Easy Butterfly Origami

My new book, Easy Butterfly Origami features 30 bold full-color patterns designed to accurately portray the dorsal and ventral sides of some of the most beautiful butterflies from around the world!

Origami Folding Tips

Origami, from the Japanese ori (to fold) and kami (paper), began in the 6th century when Buddhist monks introduced paper to Japan. The print-and-fold crafts and easy diagrams are designed to help children with fine motor skills, directions and hand eye coordination. Some basic origami folding tips:
  • Print and cut out patterns carefully.
  • Fold with clean, dry hands.
  • Follow the instructions. Study the diagrams and be patient.
  • Be precise: fold each crease well, flattening the creases by running your fingertip over the fold.
  • Folding the paper away from you is easier than folding towards you.
  • Be creative...use your origami on greeting cards, holiday decorations, table place cards and bookmarks.

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly Origami

This black swallowtail butterfly can be found in the eastern United States, and occasionally as far north as southern Ontario and south to Cuba. Caterpillars feed on spicebush or sassafras, while adults feed on nectar from azaleas, milkweed and thistle flowers.

The spicebush swallowtail is the official state butterfly of Mississippi.

Difficulty: Easy


For the next few steps, follow instructions to Monarch Butterfly Origami:
2a. Print and cut out your two-tailed swallowtail origami. With printed side facing down,
2b. Fold in half diagonally along B.
2c. Unfold and repeat the diagonal fold along C.

3a. With printed side facing up,
3b. Fold in half horizontally along A.
3c. Unfold. Your origami should be creased as illustrated.

4. Carefully fold along creases, forming a "tent" as illustrated.

5a. Fold the right "tent" corner up along D, as illustrated.
5b. Fold the left "tent" corner up along E, as illustrated.

6. Your Origami Swallowtail Butterfly should look like this:

7. Turn butterfly origami over, printed side down.

8a. Fold up along F. Note that corners will pull in to either side.
8b. Crease corners flat, as indicated by arrows.

9. Turn your origami butterfly over.

10a. Fold butterfly in half vertically, so wings are together.
10b. Crease one wing down, diagonally, to form body.
10b. Fold down the other wing, diagonally, as shown.

11. Open wings up. Your butterfly is done!

©2010 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2009 Tammy Yee
All rights reserved. No portion of this web site may be reproduced without prior written consent.