Origami bases are often the starting point of models and projects.  The Bird Base is probably the most famous and widely used of the traditional bases that are used in both traditional and more modern origami design.  Although it gets its name from the flapping bird and the crane that you can make from this base, it has been used as the base for many different animals in traditional origami design. This is because it has four large flaps and a small one. These large flaps lend themselves well to creating legs as well as wings.

The crease pattern for the Bird Base occurs frequently as a component in the design for much more complicated origami designs. It is worthwhile everyone becoming familiar with it even when they are just starting out, so that as their skill level improves, they will be able to recognise and fold this common element in complicated designs. There are a large number of complicated models that have not been diagrammed but crease patterns for them have been made available on the internet. Learning some of the ‘building blocks’ that make up these crease patterns when someone is just starting out will help them develop the confidence needed for recreating and folding these more complex models later.

Completed Bird BaseBird Base Crease Pattern

Bird Base Diagrams

StepDiagram
1. Start with a Preliminary FoldA completed Preliminary Fold
2. Fold and unfold the raw edges of the top flaps to the centre lineFold the edges to the centre line
3. Fold the top triangle down and unfoldFold the top down and unfold
4. Petal fold the top layerPetal fold the top layer
5. Completed petal foldCompleted Petal Fold
6. Turn the paper overTurn the paper over
7. Fold and unfold the raw edges of the top flaps to the centre lineFold the edges to the centre line
8. Fold the top triangle down and unfoldFold the top triangular flap down and unfold
Petal fold the top layerPetal fold the top layer
You have completed the Bird BaseCompleted Bird Base