How To Make An Origami Unicorn: Easy Step By Step Guide

Cynthia Lawrence
Dec 12, 2023 By Cynthia Lawrence
Originally Published on Sep 01, 2020
Young kids at the desk in a classroom, focusing on one girl who is smiling, cutting paper to make an origami unicorn.
Age: 8-12
Read time: 4.5 Min

Who doesn’t love unicorns?

Children (and adults) are fascinated by this mythical white horse and making an origami unicorn is a great way to explore this. With origins in Japanese culture, the name ‘origami’ translates into ‘folding paper’, and it is centred around folding paper into complex 3D shapes, structures and beautiful models.

The delicate craft of origami is traditionally based on folding one sheet of square paper which is plain on one side and coloured on the other. The process doesn’t usually involve any cutting or glueing, just simply making neat and precise folds. Each project usually comes with diagrams or origami instructions to carefully follow. The most popular origami creation is the crane. This uses a square base, known as the bird base, and two petal folds. Tradition has it that if you fold a thousand origami cranes, it will grant you one wish!

Origami is a perfect arts and crafts activity that children of all ages can enjoy. And there are all types of origami animals and designs to create. From paper pigs to puppies, if you’re stuck for ideas, have a look here for more inspiration.

Here’s how to make a simple unicorn origami that will be a magical hit.

Two multi-coloured origami birds on the tabletop.

Image © Caroline Garcia, Unsplash

What You Need To Make An Origami Unicorn

1 piece of square paper (20 x 20 cm). You can choose origami paper, plain paper or gift wrap.

Coloured pens, pencils or crayons to decorate your origami unicorn (optional).

Different coloured sheets of paper with origami animals made out of some of them.

Image © Stux, Pixabay

How To Fold An Origami Unicorn: A Step-By-Step Guide

The first step in these easy unicorn instructions is to create a kite base. Fold the paper in half on the diagonal. Then unfold and turn over onto the other side to create a crease.

Next, fold the edges in on both sides to resemble a sideways kite. Once you’ve done this, fold the top and bottom sides of the paper in to meet the middle crease once more. Then unfold the folds.

Now it’s time to create the ‘rabbit ears’! Simply create two rabbit ear folds on each side of the widest part of the kite base. These rabbit ear folds will essentially make the front legs of your origami unicorn.

The next step in this tutorial is to fold the model in half along the middle crease of your paper. Turn it over to make a reverse fold along the smaller end. Now you will see the forming of the hind legs of your origami unicorn. Then create a second reverse fold to look like the back legs of the unicorn.

After this, make a reverse line on the long, thin end of the paper. Bear in mind to position the fold so it touches the front legs of your paper unicorn. Then create a second reverse fold. This will now form the neck of the origami unicorn. Now it’s time to form the head, so simply make a reverse fold.

Now that you can see your unicorn taking shape, all that’s left now is its distinctive horn. To do this, make a final reverse fold to adjust the angle of the unicorn's horn. The horn should be protruding from the upper portion of the unicorn's head.

And there you have your beautifully crafted origami unicorn to impress any unicorn fans and friends!

Little girl with unicorn stickers stuck on her face, standing in front of a blue background.

Image © Cottonbro, Pexels

Tips And Tricks For Origami For Kids

Beautiful origami creations can often be tricky for kids to create the first time round. But practice does make perfect! Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you perfect your origami masterpieces.

1. The best paper for origami creations is called ‘Kami’ which is the Japanese word for origami paper. While you can use construction paper, it may be too thick. A good tip is to dampen the paper a tiny bit with a spray bottle. Just be careful not to get the paper too soggy or else it will tear easily.

2. Don’t forget to make use of colour! Different colours will suit a different origami character.

3. Always follow the instructions or origami tutorials carefully. Ensure the square is really square for your origami to be more precise. In this craft, being precise and accurate is important or else there will be a build-up of wrong creases.

4. If it’s your first time creating an origami model, try it on a larger sized sheet of paper first. Then you can move onto smaller sheets.

5. Fold firmly. If you need greater accuracy with your folding, it might be helpful to use a ruler and a pen (with no ink) to score the creases. Another tip is to always fold the paper away from you rather than towards you.

6. Finally, have fun and enjoy! Origami requires a lot of patience and attention to detail, so slow down and don’t rush your creations. Even if you make mistakes, don’t worry. Just start again on a fresh piece of paper. The end result will be worth it!

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Written by Cynthia Lawrence

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

Cynthia Lawrence picture

Cynthia LawrenceBachelor of Arts specializing in Media and Cultural Studies

A lifestyle journalist for national magazines, Cynthia resides in London with her son and husband. With an unhealthy obsession for homes and interiors, Cynthia takes inspiration from her fabulous family travels and exciting adventures. She has a Bachelor's degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Middlesex University.

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