Origami Iris (Lily)

origami iris


The origami iris (also called an origami lily) is a traditional design loved by many. The folding sequence is considered "intermediate" in difficulty. It is not a hard model to make, but there are quite a few steps to follow. Many of the steps are repeat-on-the-other-side types of fold. Because there are so many repeated folds, it can get confusing. The thing to remember with this origami iris is that there are 4 petals, so the folding sequences need to be done 4 times. If you find this model too difficult to complete, try the day lily which is easier and looks quite similar.

Shown on the right are three origami iris flowers. They are all made the same way, the only difference is how much the petals are rolled back.

 • The yellow flower has petals which are just slightly pulled back.
 • The blue flower has flared petals, only the tips are curled back.
 • The red origami iris flower has petals which are curled the most.






origami iris

Step 1:
Start with a square sheet: fold and unfold the paper along the diagonals (in both directions). This gives you an "X" shaped crease.

In this example, the paper is the same color on both sides. If you are using paper which is white on the back side, then start with the colored-side facing up.


origami iris

Step 2:
Turn the paper over.
Fold in half from left to right.
Unfold



origami lily

Step 3:
Fold the paper in half (top to bottom).



origami iris

Step 4:
Gently push the top-left and top-right corners of the paper towards each other. The top layer of paper will lift up along the pre-made creases.



origami lily

Keep pushing the corners together.



origami iris

Watch the movement of the green dot.



origami  lily

Step 5
Swivel the flap of paper towards the right. There should be a similar flap of paper behind the model. Swivel this back flap towards the left.

When done (see next photo), you will get a square shaped piece of paper that is a quarter of the size of the original paper. This form is called a "Preliminary Base" and it is commonly used in the making of many origami models.



origami iris

Step 6: We will make a "squash fold". First, lift the right-flap of paper back up towards you.



origami  lily

Pry open the two layers of paper and press down (squash the paper flat).



origami iris

This is how it should look like.
Turn the model over.




origami  lily

Step 7: Repeat the squash fold. First, lift up the right-flap.

origami  lily


Note: If you used paper that is white on one side and colored on the other side, the model would look more like the one on the left. Some of the white is showing.


origami iris

Squash the paper down.




origami  lily

Step 8: Like turning the pages of a book, swivel the squashed-flap from the right towards the left.



origami iris

Step 9: Time to do the third squash: lift the right-flap up.



origami  lily
Squash down the paper.




origami iris

Step 10: This is how the model should look like. Turn the model over.



origami  lily

Step 11: Perform the final squash fold: lift the right-flap....



origami  lily
Step 12: ...pry open the layers and squash the paper down.



origami iris
Step 13: Now we start the four "Petal Folds".
First, fold the bottom-left and bottom-right edges of the paper towards the vertical crease .



origami  lily
Unfold.


origami iris
Lift up the top-layer of paper (green dot).


origami  lily
The sides of the model will fold inwards because of the creases made in previous step.


origami iris
Keep lifting the paper up at the green dot.


origami iris
A new triangular flap is made; fold down this small triangular flap.


origami iris
Step 14: This is the completed "petal fold". You will need to do this three more times for the other three petals.
Turn the model over and get ready to repeat-on-the-other-side.


origami  lily
Step 15: Fold the bottom-left and bottom-right edges of the paper towards the vertical midline as shown.


origami iris
Unfold the previous step.


origami iris
Lift the paper at the green dot.


origami  lily
The sides of the paper will automatically fold inwards.


origami iris
Fold the triangular flap down and you're done the second petal fold. Two more to go.


origami  lily
Step 16: Like turning the pages of a book, turn two flaps from the right towards the left.
Do the same at the back side of the model: turn two flaps from right to left.


origami iris
Step 18: Time for the third petal fold: fold and unfold the bottom-left and bottom-right edges of the paper towards the central midline.



origami iris
Lift the paper at the green dot and allow the sides to fold inwards.


origami  lily
Fold the triangular flap down.


origami iris
Turn the model over for the last petal fold.


origami iris
Step 18: Note the abbreviated way of showing the petal fold. Not all steps are shown


origami iris
Step 19: Like turning pages in a book: swivel one flap of paper from the right towards the left. At the back of the model, swivel one layer from right to left.


origami iris
This is how the model looks like. The next few steps will make the "tube" part of the origami iris flower more narrow.


origami  lily
Fold the top-left and top-right edges of the model towards the center.


origami iris
Step 20: Turn the model over.


origami iris
Repeat the narrowing process: fold the top-left and top-right edges towards the center.


origami lily
Swivel two layers from the right towards the left (do the same at the back side of the model)


origami iris
Step 21: Repeat: fold the top-left and top-right edges to the center.


origami lily
Turn over.


origami iris
Step 22: For the last time: fold top-left and top-right edges to the center.


origami iris
The model is looking pretty narrow! Time to curl the petals.


origami lily
Wrap the bottom flaps of paper around a pencil to curl the petals.



origami iris


origami lily




origami iris
Side view.


origami lily
Top view.




origami lily