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How to Make a Paper Swan

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

This article was co-authored by Amy Guerrero . Amy Guerrero is an Arts and Crafts Specialist and the Owner of Sunshine Craft Co., a crafting studio based in Phoenix, Arizona. Amy specializes in macrame, DIY crafting, and teaching fiber arts. She offers monthly in-person and online workshops along with having developed a range of DIY craft kits for at-home projects. Amy holds a BS in Industrial Design from Philadelphia University. She worked as a graphic designer before starting her own business. Sunshine Craft Co. is a creative hub that offers a wide range of workshops, tools, and resources for any craft project to inspire creativity and community engagement. This article has been viewed 253,869 times.

In the Japanese art of origami, paper swans are one of the most popular pieces to make. And you don't have to be an expert folder to create one yourself. With a little patience and practice, you can fold a pretty paper swan to use as a whimsical decoration in your home or even as a party favor.

Folding a Paper Swan

  • If you're using patterned paper, start with the blank side facing up.
  • Your paper can be any size, as long as it’s a perfect square shape.
  • You can use any type of paper you'd like. However, origami paper is recommended, especially for beginners, because it's thin and easy to fold cleanly.

Types of Paper You Can Use

Origami paper

Cardstock (textured or smooth)

Craft paper

Tissue paper

  • Try to align the edges so that they touch. There shouldn’t be a large gap between them and they also shouldn’t overlap.
  • You should now have a smaller kite shape.
  • The wider bottom layer will be the body of the swan and the thinner top layer will be the neck.
  • Make the beak as big or as small as you’d like. However, it should be smaller than the neck and body to look proportionate.
  • Make sure the beak and neck are folded in half, too.
  • You can pull the beak away from the neck if you want, too. Use the same pinching method.

Using Your Paper Swan

Step 1 Display paper swans around your house for decor on a budget.

  • If you’re putting your swan on a bookcase, use newspaper or old book pages instead of plain paper for a playful touch.
  • Homemade decor personalizes and warms up any space.

Step 2 String swans together if you want to make a garland or mobile.

  • Strings of paper swans hung vertically also make elegant wall art to be hung behind a bed or on a large living room wall.

Step 3 Fold your swan with a napkin to use it as a place setting.

  • Choose napkins that match the color scheme of your party for a pretty table.
  • Let your guests take home the swans if they don't use them as a creative party favor.

Step 4 Attach a hanger to the swan if you want to make an ornament.

  • Swan ornaments make great gifts, too.
  • Use paper in holiday colors for an extra festive touch.

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Things You'll Need

  • A square piece of paper

You Might Also Like

to make a paper swan

Community Q&A

Selficorn

  • ↑ https://www.brit.co/diy-origami-stork-mobiles/
  • ↑ https://www.paperkawaii.com/easy-origami-swan-napkin-art-tutorial/
  • ↑ https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/handmade-holiday-14-diy-origami-ornaments-213818

About This Article

Amy Guerrero

To make a paper swan, start by grabbing a square piece of paper and folding it in half diagonally, then opening it back up. From there, bring the 2 corners in towards the center crease to create a shape that looks like a kite. Next, flip the paper over and fold the 2 corners into the center crease again. Once you’ve made those folds, fold the kite in half by bringing the bottom of the tail up to the top. To create your swan’s beak, fold down the tip of the top layer and crease it so it stays in place. Then, flip the paper over and fold it in half vertically. Finally, pull the neck and beak away from the body and pinch the fold to secure everything in place. For more tips, like how to display your paper swan in fun ways, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Apr 30, 2020

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Origami Guide

Origami Instructions – Learn How To Make Origami

How To Make An Easy Origami Swan

Page 1 of 2.

origami swan tutorial 00

Origami Swan

Level: Easy

Copyright: Traditional ?

Time Needed: Approx. 5 Minutes

Tools: None

Supplies: 1 Sheet of Square Paper

Learn how to fold a traditional origami swan using 1 sheet of square paper.

The traditional origami swan might be the easiest of the origami birds. You can also use this method on paper napkins.

