take it to the next level? Don’t worry, this modified traditional origami bird design by My Crafts and Arts by Bhushan may look hard, but it is easier than it seems. Everyone with basic origami skills can follow this tutorial!

Difficulty level: beginner to low intermediate
Materials used: Origami paper – 30×30 cm (12×12 inches) + for tail 7cm x 11 cm (3×4.5 inches);

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