Origami Boat

Guess what, these paper boats you’re about to make can float! All you need is paper so grab some paper and let’s get going!

Did you know – Origami literally translates as (Ori) To Fold (Kami) Paper in Japanese where it comes from. This ancient art has been around for thousands of years!


Difficulty Level:

What you need:


  1. With your paper in portrait orientation (so it is taller than it is wide), fold your a4 paper in half bringing the top to the bottom.
  2. Fold the left side to the right to create a crease in the middle from the top down (the crease should go down about 4 cm).
  3. Open up this last fold (from step 2). You should be able to see your crease in the middle like ours.
  1. Fold the top right corner so that it meets the crease you just made in the centre. Repeat this with the left side. You should end up with one very pointy end at the top.
  2. Fold up the part of the top layer of paper below the folded point.
  3. Flip it over and fold up the other sides bottom, just like step 5.
  1. (7a) Now we are going to ‘flatten’ this shape we have made. Do this by carefully pushing the two sides into the middle. Whilst doing so, tuck one of the loose pieces of paper under the other on both sides.

    (7b)This is how it will look once it has been flattened. You can see that one of the loose corners has been tucked under the one in the front. Press this all down flat.
  2. Fold up one of the bottom points to meet the top point.
  1. 9 – Flip it over then fold up the bottom point on the other side, like in step 8.
  2. Press it all down flat and neat.
  3. (11a)You are going to turn it so that the pointy side at the bottom is facing you. Now carefully flatten it again by pulling the middle out on both the left and right sides and pushing one pointy side towards the other.

    (11b)This is what it should now look like.
  1. (12a) Pull out the top points on both the left and right sides

    (12b) It should look like this.
  2. Now you have your boat, but it is a bit flat! Puff it out a bit by blowing into the hole at the bottom and adding in some shape to the sides by putting in a tiny fold (if it needs it!). You want to make it so your boat can stand up.

    Put your boats in water to see them float!

Further Activities

Repeat this with different papers and sizes to make lots of different kinds of boats!

Why not try decorating another piece of paper with a pattern before folding it into a boat?