3D Origami Dragon – Tutorial

One of the popular Chinese origami models is the three dimensional origami dragon made using triangular units of folded paper. This is a mini dragon model and the assembly is pretty simple!

Origami Dragon

How to make a 3D Origami Dragon – Tutorial:

We will need a total of 515 units for this model. This comprises of 251 blue units and 264 yellow units. The steps to make each of these paper triangles is provided here. 

TDOD2

 

We will first make the head of the dragon, followed by its body and then the legs.

Origami Dragon Head:

The head of the mini dragon is made in the pattern shown here.

3DODOutline

When assembling the units based on a pattern, we start from the bottom row and work upwards.

Step 1:

Start with three blue units for Row 1 of the head.

TDOD3

Step 2:

Connect row 1 by inserting the second row with four blue units.

TDOD4

Step 3:

Row 3 is inserted and three units are used.

TDOD5

Step 4:

Row 4 is made by inserting four blue units.

TDOD6

Step 5:

Keep adding the units following the pattern provided at the top.

TDOD7

Step 6:

For the eyes of the dragon, two yellow units are inserted in Row 7.

TDOD8

Step 7:

Keep adding the units…

TDOD9

Step 8:

TDO10

Step 9:

TDO11

Step 10:

Now turn the model upside down and you can see that the head of the dragon is almost done.

TDO12

We have used up a total of 55 units for the dragon head comprising of 53 blue and 2 yellow units.

Step 11:

We will now give it a nice red tongue!

Cut a small strip of red paper like a cartoonish dragon tongue and glue it to the middle piece of the last row.

TDO12b

Completed dragon head –

TDO13

Origami Dragon Body:

Step 1:

Take three units – 2 blue and 1 yellow unit and hold them together as shown.

TDO14

Step 2:

The body will be a like long chain of blue and yellow units – with the blue units forming the outline and yellow units in the middle. This is how we make the chain.

TDO15

Step 3:

TDO16

Step 4:

TDO17

Step 5:

Continue with this pattern – here in this step, three rows have been completed.

TDO18

We keep adding units in the same fashion to make a long chain of about 88 rows..

TDO19

Here are the units connected and the dragon body is made. For this model, I’ve used A4 sheets – 1/16 units and went with 88 rows as it seemed proportional to the size of the dragon head.

You can make it even more longer if you’d like.

TDO20

The body has used up 176 blue and 262 yellow units.

Step 6:

To connect the head and the body, flip the head and insert two inverted blue units near the eyes as shown.

TDO21

Step 7:

Insert the body to these inverted units  – press gently so the units don’t get folded and yet firmly so they hold together well.

TDO22

Bend the dragon body gently in the shape shown (like a roller coaster!) in the first and last images of this tutorial.

Dragon Legs:

Step 1:

We will make four legs for the dragon (this is optional for the model). Each leg is made in the pattern shown below with 5  blue units.

TDO23

Step 2:

Connect the legs to the body.

TDO24

The completed mini origami dragon!

TDO25b

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. Hey! This is great!! I tried making it and came across a little problem. The body of my dragon keeps on breaking and I am not able to curve it. Please, help me with it .

      • Thanks!:)
        I tried doing that but it is still falling apart. I have used pastel sheets which is slightly thicker than normal paper. Do you think that can be a problem?