All you need is 1 sheet of square paper.

Origami Swan Instructions

Scroll down to follow the photo tutorial for the Origami Swan .

Made this origami? Leave a comment & submit your photo on the last page here .

1. This is the front of our origami paper, our swan will be mostly this colour.

1. This is the front of our origami paper, our swan will be mostly this colour.

2. Flip the paper over to the back, origami paper is usually white on this side.

2. Flip the paper over to the back, origami paper is usually white on this side.

3. Fold the right point over to the left point creating a central vertical crease.

3. Fold the right point over to the left point creating a central vertical crease.

4. Unfold the previous step.

4. Unfold the previous step.

5. Fold the lower left and right diagonal edges to align with the central vertical crease.

5. Fold the lower left and right diagonal edges to align with the central vertical crease.

6. Flip the paper over to the other side.

6. Flip the paper over to the other side.

7. Fold the left and right diagonal edges to the central vertical crease.

7. Fold the left and right diagonal edges to the central vertical crease.

8. Fold the bottom point up to the top point.

8. Fold the bottom point up to the top point.

Origami topics: Origami | Origami Instructions | How To Origami | How To Do Origami | Origami Folding | Origami Craft | Origami Tutorial | Origami Step By Step | Origami Lessons | How To Make Origami | Paper Origami | Simple Origami | Easy Origami | Origami For Kids | Origami For Children | How To Make Origami Animals | Paper Animal Instructions | Origami Animal Tutorials

What Origami Birds To Fold Next?

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21 Comments for “How To Make An Easy Origami Swan”

Thanks for the guide, it was easy to follow 🙂

to make a paper swan

This worked really well.👍

Your guide was very easy to follow. I wasted a lot of time trying to do the swan on my own, hence the creases.

Great – thank you!

to make a paper swan

Thank you for simple, clear instruction with great diagrams.

Thank you so much. Loved making the swans… Lots of them ! The first instruction which tells you which color will be the dominant one was important for paper that’s coloured on both sides.

to make a paper swan

Helped me out a lot! Its been a long time since i learned how to fold another origami model

Thanks for the clear instructions.

to make a paper swan

The Origami Swan 🦢 was really easy to make.🤩😍

to make a paper swan

I tried it, but it came out bad…

to make a paper swan

It looks really good because the steps were really easy to follow

There are a few things that went wrong.

to make a paper swan

It’s so fun and I think I’m addicted to making these incredibly cute swans. I can even make them without the instructions! Very fun and easy.

to make a paper swan

Jag har överdrivet!!!!!

to make a paper swan

I love this!

to make a paper swan

Finally! Instructions clear and easy to follow! I’m so excited to try more. Thank you!

to make a paper swan

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to make a paper swan

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to make a paper swan

How to Make an Origami Swan

license

Introduction: How to Make an Origami Swan

How to Make an Origami Swan

I will show you how to make an origami swan.

to make a paper swan

You start out with a square piece of paper and fold it along one diagonal, Then unfold it.

to make a paper swan

Now fold the lower edges of the square into the centerline. So it looks like a kite.

to make a paper swan

Flip the kite base over, so the flaps or on the bottom. Then fold the flaps half way to the center line

to make a paper swan

Then fold the flaps to the centerline.

to make a paper swan

Then fold the point of the piece upwards. Then fold the head of the swan downwards

to make a paper swan

Then fold the swan in half vertically. Then pull the neck  of the swan away from the body.

to make a paper swan

45 People Made This Project!

How to Make an Origami Swan

See 36 More

Did you make this project? Share it with us!

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69 Comments

omxrelgendy

5 weeks ago

just did it

huppjennanoel

5 weeks ago on Step 5

Smple and easy!ty!

Lalala

It's simple and quick as well >_<

1637688112034124877748.jpg

2 years ago

2 minutes to make

KellyD1

9 years ago on Introduction

I am confused on step #3

photo.png

Reply 2 years ago

Step 3 the easiest one

GretchenAR

Reply 7 years ago

It is all about making creases.

