Let’s Make a Turtle!

By Request:

I recently posted pictures of my turtle sculptures on two Origami Facebook Group pages. After they were seen by many, a couple requested directions for making them. I had told the group where they could find the directions for folding the base units but not how they went together to make the completed turtle…..so……Here goes!

What You Need:

To make a turtle you will need two large squares to make the shell and six smaller squares to make the legs, neck and head, and one smaller square to make the tail. You need white glue, scissors, a holepunch and a bit of patience.

For each of the large and the six smaller squares you will be folding them into pinwheel bases. (If you don’t know how to fold the pinwheel base you can easily find it by looking on line. It is a traditional Origami base unit.)

Raise and Squash the Points:

You will next have to fold the four points of the pinwheel up like a shark fin. Then push them down so that all the points face the middle as seen in the above picture.

Next you will have to tuck one side of each pair under the one on the opposite side to form the Eco-Ball unit. (If you want to see this step more clearly you can find it in the Eco-ball post in this same section of my blog.)

Hold It While the Glue Sets:

Now you will need to keep the edges together while the glue sets to make a solid unit.

This forms the swivel unit. You will need two smaller swivel units later, but for now go ahead and add glue to hold one side of the unit together.

Two Plus Four Equals Six:

Yes, you will glue the two large units and four of the smaller units as directed above. You should still have two more smaller units. Fold and glue them just to the swivel stage.

So…How Do We Put It Together?:

Now that we have the base units we are ready to make the shell and add the legs, neck and head.

The Shell:

Glue the two large units together to form the shell

Hint: It is easiest to glue the two smooth surfaces together on this step.

Add the Legs:

Look at the next picture to see where to glue and how to align the legs in relation to the body.

And Now the Neck and Head:

Take one of the small swivel units to use for the neck. You will then have to cut the other swivel unit in half to use as the head,

Glue the head to the neck.

Do You Want a Jaw?

If you want your turtle to be able go open his mouth you can add a jaw. Take the remaining half of the swivel unit and cut off one of the squares on the surface.

Glue the jaw to the bottom of the head as shown in the following picture.

Finally the Tail:

To make the tail unit you will use the smallest square. Place it like a diamond and fold an airplane Point on one end. Open the paper and fold another airplane point on the opposite end. Now bend the unit in half. Pinch up the two middle triangles as shown below.

Add a couple drops of glue to hold the middle together and you have the tail.

Add glue to one end of the tail all the way to the middle putting the glue on the outside edges. Flip it over and place it as shown below. You will have to hold it while it dries.

It’s Time to Add Some Extras:

Now that you have your turtle you need to decide how to decorate it. It obviously needs some eyes. I like to add wiggle eyes that you can get from your local craft store. To decorate the shell you can use a hole punch to punch out a bunch of dots. Glue these to the shell to create an interesting pattern, be creative and make your own design.

Below are three turtle lovers from Texas Turtles making their own origami turtles. It’s fun doing Origami with friends.

These colorful turtles pictured above were made by my friend Viviana after I taught her how to make them.

So Many Patterns:

Turtles are very interesting creatures. I often catch them while fishing and have seen so many different kinds and different patterns on their shells and bodies. If you want to see several kinds if turtles you can find pictures in several of my earlier blog posts. You can also find pictures in books and on-line. You can try to mimic real turtle patterns while decorating your paper turtles. As you look at the many kinds of turtles consider the evidence of design. The beauty of these creatures required an intelligent Designer. When God created turtles He must have had those of us who love turtles in mind. Thank God for turtles and all the other creatures He created for us to enjoy.


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