Make an Origami Fox

Stuck on a train? In a traffic jam, or just whiling away the hours hanging out at home? Just beg, borrow (but don’t steal!) a sheet of A4 paper, and in a few minutes you’ll have a peculiar paper puppet that really talks (well, kinda) to amaze and amuse!

Paper-folding is an art form found all over the world. It’s a perfect way to make friends when you don’t share a spoken language. It’s also ideal when you need a bit of ‘me time’. Find a quiet corner, grab some paper and see what you can come up with.


Traditional Japanese origami always uses a piece of square paper.

No cutting is permitted.

Step 1:

Fold the top left corner down to the right. Unfold it and do the same with the bottom left corner, folding it up to the right. Unfold.

Step 2:

Now you’ll have a big X creased on the paper about two-thirds of the way up. Fold and unfold the uncreased rectangle a few times, scoring it with your fingernail each time. Tear it neatly so you have a square and a rectangle.


Step 3:

Fold the rectangle in half lengthways, in half again and in half one more time. You’ll now have a stick about 1 cm wide.


Step 4:

Fold all four corners of the square into the centre.

Step 5:

Turn the paper over. Now fold two adjacent corners into the centre. These will become the ears later.

Step 6:

Turn the paper over again. In the middle of the long edge, gently tear a 1 cm-wide hole. Carefully slide the stick into the hole, right up into the corner opposite.

Step 7:

Fold the left edge to the middle. Fold the right edge to the middle.



This fantastic little fox doesn’t have an official name, but Paku-Paku Kitsune is what many Japanese people call it. Kitsune means fox and Paku-Paku is an onomatopoeia, used to describe the flapping of an opening and closing mouth. (Hmmn I can think of a few humans that applies to, ed.)


Step 8:

Fold the diamond part in half. You need to press hard because you’re folding the stick too.



Step 9:

Turn your fox over. You’ll see two squares, each with a diagonal split. Put your thumb into one of the splits. Fold the inner, bottom corner onto the outer, upper corner. Do the same with the other square.

Your fox is finished! Gently move the stick up and down about half a centimetre to see it talk. (To hear it talk, it’s up to you to give it a voice.)

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Words: Matthew Dons. Illustration: Nolan Pelletier