Kangwon624

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

It was easy for me✌️

Naomikamat123

Tip 2 years ago on Step 1

If u are using paper with color or designs on only one side, put the color side face down and continue with the folding steps

NS26265

Tip 2 years ago

Good and took 4 minutes to make. #easy

49808624-709D-4AD3-AAAB-BAA501B0F86A.jpeg

2 years ago on Step 6

soo fuckn hard

Bridget123456789

2 years ago on Introduction

I did it thanku

katherine.robertson10

Tip 3 years ago

NICE AND GOOD

gonzalei

I know I love to do this I told my mom how to do it

oddfoxiegaming

I was stuck on step #6. How do I get the wings to flap up without the head getting messed up?

ClaireZ4

6 years ago

woo :) I made it

Kyes _GAMIN

Lol I didn't

fuzionblastgaming

Reply 4 years ago

GREAT JOB *BALDI VOICE*

I'm still a bit confused about this it was kinda hard but you did really good

How to Make an Easy Origami Swan

to make a paper swan

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 1 Origami swan
  • Skill Level: Beginner

The traditional origami swan is one of the most simple origami bird models out there. If you're new to origami, this is the perfect model for you to start with. A lot of people start off with the origami crane but find it too hard.

You can use this origami model as a minimalist decoration, make lots of them for a stylish wedding display, or it can serve as a great chopstick holder for a Japanese meal. For a two-color effect, use paper that has a color or pattern that is different on each side.

Watch Now: How to Make an Origami Swan

What you'll need.

  • 1 Piece of origami paper

Instructions

Make the body.

  • Start with your paper white side up. The color will be the main body color.
  • Fold the paper in half diagonally and unfold.
  • Fold the left and right edges into the middle.
  • Flip the model over.

Fold the Head and Neck

  • Fold the left and right edges to the middle.
  • Fold the bottom corner up to the top.
  • Fold down a small section to make the swan's head.

Make the Finishing Touches

  • Fold the top side (the swan head side), in half, lengthwise, backward.
  • While holding the bottom (swan body) down, only pull the head and neck up.
  • Decide on a position for the swan's neck and then crease.
  • You should have a pretty origami swan that can stay up on its own.

If you ended up with a bit of a mess, don't worry. It takes practice to learn origami and making new models. Make sure your folds are as precise as possible and it will turn out well in the end.

History of Origami

The word "origami" comes from the Japanese from  ori  meaning "folding" and  kami  meaning "paper." It is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. Traditional Japanese origami has been practiced since the Edo period from 1603 to 1867.

Although associated with Japanese culture, the word "origami" has been adapted as an inclusive term for all paper folding practices, regardless of their culture of origin. The goal is to transform a flat square sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques. Most origami practitioners discourage the use of cuts, glue, or markings on the paper. Although, the Japanese have a term for cuts allowed on the paper,  kirigami.

More from The Spruce Crafts

  • A Brief History of Origami
  • How to Make an Origami Christmas Card
  • Folding a Traditional Origami Crane
  • 10 Best Origami Projects for Beginners
  • Making an Origami Kusudama Flower
  • How to Make an Origami Napkin Swan
  • Origami Envelope Box Tutorial
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  • Making an Easy Origami Boat

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Origami Way

Make a paper swan: origami swan instructions & diagrams.

Origami Swan

This origami swan is perfect for novices because it only calls for a small number of mountain and valley folds. The origami swan is an extremely conventional design. This origami model can be used as a stunning wedding display, minimalist decoration, or a wonderful chopstick stand for a Japanese supper. Although they occasionally appear at graduations and other major milestone celebrations, they are particularly well-liked as decorations during weddings and anniversary parties.

Many people attempt the origami Swan but give up because they find it too difficult. However, you can make origami swans with a few easy folds, whether you want to impress someone with your origami abilities or you are thinking about decorations for your next event. You can learn how to create the best Origami Swan by using the instructions in this article as a reference. After just a few minutes of practice, your swan will appear quite elegant and attractive, even though the results may initially be a little shabby.

