Text-Only Instructions
Credits and Resources:
This is a traditional model.
Instructions with supporting pictures and/or illustrations can be found
here at
Paper to be used: Rectangular, any size; use large paper to practice
with at first.
Folding level: Intermediate
Steps: 12
Description: This is a three-dimensional sailboat. It has a distinct
open, rounded boat shape with a triangular point rising from its center,
representing the sails.
From the resource page mentioned above, comes this very apt quote by
the contributor, David Weinberg: "
The paper boat is one of the most pleasing origami forms. Throughout its
creation, the paper remains entirely dissimilar from a boat in form.
Finally, in the last step, we pull apart our paper to reveal an elegant
Like with many origami creations, the final model remain hidden and
mysterious, until the very last step.
If using two-sided paper, lay your paper with the patterned or colored
side down before starting to fold.
Step 1
Place a rectangular piece of paper down on a hard, flat surface, with
the short edges at the top and bottom, or in portrait orientation.
Step 2
Fold the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded.
Step 3
Fold the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.
Step 4
Fold the two top corners downwards toward the center, aligning the edges
with the vertical crease line you folded in Step 3.
Crease well and leave folded.
Your model should now resemble a triangle sitting atop a two-layered
Step 5
Now, fold the bottom edge of the model, top layer only, up as far as it
will go. It will cover the bottom edges of the triangular flaps you have
just created, forming what might resemble the brim of a hat.
Crease and leave folded.
Step 6
Fold the left and right top corners of the horizontal band diagonally,
away from you, and tuck them in around the back of the triangle so the
left and right edges of your model are now straight.
Step 7
Turn the model over and repeat Step 5, to form another horizontal band,
but do not fold back the corners of the band this time.
Step 8
At this point, your paper should resemble a hat. Pick up the paper from
your folding surface.
Gently insert your thumbs into the hat shape near the bottom center of
the shape.
Now pull your hands gently away from each other and then outward to the
sides, until you've flattened your paper into a square.
This motion could be described as an opening and a twisting motion that
is performed almost simultaneously.
You will know that you have been successful if your hat turns into a
fairly flat diamond or square shape with the closed point facing away from you.
Step 9
Set the square down like a diamond with the separated part at the bottom.
Fold the bottom point of the diamond, top layer only, up to reach its
top point.
Crease and leave folded.
Step 10
Turn the model over and repeat step 9 on the other side.
You will be left with another smaller triangular hat-shaped model, but
without a brim this time.
Step 11
Using the same motion as in Step 8, pull the hat into a square again
and  set it down as a diamond once more, with the open end nearest you.
Your diamond shape will be composed of two triangles.
Step 12
Pick up the model and locate the top of the diamond where the two
triangles meet. Pull the two sides of the shape gently apart to the left
and right. Your model will instantly transform into a three-dimensional
Lastly, pull the sails into an upright position and round out the boat,
reinforcing the creases where necessary.
Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text
for non-commercial use only.
Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, May 2014
Revised, October 2022