The Traditional Canoe

The image shows a collection of various seashells in different shapes and sizes. They are predominantly in shades of beige, brown, and white.

On top of the shells, there is a bright green paper boat, adding a pop of color to the earthy tones of the shells.

The boat has crisp folds and sharp edges, contrasting with the organic, smooth, or ridged textures of the shells.

Description by: Be My AI from Be My Eyes at

Text-Only Instructions
Credits and Resources:
There are, unsurprisingly in origami, many ways to fold a canoe!
As it happens, I recently became aware of a talented origami designer and teacher, Laura Kruskal (1923 - 2019).
She designed many easy models, primarily from rectangular paper and became famous for her many different origami crown models.
Laura presented fun and lively origami classes up until 2018 when she was 95.
The link below from OUSA, is a very special recording of her class called "What Can You Do With A Paper Canoe?".
Apart from teaching the canoe itself, Laura has devised more than 30 models that has the canoe as their base.You will also hear Laura play the harmonica and sing the "Origami International Anthem" which she wrote in 1995.
Paper to be used: Square or rectangular, any size; use larger paper to practice with at first.
Folding level: Easy/Beginner
Steps: 14
Description: This is a fairly sturdy, 3D model. The corners are well secured and the model has the beautiful, characteristic shape of a simple canoe.
This model makes a wonderful project for children and beginners.
The bottom, sides and inside of the canoe can be decorated.
 For an interesting science experiment, fold canoes from different types of paper, such as aluminum foil, wax paper, newspaper etc. and note which material will last longest when placed on water.
Step 1
Place a square down with its edges to the left and right, top and bottom.
If using rectangular paper, place it down with the short edges at the left and right, or in landscape orientation.
Step 2
Fold the bottom edge up to meet the top edge to form a two-layered rectangle.
Step 3
Fold the raw edge at the top, the upper layer only, down so it meets the bottom, folded edge.
Crease well and leave folded.
Step 4
Flip the model over from left to right.
Step 5
Repeat Step 3 on this side, so that you have a rectangle of four layers.
Step 6
Rotate the rectangle so that the short edges are at the top and bottom. Make sure the side with the two loose flaps are on the left.
Step 7
Pick up the upper, single layer of paper on the left and open it towards the right, like you would open a book, so it will lie flat.
Step 8
Take the top right corner and fold it to the left and down at a 45 degree angle. It should meet the vertical center crease of the rectangle.
Crease and leave folded.
Step 9
Repeat this fold with the bottom right corner so that it also meets the vertical center crease.
Step 10
Repeat the two previous steps on the left side of the rectangle, leaving a single layer of paper unfolded on the left of the model.
The upper layer of your model will now be a six-sided shape, with two triangles at the bottom and two at the top.
Step 11
Take the folded left edge and flip it over to the right, using the vertical crease that is already there.
The corners you have folded will now be hidden within the layers of paper on the right.
Step 12
Like you did before, fold the top and bottom corners of the rectangle to the right at a 45 degree angle.
To help you here, you can lift up the layers on the right, holding them at a 90 degree angle so they will act like a wall you can fold against.
Fold the layers flat again on the right once you have folded both the corners on the left.
Step 13
Repeat Step 11, folding the left edge over to the right, like closing a book.
You will end up with a straight edge on the left and a curved edge on the right of a long, skinny rectangle.
Step 14
All that remains is to turn your long rectangle so the curved edge is at the bottom.
Open your canoe by pulling the long, straight edges at the top of the figure apart.
Flatten the center of the canoe a little, gently forming the edges into a boat shape.
Your canoe is ready!
Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.
for non-commercial use only.
Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, December 2023