Origami Challenge: A Dragon

This week Emm challenged me to try to create an origami dragon without looking at any instructions. I haven’t tried origami since I was a kid, but I accepted her challenge.

After a bit of research, I decided I was going to aim to reverse engineer this masterpiece:

A photo of a good origami dragon.

It was created by the origami genius Satoshi Kamiya, and was ironically found on the Epic Fail website. I didn’t read anything about it before starting so was unaware that it was actually made out of a single sheet of thin paper. My version used 2 sheets of A4. I started by turning the A4 into squares, thusly:

make squares

The wings seemed like a good place to start. Just a triangle with some folds, right? I ripped the square in half diagonally, and added folds. They didn’t turn out quite the same, but I figured they were close enough.

wings

Next I had a go at making a tail. The original dragon’s tail looked very complex. After staring at it for a bit, I grabbed the small scrap rectangle of paper left over from the wings, made it into a sort of fan thing, wrapped it around a pen to get a cone shape, then fastened it with a bit of tape.

tail

Again, not quite the same, but close enough.

I had a bit more luck with the head. I used the scrap rectangle from the other big square, which I divided into three, for no reason other than I thought it looked useful this way. I decided to make the square into the head.

headprep

I folded the square a bunch of times until it vaguely resembled a dragon head, then biroed on some eyes to make it extra face-like.

head1

Of course it wouldn’t be complete without that cool crest thing that Satoshi Kamiya’s dragon has, which is what one of the other pieces of scrap rectangle got used for.

I halved it again and used a fork as a guide to cut three roughly straight, roughly equal-lengthed lines in the paper, then curled them round the fork and twisted them to make them more 3D. After that I folded the base into a triangle hoping to slot it into the head. It kept falling off so I used more duct tape.

crests

Next I needed to create the body. I thought I was along the right lines with the neck, but got stuck when it came to the arms and legs.

body

At this point I was getting impatient so decided it didn’t need arms or legs. Time to tape it all together and add the final finishing touch: Fire breath!

finaldragon

And that’s how you make an epic origami dragon with no instructions or skills.


Special Announcement!

This blog post comes with a free download – a picture of a dragon that you can print out and force your kids to colour in. It’s what you’ve always wanted, I’m sure.

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