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 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 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 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 purchased from This produced a snail that is 10cm (4in) long from end to end. It takes about 20 minutes to make.


Diagrams for the Snail

Sara Adams has produced a video tutorial on this model with Shiri’s permission. This is available on her website. As it’s one of Sara’s earliest origami videos, it wasn’t made to the excellent standard of her later ones, but it’s still useful.

If you have folded this model before, or if you liked the video, please feel free to get in contact, either by commenting below, or find me on Instagram or Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

A review of Daniel Shiri's Snail model. Includes what it's like to fold, some recommendations on paper choice, and a link to the instruction video.