Creating Your Own Origami Boat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Origami boats, often referred to as paper boats or origami paper boats, are a delightful and easy craft to create, making them an ideal activity for kids and adults alike. The art of folding paper into intricate shapes has captivated people for centuries, and making an origami boat is a perfect introduction to this ancient craft. With a few simple folds and a bit of patience, you can make your very own paper boat that can float and sail just like the real thing. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to create your very own origami boat.

video courtesy of White Origami

Materials You'll Need

Before we dive into the origami boat instructions, gather the materials you'll need. All you require is a sheet of origami paper or printer paper, a flat surface to work on, and a pair of hands ready for some fun folding!

Step 1: Preparing the Paper

Begin with a square piece of origami paper. If you're using printer paper, you can easily transform it into a square by following these steps:

Start with a rectangular piece of paper.

Fold one corner diagonally to the opposite edge to create a triangle shape.

Trim off the excess paper along the bottom edge, leaving a triangle.

Unfold the triangle, and you now have a square piece of paper.

Step 2: Creating the Initial Folds

Place the square piece of paper in front of you with one corner pointing upwards. Follow these steps to create the initial folds:

Fold the paper in half diagonally to form a triangle shape.

Unfold the triangle and then fold it in half diagonally the other way. You should have a crease forming an "X" on the paper.

Unfold the triangle again to return to the square shape.

Step 3: Forming the Boat Shape

With the square origami paper in front of you, follow these steps to create the boat shape:

Fold the bottom edge of the paper up to the top edge, creating a rectangle.

Rotate the paper so that the open edge is facing towards you.

Fold the bottom edge of the paper up to the top edge once more, creating a narrower rectangle.

Unfold the paper completely.

Step 4: Making the Bottom Folds

In this step, you'll create the folds that will form the bottom of the origami boat:

Fold the bottom corners of the paper up to the top point, aligning them with the center crease.

You'll notice that the paper now has a boat shape forming, with triangular flaps at the bottom corners.

Step 5: Folding Up the Boat Sides

Create the sides of the origami boat by following these instructions:

Take the bottom right corner of the paper and fold it up to the center crease, aligning the bottom edge with the crease. Repeat this step for the bottom left corner.

Turn the paper over and repeat the previous step on the other side. You should now have a boat shape with a pointed top and folded sides.

Step 6: Forming the Boat's Bottom

To complete the boat's structure, follow these steps to form the bottom:

Fold the bottom edge of the boat shape up towards the top point, creating a triangular flap.

Gently pull the triangular flap away from the boat and open it up.

Flatten the flap down to create the bottom of the boat.

Step 7: Creating the Boat's Sail

Origami boats can have sails to add a playful touch. Here's how to create a simple sail for your origami boat:

Take a rectangular piece of paper (you can use origami paper, foil paper, waxed paper, greaseproof paper, or even aluminum foil).

Fold the paper in half lengthwise to create a crease in the center.

Unfold the paper and then fold the top corners down towards the center crease, forming a triangle shape.

Fold the bottom edge of the paper up to the crease you made in the previous step.

Flip the paper over and fold the bottom corners of the triangle towards the center line, creating a smaller triangle at the top.

Insert the triangular sail into the open flap on your origami boat, and voila, your boat has a sail!

Step 8: Final Touches

Your origami boat is now complete and ready to set sail! Make any necessary adjustments to ensure the boat's stability and balance. If you're planning to float your origami boat in water, consider using waxed paper or greaseproof paper for added durability. You can also experiment with different paper sizes and colors to create a fleet of origami boats.


Creating an origami boat is a rewarding and enjoyable craft that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. With a few simple folds, you can transform a flat square sheet of paper into a charming boat that can float and sail on water. Origami boats are a perfect activity for kids, offering a blend of creativity and hands-on learning. So, gather your materials, follow the easy origami boat instructions, and have fun creating your very own fleet of paper boats. Whether you're a seasoned origami enthusiast or new to the world of paper folding, making an origami boat is a delightful and fulfilling experience that brings joy and creativity to the craft table.

Annabel Buser