Today’s your lucky day: learn how to make pretty shamrock origami. It’s a great St. Patrick’s Day craft activity or a cute way to wish someone good luck before a big milestone.
We picked three different versions of shamrock origami, from a super simple version that even kids can do, to a very elaborate shamrock that’s sure to impress anyone who sees it.
Four-Heart Shamrock Origami
Source: By Origami Kawaii, “Heart Four Leaf Clover Origami Paper Tutorial” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnCQtQCXn4c)
Difficulty level: Easy
Use this simple origami tutorial to decorate a “Good Luck!” card or a St. Patrick’s Day poster. The instructions are similar to folding an origami heart—you just repeat the steps four times, then stick them on cardstock.
This is a relatively easy tutorial, since you can work with larger and heavier pieces of cardstock, and the shape is very forgiving and does not require a lot of precision. That’s why it’s good for older kids, or someone trying origami for the first time.
If you like, you can also attach the “leaves” to a stick or small branch (use a hot glue gun) and use it to decorate flower pots or give as gifts.
- Green craft paper (one side green, the other side white)
- Heavy cardstock
- Fold the paper in half, press down against the crease, and then unfold.
- Turn the paper and fold it in half again. Unfold. Your paper is now divided into four equal squares.
- Place the paper with the white side facing up. Fold the bottom half, aligning the edge of the paper with the middle crease. If your paper has a green and white side.
- Turn the paper over (with the green side facing up). Fold the bottom right corner towards the crease, forming a triangle. Do the same to the other side.
- Turn the paper again, so the white side faces up. Bring the right and left corners to the center.
- Now, carefully fold the top corner until it reaches the crease line.
- There are now two white triangles peeking out from the left and right sides. Fold these inward, and then fold the top part. Your paper should now resemble something like a heart. If it looks “pointy” adjust the edges so they look smoother – like the curves on a leaf.
- Make four of these green hearts and arrange them to look like a shamrock. Glue on heavy cardstock.
- If desired, cut or fold a stem for the shamrock.
3D Shamrock Origami
Source: By Easy Origami, “Four-Leaf Lucky clover / How to make / origami / Easy DIY” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4twJLFEaOxk)
Difficulty level: Medium
This origami tutorial only needs one sheet of paper to create a lovely, three-dimensional paper shamrock. It’s best to use a thin sheet of paper since you need to make sharp and crisp creases to get a good line.
Watch the video tutorial and follow the steps below. Don’t worry if your first attempts look a bit wobbly. Practice and patience make perfect!
- Green origami paper, cut into a perfect square (note: both sides should be green)
- Fold the paper in the center and press down against the crease.
- Unfold it and rotate, and fold in the center again. You now have two creases that form an “X.”
- Turn the paper over, and fold it in half lengthwise.
- Rotate the paper and fold it in half again. Your paper will now have creases that form an X pattern and a square pattern.
- Take the corners and push the paper inwards. Thanks to the creases you made, the paper will naturally “collapse” to form four triangles.
- Press the paper so it lays flat, to form one perfect triangle.
- Fold the paper in half. You will have a smaller triangle. One side will be “open” with several visible flaps, and the other side will be solid.
- Fold the triangle again, and unfold.
- Now, take the side that is solid or has no flaps, and fold it inward to make a small crease. You will create what is essentially the “stem” of the four-leaf shamrock. The width is entirely up to your preference.
- Hold the part of the paper with the stem. Then, open up the side with all the flaps, so that you have two on each side.
- Fold the flaps down. These will be the leaves of the shamrock. Open up each flap, and press against the crease, so that it looks like a curled leaf.
- Fold back the top corner of each leaf to give it a rounded, shamrock shape.
Origami Shamrock and Candy Dish
Source: By Russell @ Origami Expressions, “An Origami Shamrock: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” (https://origamiexpressions.com/origami-shamrock-happy-st-patricks-day)
This shamrock not only looks pretty, but it can also serve a practical purpose. The petals are deep enough to hold small candy, paperclips, and other knick-knacks.
You need to use thin and crisp paper that can hold its shape after being carefully creased. You can use origami paper or kami paper, or some kind of scrapbook paper. It should be cut into a perfect square – the ideal size is 9 x 9 inches, but you can also use 12 x 12 to make a bigger dish.
- Thin green paper cut into a square
Difficulty level: Expert
The video tutorial is fairly easy to follow and has both English and Spanish subtitles. The written instructions are below.
- Fold the paper in the center, and press against the crease. If you are using paper with a green and white side, the green side should be facing upwards.
- Unfold it and rotate, then fold in the center again. Your paper will now be divided into four perfect squares.
- Fold the paper towards the center crease, then rotate to do the other side.
- Rotate the paper and fold the other two sides towards the crease.
- Rotate the paper so that one of the corners faces you (like a diamond). Fold it upwards to form a triangle.
- Rotate and repeat.
- Gently pull against the corners to “release” the folds.
- Push against the folds so they collapse into little squares.
- Go to the upper left square. Fold the inner corner to form a crease that’s parallel to the center crease. Then, folder the lower right corner, and then fold the lower left-hand corner.
- Repeat the last step on the two other squares on the sides.
- For the remaining square (the stem) fold the corners inward to form two triangles.
- By now, you’ve formed the basic creases for both the leaves and the stems. Now it’s just a matter of pressing and pushing these creases to form the shape. The video tutorial will show how to “release” the shape—it’s actually easier than it sounds, once you actually see it done and try it yourself.
Why stop at shamrock? Just change the color of the paper, and they will look like a flower. Add other embellishments, like glitter or beads, and you can even use them to make paper bouquets or tree ornaments. Have fun!