Flapping Bird Ornament

The urge to decorate is at an all time high, and less is more is not everyone’s mantra. Neither is good taste. So let’s all take a deep breath, calmly walk past those cars with red nose antler combos, and find solace in the fact that it will soon be over. It’s a safe bet that a few flapping birds will not elicit any intense, negative feelings. Besides, they’ll be safely inside your home.


  • origami paper
  • decorative thread
  • needle
  • scissors


There is a large selection of paper available for making origami designs: colour on one side, double-sided, prints, foils, and of course paper you can cut yourself. As long as it’s a square and not too thick, pretty much anything can be used including wrapping paper, newspaper, and of course beautiful Japanese papers.

If you’re not familiar with origami, click here to learn the symbols and basic techniques.

Click here for information about origami history, tips for folding, and shops to buy paper in Toronto.

Flapping Bird Instructions

1. Begin with coloured side up.

2. Valley fold diagonally. Unfold.

3. Valley fold diagonally in the other direction . Unfold.

4. Turn paper over.

5. Valley fold horizontally. Unfold.

6. Valley fold in the other direction.

7. With folded edge on top, take hold of each side and swing them towards the centre.

8. You should have a diamond shape like this.

9. Make sure the closed corner is on top, and fold one side edge to the centre crease.

10. Fold the other side to the centre crease.

11. Fold the top down, being careful to line up the point with the centre crease. Unfold.

12. Take hold of the top layer and carefully pull it open.

13. Gently press the paper into the creases you have made.

14. Flatten into a long diamond shape.

15. Turn over and repeat steps 9 to 14.

16. It should look like this.

17. Reverse fold each lower point. Do this by taking one side and folding it in front, making sure to begin slightly below the centre point of the diamond. Crease firmly and unfold.

18. Now fold the same point behind, along the crease you just made. Unfold.

19. Reverse fold the point into the crease you made.

20. Repeat steps 17 to 19 on the other side.

21. To make the head, fold one of the tips towards the front. Crease and unfold.

22. Fold towards the back along the crease you just made. Unfold.

23. Reverse fold the tip into the crease you just made.

24. To make the bird flap, hold it from the bottom on either side and gently pull your hands away from each other, then towards each...back and forth. The wings will flap up and down.

Finally, take a needle and some decorative thread and poke a hole through the top point of the bird (see photo of bird in tree). Create a loop and make a knot. The flapping bird is now ready for hanging up.



Filed under Christmas, origami, ornaments

11 responses to “Flapping Bird Ornament

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. Love yours too! Newest follower!

  2. What a great idea to use origami for decorations!
    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. Thanks for the instructions! Linda

  4. I didnt think of that for a Christmas ornament. Great idea
    Will be following

  5. What a fun idea! Even my kids could do this. Thanks for linking up at One Creative Weekend!

  6. Christina at I Gotta Create!

    Funny post, beautiful bird!! 😉

    Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd.
    ❤ Christina at I Gotta Create!

  7. Great tutorial!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  8. What a great idea to use as an ornament!! It looks great on the tree. Thanks for tutorial, and thanks for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

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