How to Make an Origami Zebra

By Jenny Torres
Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Create any sized paper zebras using the art of origami. Use a zebra pattern paper to make these creatures come to life. Although origami is entertaining, creating these zebras takes time, patience and folding skills. Practice on simpler origami shapes before diving right into safari animals. Once a true master, folding paper can be a new hobby and a great way to entertain at a party. Make your desktop look like an African safari with these creative paper zebras.

Create the Back Half of the Zebra

Step 1

Place the paper, pattern side down. Fold the paper in half diagonally and repeat for the opposite side. Still pattern side down, rotate the paper to a diamond shape rather than a square shape.

Step 2

Fold the right corner toward the center crease of the paper. Repeat the same step but for the left corner. Now you will have an ice cream cone shape. Unfold and flatten the paper.

Step 3

Repeat Step 2 for the opposite end of the paper. This time don't unfold and flatten. Rotate the paper to make the bottom a point and the top a triangle shape. Turn the paper over and have the pattern side facing up.

Step 4

Fold the bottom tip all the way up to the top. Turn the paper over again. Rotate the paper, so the right side is a point and the left side in a flat edge.

Step 5

Open the pocket that is located at the top left of the paper. Once open, push down paper and lay it down flat using the creases already made in the steps above. Repeat this same step for the bottom left pocket.

Step 6

Rotate the paper, so the top is a point and the bottom are two smaller "legs." Fold the top down and to the right. Make sure that all edges line up together, resulting in a triangle shape overlapping the bottom half of the paper. Unfold and repeat the above steps, but fold down and to the left.

Step 7

Unfold the paper to reveal an "X" crease in the center of your paper shape. With the two "legs" still at the bottom, take the right corner and fold in toward the center crease. Repeat this fold for the left corner.

Step 8

Pull the top down, only the top layer to really open up the paper shape. Keep pinching in the bottom half of the paper as you also pinch in the top layer. Pinch and fold everything inward until it lays flat. Your end shape will look like a very sharp triangle with two skinny bottom "legs."

Step 9

Fold the bottom right leg over, so it just reaches the edge of the left leg. Open the fold and turn it inside out, still maintaining the shape made in the first fold. Fold the bottom tip upward, then tuck the tip inward creating a straight edge at the bottom. This is your zebra's tail.

Step 10

Fold the top point, not involving one of the legs, about a third of the way down. Unfold and do the same fold but reverse. This involves opening the paper fold and creasing the paper down on the opposite side. Your paper now has a small tip pointing toward the left side.

Step 11

Open the pocket you made in Step 10 and pull out the tiny flap that is inside. Flatten the flap, creating a diamond shape where there once was just a triangle. Turn the paper over and repeat this same step for the other side.

Step 12

Turn the paper over again. Take the left tip, fold down and to the right, so it almost touches the point created at the bottom. Make a good crease and unfold. Create the same fold, but use a reverse fold. This will allow you to tuck inward and flatten the paper to get the effect of the back half of a zebra.

Create the Front Half of the Zebra

Step 1

Grab your second piece of origami paper. Place the paper, pattern side down. Diagonally fold the paper in half and repeat for the opposite side. Make horizontal and vertical folds as well. Unfold all the folds and turn over so the pattern side is facing up.

Step 2

Fold in all four corners, so they meet in the center point. Open everything up and turn over so the blank side faces up. Make sure you keep the square facing toward you.

Step 3

Fold the right side into the center crease. Do the same fold for the opposite side. Working with the creases already made, fold the two bottom corners inward and pull the new formed shape up towards the center. The new shape created will look like a rectangle top with a boat shape bottom.

Step 4

Fold the top edge down to the center crease, then unfold. Open the right flap and push down, using the crease just made and create a triangle along the center vertical crease. Repeat this same fold for the other top flap to create a diamond shape.

Step 5

Fold the bottom left flap up to the top, then fold down to the edge created in the center of the diamond shape. Fold the top tip (very small) down to the edge, then rolling whole shape down. Do the same steps for the opposite flap.

Step 6

Fold down the two flaps located at the bottom half of the paper. Turn the paper over and fold the top right edge into the center crease. There is a lot of paper, so make sure you make a strong crease without unfolding anything underneath. Repeat this same fold for the opposite side.

Step 7

Fold the top tip down, reaching about two-thirds down your paper shape, then unfold. Turn the paper shape over.

Step 8

Take the bottom left flap, fold the top upward and align the edge with the left corner that sits about halfway up your shape. Do the same for the opposite flap. The end shape is going to look similar to a rocket ship shape. Turn the paper over again.

Step 9

Fold the bottom edge up about a centimeter to make the bottom straight across. Fold everything in half, moving the right toward the left. The ears for the zebra will be noticeable. If you see one and not the other, the second one will be tucked inside and have to be flipped out.

Step 10

Create a crease that is parallel to the ears, folding back and forth on the head section of the paper. Push and shift the head shape back, so the paper folds into itself using the creases already made and defines the zebra head more.

Step 11

Smooth out the nose by folding in the tip of the head until a flat edge is created. The front half of your zebra is done.

Gluing the Pieces Together

Step 1

Take your bottom half of the zebra and place a little glue on the top fold near the bottom left side. This top flap will have to glide onto the head half of your zebra.

Step 2

Take the head half of your zebra and merge the two halves together. The bottom half slides under the pocket created on the back half of the head section.

Step 3

Let that dry for two to five minutes, depending on glue used and enjoy your new zebra friend.

About the Author

Jenny Torres has been writing professionally since 2009. She is also a creative writer and has been published in a Seattle blog about arts, music and theater. Torres holds a Bachelor of Science in advertising from the Art Institute of California-San Diego.