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Origami Water Lily

24 September 2011

When I visited Japantown in San Francisco, I found an abundance of origami paper. At one of the stores I visited, I thought I purchased a set of handmade washi paper for a great price. It turns out, however, that the paper was more like a thin, colored, plastic-y butcher paper (obviously, I can’t read Japanese).

Instead of being disappointed in my purchase, I see it as a new challenge to use models that have tight folds. I made this origami water lily, also called an origami lotus, using three pieces of this new “paper.”

To make an origami water lily like the one pictured, you’ll need:

  • 3 pieces of square paper in three different sizes (I used paper that measured 4″, 3″ and 2″)
  • 1 brad (like the kind you purchase at an office supply store)


  1. Make three origami water lilies (see links below for instructions). I used purple, orange and yellow paper.
  2. Place the smallest flower in the medium-size one.
  3. Place the flowers in Step 2 in the largest one.
  4. Arrange the flowers to your liking.
  5. Carefully poke a hole in the center of the three flowers and insert the brad.

Note: You can use craft glue instead of a brad, and paste the flowers together.

  • Learn how to make your own origami water lily here (PDF file).
  • Fold along with this video:


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