The historical art of paper folding is called origami. Origami is a very attentive and creative technique that offers therapeutic as well as academic benefits. Recognizing a person's sense of accomplishment and satisfaction improves general wellness. This is the same delight that creators have when conjuring something from nothing.

There are some trick folds, but nothing outrageous that will make you give up if you follow the instructions carefully.

Frequently Asked Questions About Origami Swan

What does the origami swan represent.

Swans are a well-known symbol of everlasting love and are frequently used as wedding and celebration decorations since they can pair up for life. Moreover, because Saraswati and Brahma ride them in Hindu mythology, origami swans have also come to represent art and significant life events.

Why is Origami so Difficult?

Paper folding can be difficult for novices to master since the instructions are frequently overly detailed and difficult to follow. In addition, sometimes, picking the incorrect paper might be frustrating. Use foil paper instead of pure foil to get around this.

What Makes Origami so Significant?

Origami is important as a creative outlet since it improves mental acuity, fine motor abilities, and hand-eye coordination. Beyond its impact on a person, origami is essential to Chinese and Japanese culture.

Which Materials Work Best for Creating Paper Swans?

An origami swan can be made or folded with only a square piece of paper, but the kind of paper chosen has a significant impact on how the swan turns out. Numerous craft stores carry origami paper, or you may get some online.

For example, the swan's wings and beak can be given charming accents by using two different colors of paper. A modular dollar bill origami swan that can be assembled from folded bills is a well-liked and distinctive table decoration for a graduation celebration or wedding shower.

to make a paper swan

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to make a paper swan

How to make an origami swan

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Make this easy origami swan with one sheet of square paper! Follow our handy step-by-step tutorial to make your own in just a few minutes.

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How to make an origami swan 2

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By Holly Spanner

Published: July 17, 2023 at 8:00 am

This traditional Japanese origami swan is easy to make and looks great with double-sided paper. This simple origami swan uses one piece of 15 x 15cm paper and shows a peek of the reverse with detail for the wing. It’s a stable model, so will stand up on its own without support.

This origami swan is an ideal first bird origami project, as it only takes a few minutes to make and only uses simple folds.

How to make an origami swan - pink and yellow

You Will Need

  • Origami paper (15x15cm)

Total time:

Start with a square of origami paper.

For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using double-sided origami paper which is red on one side and yellow on the other.

Fold in half along the diagonal and unfold.

How to make an origami swan - step 1

Fold one side up to meet the crease you have just made.

How to make an origami swan - step 2

Repeat on the other side to create a kite shape.

How to make an origami swan - step 3

Turn the model over.

How to make an origami swan - step 4

Again, fold the sides up to meet the central fold.

How to make an origami swan - step 5

Repeat on the other side.

How to make an origami swan - step 6

Mountain fold the whole model in half.

How to make an origami swan - step 7

Fold the neck up by using an outside reverse fold. To do this, open the neck slightly as you bring it up, and fold what was the bottom of the model up and around the body.

How to make an origami swan - step 8

Fold the head down. Use an outside reverse fold again, to create the head. Make the head around 5cm long. It’s longer as we need to accommodate for the beak in step 11.

How to make an origami swan - step 9

Open up the head by pulling out the hidden paper on both sides of the head.

How to make an origami swan - step 10

Create the beak by first pleating the end of the head, then pushing the beak inside the head. This is called a double reverse fold. Squash the head to firm up the creases.

How to make an origami swan - step 11

If you like, give your swan a tail by doing an outside reverse fold at the end of the swan’s body. This is not part of the traditional Japanese origami swan – just a cute little detail I like to add.

How to make an origami swan - step 12

More origami paper

1. traditional origami paper.

origami-paper-japanese

Buy now: £6.05, Amazon

This pack of origami paper comes in traditional designs with a great price point. There are 30 different designs and 60 sheets. They’re double-sided, too so if you’re looking to get into the hobby without splashing too much cash – this is a great option.

Latest deals from trusted retailers

2. handmade origami paper.

Buy now: £14.00, Amazon

Handmade origami paper - image 5, Amazon

Okay – so you’ve practised a model, and now you want to make a special one? Perhaps as a gift, or to make a topper on the front of a card? Well, this handmade paper is perfect for when you want to create something a little more special.

