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Origami Ladybugs

Origami is a great activity that can keep kids engaged for hours! This guide will teach you a little about real ladybugs and how to make your own origami ladybugs!

When you finish your origami ladybug will look something like these. This is definitely a beginner origami project so don't worry if this is your first time making origami.

First, we have instructions with text and photos. Then, we have a video showing the same thing.

But first, some ladybug facts!

  • Ladybugs are actually beetles, meaning they have a hard outer shell

  • Ladybugs are garden friends! Ladybugs eat aphids, which can cause serious damage to plants. Having ladybugs around helps control aphid populations. In previous seasons in the Teaching Garden we have brought in ladybugs to help cut down on aphids on our tomato plants.

  • Ladybugs are both male and female contrary to what their name suggests. Their name originates from the middle ages in Europe when Aphids were destroying crops. Farmers asked the virgin Mary for help and it came in the form of ladybugs that ate all the aphids. The farmers then named them "our lady beetles" .

  • In many cultures, ladybugs are considered good luck!

  • Ladybugs have spots as a defense mechanism, the spots signal to predators (who may want to eat them) that they taste bad.

  • Ladybugs are also known to play dead to protect themselves from predators.

Origami is the art of paper folding and is typically associated with Japanese culture. The word origami actually comes from two Japanese words, “Oru” which means to fold, and “kami” which means paper. Origami has existed for about 2000 years, and originally was only done by the elite because paper was expensive and hard to come by. Origami also played a large role in traditional Japanese weddings. Since cranes mate for life, they are seen as a symbol of love. Additionally, it is believed that someone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will be blessed with either happiness, good luck, or the fulfillment of one wish by the gods. Origami paper cranes are sometimes given as wedding gifts or used as decoration in weddings.

Now let’s get to making some origami ladybugs!

First you will need to gather your materials. You will need...

  • A piece of 3x3 inch red paper. You can also cut a red piece of paper to these dimensions or you can also use white paper and color it red on both sides. I had paper that was already cut to 4x4 so that is what I used and it seemed to work just as well. I think any size paper that is square shaped will do.

  • Scissors

  • Black marker or pen (to make the spots)

  • Patience!

Step 1: Fold the paper on a diagonal, then unfold and cut along the crease.

You will end up with two triangular pieces that look something like this. Each triangle will make one lady bug so you can make two bugs from one piece of paper.

Step 2: Fold one of the triangles in half and unfold to make a crease down the middle.

Step 3: Fold each of the bottom corners up to the top corner along the middle crease.

Once you have done that on both sides, it should look like this.

Step 4: Next take each of the corners that you just folded up to the top and fold them down to the bottom.

Once you have done that on both sides it should look something like this. These will eventually be the ladybug's wings so we want them to be fairly close together.

Step 5: Next, fold the top corner down but not all the way down, leave a few centimeters of space between where we just folded the wings down.

Then unfold to reveal a crease. It should look something like this.

Step 6: Next fold down the top corner to the crease we just made to create a small triangle pointing down.

Step 7: Then, fold the top edge down to the same crease. It should look like this.

Step 8: Fold the top edge down to meet the wings. This will end up being the lady bug head.

Step 9: Now we will create the lady bug body shape. Fold in the corners on each side to create a roundish body. The picture shows this on one side, but you will do it on both sides.

Step 10: You will need to fold in the head a little more so that it is more narrow then the body. It should look something like this.

Step 11: Next, we want to give our lady bug a little more body, we will move the wings up and fold the underwings together a little to make it so our lady bug is a little more 3-D like.

Step 12: Ta-da! Now we have our ladybug shape (I actually ended up folding the head in a little more which you will see in the next picture, but you get the just!).

Step 13: Finally, use your black marker or pen to color in the head and make a few lady bug spots.

In case any of these instructions were a little complicated or hard to understand. We have also provided a video showing the same thing.

If you try to make these lady bugs send us a picture of your creation and it could be featured on a future post!

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