Accordion Paper Folding Projects

By Mackenzie Wright ; Updated September 15, 2017

The accordion fold is one of the most basic folds to master for those seeking to learn paper-folding arts and crafts, such as origami. Even children can learn it, though it takes practice even for an adult to perfect it. The accordion-folding technique is versatile; it can be applied to a number of crafts and projects for vastly different results.

Accordion Fold

If you've ever seen an accordion, you probably have an idea of what the accordion fold looks like. To do this fold, you must make one fold along a paper from one end to the other, then move up the paper a little further and make a second fold in the opposite direction. Repeat the folds going in alternating directions as much as desired. The trick to an excellent accordion fold is even spacing between folds, straight fold lines and sharp creases so the fold holds.


You can use any kind of paper to make a fan: typing paper, construction paper, card stock or notebook paper. Accordion-fold the fan across an entire sheet of paper. The fold lines should be spaced about 1/2 inch to an inch apart. Once the entire paper is folded, staple or tape the bottom so that you can fan out the top part of the fold. These crafts can be decorated for Chinese New Year celebrations, or enjoyed in hot summer outdoor parties and festivals to help keep people cool.

Bouncy Snake

You can make an adorable snake with the accordion fold, according to family craft website DTLK. Make a snake head out of construction paper and attach it to a long accordion-folded strip. Children can decorate and play with these craft projects, or the projects can be hung and used for educational purposes.

Small Book

The ancient Mayans made holy books called "codices," which were booklets made by accordion-folding long strips of paper. You can use this Mayan technique to make a book in which you can write your memories, have a child draw a series of pictures, decorate like a scrapbook or use for special messages to send to friends. There is no specific regulation of how far to space the folds, but it should be about the width of a small book or greeting card. Decorate the cover and tie the finished product together with a ribbon.