How To Make An Origami Car

Mum and daughter sat at the table doing arts and crafts with paper, making origami.
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Origami is one of those crafts that can be enjoyed by people of almost any age or skill.

Kids love to make origami as they get to see an object emerge from just a little piece of paper, and adults find the activity really calming and enjoyable - it's an all-round family hit! With these easy to follow instructions parents and children can be rustling up 3D paper foldable cars to play with.

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper in different ways, to make 3D objects. Its meaning comes from the Japanese words oru (meaning to fold) and kami (paper). Origami has lots of benefits for the brain that will help enhance your child's development: it can improve hand-eye coordination, concentration and memory skills, as well as being a great way to encourage mindfulness. So by spending the time folding paper cars the family will end up with some colourful car origami toys and be super chilled at the same time.

How To Make A Car Out Of Paper

Two origami cars, one orange and one grey, on a black surface.
Image © Kerstin

There are several different types of paper cars that can be made, but these origami paper car instructions come from the great origami master and priest Kosho Uchiyama.

Ages: 7+

Materials: A square of paper, colouring pens to decorate.

Method:

  1. To get started on your origami car you need to fold your paper into an 8x8 square grid. To do this, fold your paper in half vertically, then fold this in half vertically, and again once more. Unfold and rotate the paper then repeat this step along the other vertical line.
  2. Fold the paper corner-to-corner diagonally on both sides, so you have an 'X' through the centre of your 8x8 grid.
  3. Next you want to make another cross so that the middle of the 'X' is one square away from the middle of your first 'X'. You can do this by folding one corner over to the first inner line of the 8x8, unfolding it, then doing the same on the corner next to it. The two 'X's should intersect to make a little diagonal square.
  4. From a 2x2 square with the diagonal square at the front of it, fold the sides of the car down. This is the roof of your origami car.
  5. On the longer side of the square, fold 1x2 squares down to make the windscreen, then you have 3x2 squares of your bonnet.
  6. Fold the front two squares of the origami car down, making a diagonal fold on the sides underneath the bonnet to make a neat box side.
  7. Top Tip: Make sure you are pressing hard on your creases so that the origami car holds its shape.
  8. Fold the whole bottom row of squares on either side up and inwards, to tuck the bottom of the car in.
  9. Inside at each corner there will be a pointed flap, fold these back down so they point out of the bottom of the paper car.
  10. Fold the excess points back on themselves and into the inside of the origami car to neaten these parts into wheel shapes.
  11. There you have it! Now you can use the colouring pens to draw a door, windscreen and headlamps if you want.

Fun origami car idea: If your child is a fan of the movie 'Cars' try creating cars made our of paper in all the colours of the characters of the film. Then use felt tips to draw their eyes, decorations and racing car numbers onto the sides.

Origami decoration idea: Why not make lots of origami cars in different colours then use sticky tape and string to make them into bunting to decorate the house?

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