An origami snail goes to buy a car….

Shiri Daniel's Origami Snail

…and the sales person asks “What are you looking for in a car?”
The snail says “I want a really fast car with big side doors so I can write a huge ‘S’ on each door”
“That’s a weird request” says the salesman. “Mind if I ask why?”
The snail replies “Because when I drive through town I want people to say ‘Look at that S-Car go!’ ”

About the Origami Snail

This model was a bit of a mystery to me – I had no idea who designed it. I was at a meeting of the London Origami group (part of the British Origami Society) and Larry Hart showed me how to make it. Thanks Larry!

Apparently the origami snail instructions he had were written in Hebrew though, so we couldn’t read the name of the designer. Since then though, I’ve found out that this snail is by Shiri Daniel.

Folding the Origami Snail

One of the things I like about this Snail is that it’s made from a Bird Base. Countless origami models have been created and from time to time you hear origami people say that we must have more or less exhausted all possibilities from the classic bases by now. Despite this, people are still finding ways to use them to make new and interesting designs.

Like many of the models I feature on this site, this is an intermediate level design. That covers quite a range of models, so this is probably best described as low-intermediate. A bird base is a pretty simple thing to fold and most of the steps to make this snail aren’t that complicated, but some of the crimps to make the shell can be a bit fiddly towards the end. That said, anyone that can make a basic crane should be able to have a go at this snail.

Most types of paper work pretty well for this model. I’ve used kraft paper before now.  Standard origami paper (kami) is ok, but the usual 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) square is a little small.  I made the model in the picture above from a 24cm x 24cm (9.5in x 9.5in) square of biotope paper, cut from a 50cm x 50cm sheet from purchased from This produced a snail that is 10cm (4in) long from end to end. It takes about 20 minutes to make.

Origami Snail Instructions

Sara Adams has produced a video tutorial showing how to make this origami snail model with Shiri’s permission. She has recently remade this video, so the quality is excellent.  Sara’s video is available below. For other videos produced by Sara, see her website Happy Folding, or her YouTube Channel.

Get Involved

I’d love to hear your views on this origami snail model.  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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