Here are text-based (phone folding) instructions for a traditional origami swan. This fold shows just how easily we can capture the grace and beauty of a living subject with a few simple folds. Start with a square creased along the diagonal.

  1. Starting at one end of the diagonal, fold two sides in so that they line up neatly on the crease.
  2. This is the kite shape that we often see in origami. Turn the paper over.
  3. Fold the long sides of the kite into the centre. This is like step one. Don't let the paper sneak out from underneath!
  4. Take the sharp corner up to the opposite corner and carefully press flat.
  5. Enlarged view. Fold the tip of the sharp corner back down to form the head.
  6. Keeping all the layers in place, fold the paper in half behind.
  7. You should see half of the fold here. Hold the paper gently on the black dots and lift the neck away from the body. When it is roughly in the place shown, press the base of the neck flat.
  8. Do the same with the head, gently easing it out and flattening.
  9. Complete. Open the wings slightly and the swan will stand.

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