How to Make an Origami Rooster

An Origami model titled "Origami Roodster." A design of Leyla Torres.

We can now say goodbye to the Chinese year of the monkey and celebrate the Year of the Red Rooster (January 28, 2017 – February 15, 2018)

To celebrate this New Year, I’ve designed an origami rooster, which is a close relative of an origami hen presented on a previous post, but this rooster features a feathery tail.

The term in Chinese is more generic and applies to barnyard fowl of either sex. It is translated into English as Cock or Chicken as well, so you can make a hen or a chicken and be perfectly prepared for the celebration.

The Rooster is tenth in the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac. People born in the years 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 are born under the sign of the Rooster.

The Rooster is symbolic of fidelity and punctuality. For our ancestors, who had no alarm clocks, the crowing of the rooster was the way people woke up to start their working day.

The following step-by-step video shows how to make this origami rooster, which can lift its beak and crow, and it is also an origami container, making it perfect to use as a treat container for Easter.

YouTube player

Tips and suggestions for making the origami rooster

  • In the video the rooster is demonstrated using Kami paper.
  • A good paper size to learn this model would be 6×6-inch (15×15cm)
  • The finished paper rooster shows two sides of the paper. For best effect, use paper of red color on one side and different color on the other side.

Are you a teacher? Hens and chickens have been protagonists of many fables and children’s stories such as The Little Red Hen, a traditional tale, and Hattie and the Fox by Mem Fox, a particular favorite of mine. In the classroom, you can use an origami hen to narrate and illustrate one of those tales.

Here are suggestions for items that can be used to fill this origami rooster:

chocolate mini-eggs  •  jelly beans  •  m&ms  •  dried beans or rice  •  beads  •  buttons  •  felt eggs  •  tiny pebbles  •  dried petals  •  dried lavender flowers  •  dried herbs  •  confetti

Read other articles featuring chickens and hens you can use to celebrate the Year of the Rooster:

Make a Prosperity Hen This is related in design to this rooster but easier and faster to make. Make this origami hen first as practice to make the rooster.

Hen – Gallina

Prosperity Hens Fill a dozen of origami hens with rice and make a strand of prosperity hens.

Ten-Second Party Fortune For a party or special occasion, write fortune messages and fashion them as tail feathers of this hen. Each guest selects a feather, opens it, and reads the auspicious message aloud.


Little chicks to go with rooster and hen  You can make these perfect chicks as company for the hen. Use square paper whose side is half or a third of the one you used for the hen.


Videos for Origami Boxes and Containers

Videos for Making Origami Animals

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8 thoughts on “How to Make an Origami Rooster”

  1. Thank you for this beautiful tutorial, Leyla!

    I’m wondering where I can get the red and black paper that you have for the finished rooster photo? It is so striking!

    You are truly amazing!

    Debora Crosby

  2. Dear Leila, my Englishn is not very good, but I will told you than i appreciate your videos and to go and sea your site. Thanks for all what you do for all people who love origami like me . Tanks too, to partage your models!. Have a good new year for you and all your famillu and Coco as well !.
    See you !

    • Thank you Annette for your warm words of appreciation. Don’t worry about your English… I’m a forever student of this language.
      You can always write in Spanish. We welcome all languages here!

  3. Hi Leyla,
    I love getting your new ideas from Origami Spirit! I have made the hen a while back. The pair looks so nice together! I have a special shelf for my Origami. I love adding to it.
    I will have to take a photo of it and show you.
    John, you did a good job with the rooster call. You made him come alive! So funny!


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