How To Make An Origami Monkey: Easy Step By Step Guide

A child's hands folding paper to make an origami monkey, surrounded by lots of other origami animal models.

Origami is fun and beneficial to children's development, but getting to grips with it can be a challenge.

Enter Kidadl's step-by-step instructions for origami animals. Origami (meaning "folding paper" in Japanese) is a centuries-old craft, but we're bringing it into the modern world.

The benefits of origami for kids include improved spatial perception and problem-solving abilities. An origami monkey is a slightly more challenging origami, best suited to children aged seven to 12.

After this, why not move onto an origami snake, or an origami dolphin... the list is endless!

What You'll Need

Several sheets of square origami paper, around 12cm by 12cm. You can also use a Sharpie or other pen to draw features onto your origami monkey.

A close up image of a child's hands folding a blue sheet of origami paper to make an origami monkey.

Origami Monkey Instructions

We'll start with instructions to make an origami monkey face, which can be done on a piece of paper as small as a post-it. This works best on paper with different colours on either side. Difficulty level: easy.

Step 1. With the paper facing you as a square, fold the top corner down so that the point is a little less than halfway across its centre point.

Step 2. Fold the entire bottom right-hand edge of the square over, but leave a fair gap between the edge of the paper and the top triangle. Do the same, evenly, along the left edge. There's no exact measurement for this fold - it depends how large you want to middle of the monkey's face to be. Try it a few different ways to see which you prefer.

Step 3. Your paper will now be in the shape of a diamond. Flip it over, and fold the left and right sides inwards so they are a little over the centre line (which hasn't been folded). They should overlap a little.

Step 4. Flip back over. Take what's now the bottom layer, and fold the right-hand side over itself so the pointed end is visible from the front, sticking out like a little monkey ear. Repeat on the left side.

Step 5. Pick up your shape, which will look like a downwards arrow in two colours, with two pointed 'ears' sticking out either side. Tuck the point of the arrow underneath the shape to turn it into a square.

Step 6. Turn over the very top and right corners of the square and repeat on the bottom. You will see it's beginning to look like a face shape, since the edges are softening. Tuck the points of the 'ears' over too, to repeat the effect.

Step 7. Draw eyes, ears and a mouth onto your origami monkey head.

A close up image of someone folding a piece of paper to make an origami monkey.

More Advanced Origami Monkey Instructions

Now we move onto instructions for a full origami monkey, rather than just the face.

Step 1. Create a fold down the centre of a piece of origami paper and open it up again.

Step 2. With the paper facing you like a diamond, fold the left hand side and then the right into the centre so the origami paper forms a kite shape.

Step 3. Fold the kite in half down the centre. Take the longer pointy end and fold it across itself, so its edge lines up with the pointy edges of the kite.

Step 4. Fold half of this new fold back on itself, so it's pointing the way it was previously. Then open it up and fold it down, so it halves. Bunch up the centre of it slightly, and then fold it down, creating a fold across the centre of this new kite shape. Take the point and fold it under itself.

Step 5. At the 'base' of the kite shape you're working on (not the pointy end), tuck the left and right corners under each other. Flip the paper and fold them again (they will be very small). Flip the paper back over, and you should begin to see what will be the origami monkey face taking shape.

Step 6. Now get to work on the origami monkey's body, which will be a pretty much untouched triangle sticking out to the left hand side. Fold the corner in towards the face of the monkey, so that it overlaps the bottom slightly. Unfold it, stick your finger inside the fold you just made, and then push the paper inwards to reverse the direction of the fold. You should now see a little 'tail' peeking out of the bottom.

Step 7. You can then fold this section back on itself again, by putting your fingers into the crease, and then plump up the origami monkey so it stands upright, with the tail pointing upwards.

Two origami monkeys standing up side by side.

Origami Monkey Tips And Tricks

Whenever the origami monkey instructions tell you to fold the paper, you must make a really firm crease. This is the first rule of all origami.

Get creative when drawing features onto your origami monkey, this is a great chance for younger kids to help decorate the origami monkey.



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