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Decorating Paper to fold Butterflies

Decorating Paper to fold Butterflies post image

There are different ways to color paper for origami. The paper used to make these striking origami butterflies was colored onion skin paper, which is originally white (it is also strong, thin, crisp, translucent and folds easily). This particular model is called Origamido Butterfly and it was designed by Michael LaFosse.

Video: demonstration on how to fold a very similar butterfly designed by Michael LaFosse.  On that page look for a link on the top right corner where it says “fold more models” . You will land on a page where you will find a picture of a blue butterfly. Click on it to see the tutorial.

Steps to decorate the paper:

  • Place one or more squares of clean onion skin paper over a larger piece of white paper on a hard surface.
  • Sprinkle crayon shavings on each square to be folded.
  • Place another piece of paper over the shavings.
  • Melt the crayon shavings onto the onion skin paper by lightly passing a warm iron for a couple of seconds seconds over the papers.
  • Separate the pieces of paper.
  • Use the colored squares to make butterflies.



Photos © Leyla Torres.
Origamy Buterfly created by Michael LaFosse,  folded by Leyla Torres.
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • evi April 16, 2012, 11:30 am

    thank you very much, leyla! what a beautiful idea!

    i wonder, if i can get onion skin paper in germany and if so, what it is called here.

  • Tasha February 22, 2011, 8:47 pm

    great thank you i will get the book, yours look amazing :) :), do you colour both sides of your paper or just one?


    • Leyla Torres February 22, 2011, 8:54 pm

      I folded and unfolded one. Then I studied the Crease Pattern. If I remember correctly, I think I applied color on one side of the paper for the wings and on the other side for the area of the body.

      What I recommend is that you fold one for a test. Once folded, color the visible areas with a color pencil, then unfold. Observe what sides and areas of the paper show where. Color your final piece of paper following the general pattern you dicover. Then fold it into the butterfly. I hope this helps.

  • Tasha February 22, 2011, 7:05 pm

    Hi there

    Great butterflys, do you have a link to a turtorial to make the exact same butterflys? the LaFosse ones are squarer at the bottom


  • ykansaki January 30, 2011, 10:51 pm

    do you have a link for the tutorial to make the above butterflies?

    • Leyla Torres January 30, 2011, 11:00 pm

      Pleas read the text and link below the photo of the six butterflies.

  • mari September 18, 2010, 3:07 am

    quiciera saver como aser los origamis

  • Ancella September 15, 2010, 9:10 pm

    Hi Leyla,
    These are truly lovely butterflies and ur idea on using onion paper is great! I wanted to share with you one other idea that I have used in my work – spray painting. I tried it out on a modular piece which I have hung at home, now. The paper does get wet a bit too much, but it’s nothing that some sunshine cannot cure. :)

    This is the link to my spray painted model. It is actually not pure origami and involves cutting ;) but nevertheless, here it is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiancy/4872000555/

    – Ancella

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