Origami Fish Base

origami fish base

Origami bases are often the starting point of models and projects. The Origami Fish Base is one of a group of traditional bases that are used in both traditional and more modern origami design. It gets its name from the traditional origami fish that can be made from it. It is comprised of two long flaps joined to two short ones.

Origami Fish Base

Completed Fish BaseFish Base Crease Pattern

The Fish Base is basically two rabbit ear folds next to each other.  Although you are unlikely to see too many complete fish bases as elements in the crease patterns of more complex models, you will certainly see a lot of rabbit ear folds so it is worthwhile being able to recognise the crease pattern for this.  Some examples of origami models that use the fish base are the DolphinEaster Chick, and the Guy Fawkes mask.

It is worthwhile everyone becoming familiar with how to fold the origami fish base even when they are just starting out.  Then 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 are 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.

How to Fold a Fish Base

1. Start with a piece of square paper, white side upA square of paper, white side up
2. Fold the paper in half diagonally and unfoldFold and unfold, diagonally
3. Fold the other diagonal and unfold Fold and unfold second diagonal
4. Fold two adjoining edges to the centre line to form a kite shape and unfoldFold the edges in to form a kite shape
5. Fold the other two adjoining edges to the centre line and unfoldFold the other edges in to form a kite shape
6. Form a rabbit ear on one side, using the folds made in the last two stepsForm a rabbit ear
7. Repeat the process on the other sideForm a rabbit ear on the other side
8. Turn the model overTurn the paper over
9. Fold the top flap downFold the top down
You have completed the Fish BaseCompleted Fish Base

Get Involved

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the origami fish base.  What are other models have you folded that have used this base?  Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below, or you find can me on Instagram or Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards too!

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About the Author


Russell has been folding origami since he was 8 years old and has recently written the book, Origami Made Simple. He is on the Council for the British Origami Society and a member of OrigamiUSA. When he is not folding, he enjoys photography and traveling.

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