Origami is often used to make many different types of decorations. Paper decorations are easy to fold or replace if they are damaged, and often look as lovely, if not better, than other types of decorations. Origami can be used to make nearly any shape or object, including different types of plants. An origami plant looks elegant on a window sill or table, and it will never require soil or watering. Usually origami plants consist of a single flower and a simple stem. However, the origami cactus resembles a full plant.
Lay a paper colored side down in front of you. Fold it in half, bringing bottom edge to top edge. Crease and unfold.
Fold the paper in half again, bringing the right edge to meet the left edge. Crease and unfold.
Flip the paper over so the colored side is up. Rotate the paper so a corner faces you.
Fold the paper in half a third time, bringing the bottom corner to touch the top corner. Crease and unfold. Fold the paper in half the other way, bringing the right corner to touch the left corner. Crease and unfold.
Flip the paper back over. Press gently in the middle to pop it outward. Pull the left and right corners down so they meet at the bottom corner. The top corner also folds down and meets at the bottom corner. The entire paper collapses along the crease lines, forming a diamond shape.
Lift the top flap on the right side of the paper so it sticks straight up. Press down on the crease of this flap, so the flap expands and flattens, forming a triangular shape on top of the model. The crease you pressed runs along the center line. This is a squash fold.
Flip the model over and repeat the squash fold on that side.
Fold the top right flap, the right side of the squash fold you just made, to the left. Squash fold the new right flap you've exposed. Flip the model over and repeat this, so that all the flaps are the same size.
Lift the small right triangle at the very bottom of the model, and fold it upward as far as it will go. Do the same on the left triangle. Tuck these triangular flaps inside the top layer of paper by unfolding slightly and following the crease. Flip the model and repeat with the other two small triangles on the other side.
Pull the top flap on the right side of the model up, so it stands at a right angle to the rest of the model. Press down on the crease at the bottom of this flap as you open the flap slightly, squash folding to create a small triangle at the bottom of the model. Flip the model and repeat this on the back. Rotate the flaps until you've squash folded all four flaps.
Separate all of the flaps slightly from the other flaps. Grasp two flaps and pull them gently apart, to begin making the round shape of the cactus. Continue gently separating the shapes to complete the cactus.
- "Origami"; Gay Merrill Gross; 2001
- "Practical Origami"; Rick Beech; 2006
- Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images