Origami Lion Love

Touch the soft huge paws of a lion, tremble as you hear it roar! Brush the long thick mane, place a crown upon his head. Embrace this strong and regal creature!

The lion symbolizes strength, honor, courage, royalty, and leadership.

For many of us not living in Africa or Asia, a lion -like an elephant too, is a thing of fable, lore, movies or zoo. But no matter how we might have experienced this incredible creature, the lion is universally recognized as one of the great icons of the animal kingdom.

The origami lion presented here was created by my friend Nick Robinson (UK) in tribute to Cecil, a lion that was needlessly killed in Zimbabwe by a recreational hunter.

Nick has posted diagrams for this lion on his website and has generously allowed me to show it in a video as well –Thank you Nick!

My step sequence in the video is a little different than is shown in Nick’s diagrams, and I’ve also demonstrated how to narrow the tail and make a tuft of hair at its tip. When you’re all done, you’ll see that there is more than one way to make a lion ;-)

As you make this delightful origami lion you will notice that one of the steps in making the head shows the shape of a heart. That’s “Origami Lion Love” right there, in action!

Tips and suggestions for making the origami lion

  • In the video, the lion is demonstrated using “Kami” paper, a thin paper made specially for origami.
  • A good size paper to learn the model is one that’s 6×6-inch (15×15cm)
  • Many papers can be used to make this origami lion. I made it with using the paper from a brown bag, which I colored on one side using this technique.
  • The finished paper lion shows both sides of the paper. One color creates the mane; the other is for the rest of the body.


“LOVE is a four-legged word”

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Here is a list of many other origami animals you find here at Origami Spirit


8 thoughts on “Origami Lion Love”

  1. Hola Leyla : Se que andas muy ocupada, hace poco llego una imagen a mi correo por Facebook… Pues me gusto mucho por tu trabajo, más, la imagen la tomé como una representación del símbolo de Independiente Santa Fe, claro que no hay leones rojos pero de lógica se pude realizar ; ahora, ¿ cómo harías la camiseta del mismo equipo ? . Gracias por tu tiempo, deseándote mucha más prosperidad y salud. atte ABESCA

    • Hola Absalón, me alegra que te guste el león. Me encantaría ayudarte con una idea sobre cómo hacer la camiseta en origami del equipo Santa Fe, pero la verdad es que no tengo idea cómo hacerla. Si se me ocurre algo o veo una idea que te sirva lo comparto contigo. Gracias por tu interés.

  2. I’d been wanting the directions for this lion since I saw it on your yearly video journal of your year’s work. Thanks so much. My nephew loves lions and has been asking me for a lion. Now I have a great one. Thanks. Jeannie Comcowich

  3. I simply love this lion! After I finished folding it, I fell in love with it!! This is a very adorable piece of origami and I loved it! Thanks for the amazing videos Leyla!!!


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