How to Fold Origami Pages in an Old Book

By Jennifer Tolbert ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Ruler
  • Scissors
Origami made from pages in an old book adds a modern twist to this ancient craft.

Origami is traditionally linked with Japanese culture and thought to date back to the first century. The word "origami" is derived from Japanese words meaning to fold paper. Pages from old books can be upcycled to works of art when folded into origami. Birds are one of the most well-known origami shapes, as are stars, flowers, hearts and hats.


Trim the book page to a 6-inch square. Use your ruler to measure the page, and then trim. Include the part of the page you want included in the origami sculpture.

Fold the page diagonally, and open it up again. Turn the paper so it looks like a diamond and the fold runs vertically. Then, fold the two corners on the sides to the center line. The paper should resemble a kite shape. Repeat the step, folding the new corners to the center.

Flip the paper over, and fold the bottom point to match the top point. Then fold in half, and flip the paper sculpture so it is lying down on the work surface.

Find the inside triangle, and raise it up, then, flatten and crease it well. Reverse-fold the top half inch of this triangle to form a head.

Fold the sides of the triangles to make the wings; the pelican should sit up and rest on its wings.


Fold the book page in half vertically, and open it. Then fold it horizontally and keep it folded.

Fold the top corners to meet the center fold.

Fold the bottom edge of the top layer up to meet the base of the two triangles. Fold it up again to overlap the triangles.

Turn it over, and repeat Step 3.

Open the hat to shape it.


Origami made from old books can be used as gift tags, Christmas tree ornaments or decorations.

About the Author

Jennifer Tolbert currently resides in Magnolia, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University and a Master of Science from Texas A&M University. She has written several award-winning special sections as a marketing writer and is currently a special education teacher.