How To Make An Origami Leaf: 6 Amazing Techniques For Different Leaves

Persis Love
Dec 12, 2023 By Persis Love
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2020
Father sat at the table with his sons, they are all cutting paper to make origami leaves.

Image © iStock.

Some of the most classic origami models are taken from nature and there are so many different ways of making paper leaves for kids to have a go at.

With their easily distinguishable shapes and the array of beautiful colours to be made in, origami leaves make perfect decorations and trinkets that all ages can enjoy making. Whether you want to go full autumnal with reds, yellows and oranges, or you prefer springtime greens, these paper craft leaves are bound to look beautiful.

Origami is the ancient craft of paper folding, believed to have come from Japan. With just a sheet of paper and some origami instructions, all crafty people, young and old, can conjure up the most amazing things.

Kids love origami and it's even been proved to have educational benefits for young developing brains. So if it's too wet to go outdoors and enjoy the real leaves out there in the parks, this is a great alternative.

How To Make A Basic Origami Leaf

Get that simple paper leaf shape under wraps with these origami leaf instructions.

Green origami leaf with folds in the paper to look like the leaf veins.

Image © Instructables

Ages: 4+

Materials: Rectangle of paper.


1. Fold your rectangle of paper in half vertically to mark the centre line.

2. Unfold and fold each side of the rectangle in to meet the middle line so you have two flaps. Now fold the paper in half again so it looks like a booklet.

3. Fold each side of your booklet into a concertina. Make sure you fold them separately so that the creases on either side meet in the middle to form a 'V' shape.

4. Unfold and you should have a ridged piece of paper with a leaf-like pattern.

5. Now pinch or fold the top and bottom of the rectangle into a leaf shape and you are finished!

Maple Leaf Origami Instructions

The perfect paper leaf craft to make a maple leaf good enough for the Canadian flag.

Red origami maple leaf.

Image © Tratatuha

Ages: 6+

Materials: 10 squares of coloured origami paper, glue, scissors.


1. Get your first square of origami paper. Fold it in half to create a crease down the diagonal. Unfold.

2. Now fold the two top corners down in line with the diagonal crease to create a kite shape.

3. Repeat this for two other squares so you have three simple kite shapes.

4. For the other six pieces, follow steps one and two as well.

5. Once you have your kite base, angle the origami paper so the long point of the kite is facing towards you. Take the left corner and fold it inwards in line with the centre line.

6. Do the same for the right-hand corner and you should have a diamond shape.

7. Now to assemble your origami maple leaf. For each of your three kite shapes, glue two diamond shapes side by side on top of it.

8. Next, use your tenth piece of paper to glue to the back and stick all three pieces together. You should leave a bit of this paper coming out of the bottom to snip and fold into a stalk.

How To Make An Easy Origami Holly leaf

A great easy paper leaf to make at Christmas time which can even be used as a cute Christmas tree decoration.

Green origami holly leaves.

Image © Art Platter

Ages: 4+

Materials: Green square origami paper, red felt tip or red tissue paper.


1. Fold your square of paper in half along the diagonal then unfold. Pivot the paper and fold in half along the other diagonal and unfold so you have an 'X'.

2. Take two opposite corners and fold them into the middle to meet the central crease.

3. Then fold these same sides in half again so they meet in the centre line.

4. You should be able to see the first diagonal crease that you made, fold your paper leaf in two along that visible diagonal line.

5. Now take the leaf on the bottom and fold it up so it overlaps the other leaf and so none of the inside folds are visible.

6. You are now ready to add your berries - you could either colour them on the paper using a felt tip, or use a small scrunched up ball of red tissue paper.

Top Tip: If the two overlapping paper leaves aren't staying together, use a little bit of glue to stick them down.

How To Make An Easy Origami Lotus Leaf

It's not a lotus flower without some lotus leaves! These quick steps make cute little paper leaves that you can use for a lotus flower or for other nature crafts.

Three origami lotus flowers and leaves.

Image © Instructables

Ages: 5+

Materials: Two green squares of origami paper, scissors, glue.


1. Cut your sheets of origami paper in half vertically so you have four rectangles.

2. Take one rectangle and fold it in half vertically, unfold.

3. Fold the top and bottom corners into the centre line so you have a rectangle with a point at either end.

4. Fold the long sides into the centre line and crease firmly.

5. Repeat this for each of your rectangles.

6. Now place one of your folded leaves over the other to make a cross and glue. Do the same for the other two.

7. Glue these two crosses together so you have an eight-pointed star shape that your lotus will sit in the middle of.

8. Shape your origami leaves so they curl upwards slightly.

How To Make An Easy Origami Ivy Leaf

Make several of these evergreen easy origami leaves and string them together for a full vine of paper leaves.

Real ivy leaves with the sunlight reflecting off them.

Image © Floraf

Ages: 5+

Materials: Three squares of green origami paper, glue or sticky tape.


1. To make your origami paper leaf, take one square and fold it in half to create a crease down the diagonal. Unfold the paper.

2. Now fold the two top corners down in line with the diagonal crease to create a kite shape.

3. For the other two squares, fold them in half down the diagonal and then unfold them.

4. Fold the two top corners down in line with the diagonal crease to create a kite shape.

5. Next turn these two kites into diamond shapes by angling the origami paper so the long point of the kite is facing towards you, and folding the left and right corners inwards in line with the centre line.

6. Now assemble your leaf shape: use glue or sticky tape to attach your diamonds to either side of your kite. There you have your paper ivy leaf!

Top Tip: Use small squares of paper to get the best effects.

How To Make An Easy Origami Four Leaf Clover

Here's one fun way to bring you and your family some luck! Just follow these origami leaf instructions to make your own four leaf clover out of paper.

Origami four leaf clover on a wooden table.

Image © JustOrigami

Ages: 5+

Materials: One square of green origami paper.


1. Fold your square of paper in half down both vertical lines and both diagonal lines so you have two 'X's that cross over on it.

2. Pinch the lines of the diagonal 'X' and fold in on the lines of the vertical 'X' so you end up with four small triangles that meet together at the point. It will look like a little triangle booklet.

3. Along the long end of the triangle fold the paper leaf in half corner to corner. Crease hard then unfold.

4. On the short edge of the triangle, make a small fold so the point of that triangle is pointing backwards. This is your stem and you should have four origami leaves pointing up around it.

5. Holding the origami clover by the stem, find the opening at the back of each of the leaves, using your finger to open it and flatten the leaves out.

6. Next, fold the point of each leaf backwards to make that rounded clover shape.

7. There you have your paper four-leaf clover!

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Written by Persis Love

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Spanish and Portuguese

Persis Love picture

Persis LoveBachelor of Arts specializing in Spanish and Portuguese

Growing up with three young siblings and cousins, Persis loves discovering new games to play and activities to keep them all entertained. She has a Bachelor's degree in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Oxford. Having spent most of her life in London since the age of 11, she enjoys exploring the city on her bike, checking out different parks and cafes. When she's not busy with her adventures in the city, she loves to travel and indulge in her passion for lino cutting, often taking her kit with her on her travels.

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