3. Double-sided origami paper

Buy now: £8.45, Amazon

How to make an origami crane

This is the origami paper we used for the steps photos – it’s great, because not only is it double-sided, but the sides are different colours so it really adds a little bit extra to those designs where you see both sides of the paper. Plus it comes as loose leaf, which is handy.

4. Plain origami paper

Buy now: £7.19, Amazon

Origami for beginners

Coloured on one side and white on the other, having a stash of plain origami paper is great for practising models. There are 50 different colours in the pack and each sheet is 20 x 20cm, just a little larger than the traditional 15 x 15cm square sheets.

5. Patterned Origami paper gift set (Chiyogami)

Buy now:  £14.99, Amazon

How to make an origami crane

Working with speciality origami paper can make the whole process more enjoyable, as it won’t rip, it’s easy to crease and the design won’t crack. It enables greater manipulation as it’s thinner than regular paper, so if you’re keen to get into origami, it’s worth investing in some proper paper.

With this pack, you get a whopping 180 sheets with 45 beautiful traditional designs, check out the plethora of 5-star reviews on Amazon for this product!

Make a beautiful origami swan

Did you know swans can mate for life? Make a pair of swans with this easy tutorial.

Don’t stop with swans

We have lots of lovely projects to try including this wonderful penguin origami .

How to make an origami penguin 3

Holly Spanner

Social networks.

Staff Writer, BBC Science Focus

Holly is the staff writer at BBC Science Focus, and specialises in astronomy. Before joining the team she was a geoenvironmental consultant and holds an MSc in Geoscience (distinction) from UCL.

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IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. Can Swans Fly?

    Swans are capable of flight. In fact, the swans that are often seen around marshes, lakes and ponds are able to fly only 60 days after hatching.

  2. What Is a Male Swan Called?

    A male swan is called a cob. Male swans do not incubate the pen’s eggs, but they swim close by and protect the nest from any predators. A female swan is called a pen, and their young are called cygnets.

  3. What Do You Call a Group of Swans?

    According to the United States Geological Center’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, a group of swans is called a bevy. They can also be referred to as a wedge of swans, if in flight.

  4. How to Make a Paper Swan: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

    To make a paper swan, start by grabbing a square piece of paper and folding it in half diagonally, then opening it back up. From there, bring the 2 corners in

  5. How to Make a paper Swan, origami

    How to fold Paper Swan. Origami for kids. Learn to make origami paper items. Art crafts to do with the children. Click on the link below to

  6. Origami Swan Tutorial

    How to fold an origami swan: step-by-step instructions for the swan origami model. The swan is a very simple but elegant traditional origami

  7. How to Make an Origami Swan Easy

    Watch this video to learn how to make an easy origami swan. Paper swan tutorial step by step for beginners. DIY Paper swan folding is so

  8. Origami Swan

    Watch this video to learn how to make an easy origami swan. Paper swan tutorial step by step for beginners. DIY Paper swan folding is so

  9. How to Make an Origami Swan (Intermediate)

    Like this Video? Check out my Fun Creations Playlist HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi3xwubUr1E&list=PL4233A6440287E5CA In this

  10. How To Make An Easy Origami Swan

    Learn how to fold a traditional origami swan using 1 sheet of square paper. The traditional origami swan might be the easiest of the origami birds.

  11. How to Make an Origami Swan : 6 Steps

    Step 1: You start out with a square piece of paper and fold it along one diagonal, Then unfold it.

  12. How to Make an Easy Origami Swan

    Instructions · Make the Body. Start with your paper white side up. The color will be the main body color. · Fold the Head and Neck. Fold the

  13. How to make a Paper Swan: Origami Swan Instructions & Diagrams

    Which Materials Work Best for Creating Paper Swans? ; Step 2: Take the top corner and fold it over to the bottom corner. ; Step 3: Fold the left corner over to

  14. How to make an origami swan

    Step 1. Start with a square of origami paper. For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using double-sided origami paper which is red on one side