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.

Hawaiian 'Opihi Origami

'Opihi are limpets that live on the shores of Hawaii. With their cone-shaped, squat shells, they can withstand the mightiest waves as they cling tightly to the rocks.

'Opihi have long been considered an essential part of a Hawaiian luau—'opihi pickers risk their lives to collect these prized delicacies and are sometimes swept out to sea. However, overharvesting has made this native shellfish harder and harder to find. To better understand how we can conserve our 'opihi populations for future generations, scientists have been working hard at learning about the 'opihi's life cycle, and enlisting the vital help of local communities to develop plans that will ensure that our coastlines are preserved for future generations.

There are three species of 'opihi. 'Opihi Makaiauli (blackfoot 'opihi) is found in clinging tightly to rocks in the splash zone, and can tolerate being exposed to the sun during low tides. 'Opihi 'ālinalina (yellowfoot ʻopihi) have shells with jagged edges that were used by Hawaiians as scrapers for shredding coconut meat. These need moisture, and are found in the most dangerous tidal zones where there is constant wave action. ʻOpihi kōʻele (giant or kneecap ʻopihi) is found submerged in water, and can grow up to four inches across.



1. Print Iki, the Littlest ʻOpihi origami. Cut out image along outer solid lines.

2. With printed side facing up, fold down on solid line. UNFOLD.

3. Turn over, so that the printed side is facing DOWN.
4. Fold along diagonal line as shown. UNFOLD.

5. Repeat diagonal fold on the other side. UNFOLD.

6. Your 'Opihi Origami should be creased as illustrated.

7. With printed side down, fold down, forming a "tent" along the creases.

8. Fold body up along solid line.

9. Tuck tapered end of body into shell.

Origami based on:
Iki, The Littlest 'Opihi
2nd Edition
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Windword Books 2013
ISBN: 978-1493657971

'Opihi are shellfish that live clinging to the rocky shores in Hawaii. But Iki, the littlest 'opihi, seeks adventure in the open ocean. Will he ever join the other 'opihi and learn to "stick to it"?

©2013 Tammy Yee

Copyright ©2009 Tammy Yee
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