FOR KIDS AGED 7-12

How To Make An Origami Spider

A purple origami spider next to a pile of origami paper.

While its real-life counterpart is usually an unwelcome houseguest, an origami spider makes the perfect addition to a crafting session.

The word origami comes from the Japanese words "ori" (meaning "folding") and "kami" (meaning "paper"), and it's just that - the art of folding paper to create something new. In general, the entire process is done without glue or other tools, instead relying on a variety of folds and pleats.

There are numerous benefits to the practice for both children and adults. For kids, origami can improve spatial awareness, logical thinking, problem solving, and understanding of fractions. For adults, it's a great exercise in mindfulness and focus. It's little surprise that it remains a popular hobby, with YouTube pages like Origami with Jo Nakashima gaining millions of followers.

Creatures like butterflies, bunnies and hummingbirds are among the most well-known and easiest origami to make. A spider origami craft is a little trickier, what with its many legs, but it's still suitable for ages seven to 12 with some adult assistance. And it makes the perfect decoration for a Halloween party, or alternative activity to trick-or-treating.

For more Halloween tips, check out our guide to Halloween on a budget and spooky games guide.

A child's hands folding a piece of origami paper to make an origami spider.

What You'll Need To Make Your Origami Spider

Not much! For the method below you need one sheet of 12cm x 12cm paper. Other methods require two, as you make one model body with four legs, and another model head with four legs.

Special origami paper is available, but any will do as long as it folds easily. Whenever there's an instruction to "fold", make sure you really firmly push along the paper several times.

For this method, you'll also need scissors. Some argue these should not be used for 'pure' origami, but when making a origami spider, it makes the job a lot easier.

A child using scissors to cut a piece of origami paper.

How To Make An Origami Spider

There are many ways to make an origami spider, ranging from simple to exceedingly complex, and from a tarantula to a wolf spider. Here are the origami instructions for one of the simplest methods.

1. Fold your paper in half, then in half again, but reopen it half way (you’ll end up with a square half the size of the original, with a folded line down the middle).

2. Then perform the classic origami ‘squash fold’ - insert your finger into one of the pockets of the square's base, move the paper around to the front, and flatten it. Do this three times. First you’ll create a diamond on top of a square, then a diamond that looks like a kite.

3. Take the top layer on the two outer corners of the ‘kite’ (with the thicker end facing you) and crease them inwards, meeting them together along the central fold.

4. Perform a ‘petal fold’ - lift up the whole top layer and push it back the other way, flat. Do this three more times, on each face of the diamond.

5. Cut the diamond lengthways up to the main fold, along the narrow part, to create eight ‘legs’.

6. Fold the flaps left and right, leaving them slightly pointed away from each other.

7. Rotate the origami spider upside down, then fold the bottom corner (now facing you) in half, tucking it underneath itself. The point will rest on the table, making the whole thing slightly raised.

8. Fold each leg the same way (in half and underneath itself), but keeping the body the same way up (point down).

9. You should now have a basic origami spider. If you want, finish with by drawing two little eyes onto the body.

A selection of different coloured sheets of origami paper.

Extra Origami Spider Tips

Using origami paper with different colours on each side can be useful while you're learning the origami spider method.

An origami spider is quite tough, so practice the squash fold and petal fold on a separate piece of origami paper first before trying it.

If you're an adult and want to demonstrate this origami spider at a Halloween party, practise beforehand so you get to grips with the main moves.

Try out different paper types to create different effects on your origami spider.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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