This week’s post came with a lot of trial-and-error.
After trying and hopelessly failing to complete two other animal pieces (I’ll master you one day, koi fish!), I finally settled on a beautiful but slightly complex variation of the Yoshizawa butterfly.
To put things into context, Akira Yoshizawa was a prominent origami artist widely regarded as the grandmaster of paper folding in Japan. With his quirky creations, big and small, he singlehandedly brought origami up from a simple household time-killer to an elaborate artform celebrated by people nationwide.
Yoshizawa not only put his own spin on age-old crafts – sometimes, he created new crafts entirely. After doing a bit of research, I found that Yoshizawa had created at least 3 variations of the origami butterfly, some more renowned that others.
This week, I decided to to try my hand at one of the lesser-known versions of his butterfly. One, because before today I’d never seen it before, and two, because I think it just looks the prettiest. If you have a bit of free time, feel free to try it out for yourself!
The Yoshizawa Butterfly
1. As always, start with a thin, square piece of decorative paper. Fold it in half vertically. Unfold.
2. Fold the top edge into the center crease you just created.
3. Fold the bottom edge to the top fold so that you create a thin rectangle.
4. Fold your rectangle in half. Unfold. Then, fold the outer edges to the center crease on both sides, as shown below.
5. Undo your folds up to the point shown below. Then, re-crease the creases you’ve made.
6. Bring in the outer edges of your paper so that you form a triangle, as shown below.
7. Fold the top layer of your triangle to the center crease. Do this to both sides.
8. Flip your paper over. Fold in the top corners of your piece, like so. Do this to both sides.
9. Fold the top parts of your piece down diagonally. Do this to both sides.
10. Fold the bottom tip of your piece up over the top tips. Try to get the bottom tip to at least 1 inch over the horizontal edge.
11. Then, take the outer layer of the tip you just folded up and flatten it all the way down.
12. Flip your paper over. Fold the uppermost tip down, like so.
13. Fold the tip back up so it slightly extends beyond the horizontal edge, like so.
14. Fold your piece completely in half. Make sure you crease well.
15. Now, to shape the wings, make a diagonal fold from the bottom half over the top tip. Flip over and do the same thing to the other side.
16. Turn it over and voila! A Yoshizawa butterfly.