Image © Karolina Grabowska from Pexels.
Origami is a beautiful traditional Japanese paper craft that can be adapted for lots of different levels of skill and ages.
If you're looking for a craft that doesn't leave your floor covered in glitter and paint, origami is a great choice that kids and parents can enjoy together. We've put together two of our favourite easy origami cat designs that are simple to follow along at home for kids of all ages, and can be combined to make an adorable simple cat, or 'neko,' which is the Japanese word for cat.
They make a perfect gift, or character to play with, or a cute decoration for your child's bedroom. We've worked out how to make easy origami cat designs that are perfect for beginners, so if you're looking for a simple cat face or easy full body origami cat, these are the perfect step by step origami guides for you.
How to Make an Origami Cat Face
What You'll Need:
A square of origami paper (or paper cut into squares that are 20cm by 20cm)
Pens to decorate
How To: Origami Cat Face Instructions
First, turn your origami paper so the back side is facing up (this side is usually white). Make sure your surface is clean so you don't get any marks on your cat face, and turn the paper so one of the corners is pointed towards you.
Fold the bottom corner of your origami paper to meet the top corner, so you have a triangle shape. Run your nail or finger down the crease to make sure it's sharp. Check out our handy tips below for more instructions on how to make sure your origami cat folds are as neat as possible.
Next, gently half your triangle again, so the longest side of the triangle is halved down the centre. Instead of folding, pinch 1cm at the bottom of the triangle to mark the middle of your paper. Once you've done this, unfold the origami paper.
Take the right point of the triangle, and fold it up at a 20 degree angle, so that it makes a point that is roughly 2cm away from your centre point. Repeat this step with the left point of the triangle, trying to make sure that the two points are equal. You should now have three points at the top of your origami shape, and one point facing you.
Taking the corner facing you, fold it up by about 3cm to make your origami cat chin. Next, flip the origami cat over so the right side of your origami animal is facing you. Fold the middle point at the top down, so it reaches where the two side points line up. Your shape should now look like an origami cat face with two pointed ears.
Top Tip: If you want your cat to be two different colours, just fold one sheet of the origami paper down, so it reveals the back colour of your paper.
Flip your origami cat face over, and fold in the sides a little, to make your cat head shape look slightly more rounded. Now the cat face has been completed, you can flip it over, and draw eyes, a nose and whiskers to complete your adorable origami cat face.
You can follow these step by step instructions again any time, to make lots of different origami cats!
How To Make an Origami Cat Body
What You'll Need:
Two squares of origami paper (or paper cut into squares that are 20cm by 20cm)
Pens to decorate
How To: Origami Cat Instructions
To make a whole origami cat, first make the face using the part one instructions. You will be able to attach it to the cat body to make your complete cat origami.
Place your second sheet of origami paper in front of you, with one corner pointing towards you, the coloured side of the paper facing down.
Fold your paper in half horizontally and make sure the fold is sharp by running a nail down it. Unfold it. Repeat the same step, folding the origami paper the opposite way, so you have a cross in the middle.
For the next step, fold the bottom corners of the paper into the middle so you make a kite shape - the two bottom edges should meet in the middle of your origami.
Fold the top inside corners out by half a centimetre to create two tiny triangles. Once you've folded them, tuck them inside, so you can't see them.
Open up the whole left side of your cat body, and fold the left side into the middle, while pinching it together at the centre, so you create a 3D shape that pokes out towards you. Fold this down to flatten, and the left side of your origami cat should look like a diamond shape, with a small flap in the middle.
Repeat the same step on the right side of your origami cat, and turn your origami paper over. It should be a clean diamond shape on this side, with a long point facing you.
Fold the bottom third of the diamond up into the middle, and turn your origami cat body over. Then, make a small fold in the top point of your origami sheet, and then fold it again so it meets the fold line in the middle of your origami cat body.
Attach the head with some sticky tape, or by slotting the head and body together carefully. Congratulations, you've completed your origami cat.
Now you can experiment with lots of different colours and patterns using these easy cat instructions to create lots of origami cats to play with.
Origami Tips and Tricks
- If you're using paper that isn't origami paper to make your origami cat, make sure you've got an exact square piece, or you could have some trouble getting it to line up when you follow the instructions.
- Scale up or down the size of your paper to create different sizes of origami cats using the origami cat instructions.
- You don't need to use origami paper to make your origami paper cat, but if you use another type of paper, photocopy or printer paper is better than thinner or thicker options, because it makes good crisp folds.
- Go slowly and be precise with your folding. It's hard to fix mistakes once they happen in origami.
- Always fold your origami away from you.
- If you want your creases to be sharp, use a ruler and a finished biro (one without any ink in) to go over the edges, for steps when you need to create folded lines.
- Make sure you've got clean hands and a clean work surface before you start your origami cat, so it doesn't end up with any grubby marks on it. (If grubby marks happen anyway, the best thing to do is decorate your origami cat with lots of glitter and colourful pens).
- If your origami cat doesn't work out perfectly the first time, don't worry! Practice makes perfect. Take a break and try again, following the steps carefully, and soon you'll have a whole family of easy origami animals to play with.
Emily has lived in London for ten years, and still loves discovering new places to explore in the capital with her two little brothers. She loves all things lifestyle and fashion, she is a fashion designer and artist, as well as working with arts charities to facilitate workshops and outreach on crafts, fashion, and design for children with special needs and children with difficult home lives who might otherwise not have access, from toddlers to teenagers. Emily is also a trained life coach and loves talking and writing about general wellness, mindfulness and healthy relationships.