Origami Lion Mask, by Victoria Serova

Lion Mask

The model I’ve chosen for Day 9 of World Origami Days is an Origami Lion Mask by Victoria Serova.

Serova classes this as a complex model.  I think this is because some of the steps are a little fiddly (particularly those underneath the nose), rather than the inherent complexity of the folding sequence. For a complex model, the design is quite forgiving if the paper isn’t quite square by a millimetre or so.

I have folded Serova’s Lion Mask a number of times out of several different paper types.  The one in the picture is folded this out of a square of elephant hide paper, approximately 24cm x 24cm (9.5in x 9.5in) a side. 

I think elephant hide is a good paper choice – it gives the model a nice animal texture and the design benefits from a slightly thicker piece of paper. You could use kami, but it would look pretty lifeless and dull.  Something like lokta or foil paper would work, but the finished model would be unnecessarily fragile. I wouldn’t recommend paper much thicker than elephant hide.

It took about an hour to fold this origami lion face model, including cutting the paper to the size I wanted. I am reasonably pleased with the result. The nose is a bit too big – partly due to how I have folded it and partly because of the angle the photo is taken from, but overall I think the lion paper mask works.

As already noted, there are some fiddly folds underneath the nose that lock it in shape, and these might be difficult if the paper is too thick. For the same reason, I wouldn’t recommend using a paper any smaller than 20cm (7.8in) per side.  24cm x 24cm (9.5in x 9.5in) is a comfortable size and the final handmade lion mask model is about 15cm x 13cm (6in x 5in).

Wet-folding may work well for this design. Elephant hide paper is available from Origami Shop.

Origami Lion Mask Instructions

If you want to make your own lion mask, the diagrams for this model are in the British Origami Society Spring 2009 Convention Pack. This is available from BOS Supplies.

Difficulty: Complex

Paper Choice: Elephant hide

Time to fold: 1 hr, including time to prepare the paper

If you like this model, you may also like this Origami Lion.

Get Involved

I’d love to hear your views on this origami lion mask or any other cool animal masks.  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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