Traditional Menko from 2 Squares

The image shows the Traditional Menko folded from 1 yellow and 1 green note square. The front of the square envelope shows an alternating pattern of 2 yellow and 2 green triangles.

The back of the Menko is not shown here, but since the yellow module was placed down first, the back of the envelope is yellow only.


Text-Only Instructions
Credits and Resources:
Instructions with pictures can be found at
and on various sites elsewhere on the Internet with some minor variation on folding methods and sequences.
Paper to be used: 2 squares of similar size; use large paper to practice with at first.
Folding level: Beginner
Steps: 8
Description: This is a modular origami model, meaning that it is made up of different, similar folded units, which are fitted together to form the finished model.
This model is a traditional flat envelope, folded from 2 squares of paper. Its finished size is a third of the paper you are starting with.
It is closed securely with a flap, so no glue is necessary for ordinary use.
It is smooth on one side and has an overlapping, triangular motif resembling the 4 arms of a pinwheel on the other. It can be opened by folding back the flaps, one at a time, revealing the two center squares, which has been placed on top of each other.
This is a great project for those who would like to start making models using modular origami.
It attempts to introduce the basic concepts, methods and phases of folding and assembling a modular origami project.
The units are fairly easy to fold and assembly is done using simple folds and a tucked in flap.
When you have become familiar with assembling the units, you might like to try and use more than one color when designing your menko.
It is fun to write messages on the inside flaps and also on the two center squares. One can also write a number on the outer flaps of the menko to indicate the order in which the flaps should be opened as well as on the back.
It makes a nice birthday invitation and can also be used as a coaster.
If using two-sided origami paper, lay your paper with the patterned or colored side down before starting to fold.
Step 1
Place a square down with its edges to the left and right, top and bottom.
Step 2
Divide and fold your square into thirds.
The easiest method I have found to do this is to pick up your paper and gently fold the sides over to their opposite edges, into an S or a Z fold. Adjust your folds on both sides before making small creases right at the edges of the paper to mark where you will fold.
Don't worry if this is difficult at first. It will become easier with practice.
Unfold all the way again.
Using the small marks you have made, fold the top edge of the square down a third of the way and then over once more, like you would a letter going into an envelope.
You will now have a long, closed rectangle made up of 3 layers of paper.
Step 3
Make sure your rectangle is placed with the short edges left and right.
Fold the right bottom corner up so the bottom tip meets the top of the paper, making a diagonal crease. Crease well.
Fold the left top corner down to meet the bottom of the paper, making a diagonal crease. Crease well.
You’ll have a parallelogram, or what will look like a square in the middle of the paper, flanked on each side by triangles (which will be facing in opposite directions.
Repeat steps 1 to 3 once more so you have 2 similarly shaped units to work with.
Step 4
Make sure both your pieces have the triangular folds facing up. If your shapes have a smooth surface, flip them over so you can feel the triangular folds on each side.
Step 5
Lay down the first piece so it is oriented horizontally
Then lay the secon            
d piece over the first, but oriented in a vertical position, so the center squares are on top of each other.
Notice that you now have one multi-layered center square with triangular flaps sticking out on all 4 sides.
Step 6
Starting from the bottom, fold up the first flap so it folds across the center square. It should be fairly easy because of the folds you have made previously.
Step 7
Repeat this action with the right and top triangular flaps as well.
Step 8
Lastly,take the triangle on the left and tuck it into the pocket you will find underneath it. So, lift up the flap and gently bend it and tuck it into the first diagonal slit you can find. This slit runs from the center of the model downwards to the left corner.
 You will know that your fold has been done correctly if the menko stays securely closed when you pick it up. There should be a design on the front of the model made up of 4 flaps with their fold marks or slits all facing in the same direction.
Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.
for non-commercial use only.
Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe - May 2019
Revised, July 2023