Butterflies are a very popular thing to fold out of paper. Just like in real life you can use all kinds of different colours of paper to make all kinds of different colours of butterflies.

In this post we’re going to take a look at some of our favourite origami butterflies.

First up are these two beautiful specimens from Hiroaki Kobayashi.  The paper he used looks very soft and realistic.

Two Butterflies folded by Hiroaki Kobayashi
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kobashi_san/32971924091/

Butterflies Designed by Kanoko9 and Folded by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Partial photo diagrams available from Kanoko9’s website

 

Here’s a few more excellent butterflies from Sérgio Queiroz. I have to say that I quite like that chunk of wood they’re sitting on in the photo.

Three Origami Butterflies
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/72702384@N08/33877515196/

Butterflies, Designed by Hideo Komatsu and Folded by Sérgio Queiroz

Diagrams available in the JOAS 2017 Special Issue

 

These two incredibly colourful butterflies are wet folded. That’s how you get those very nice curved folds in the centre.

Rainbow Butterflies
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mauricioflorezorigami/34609896341/

Designed and Folded by Mauricio Flórez

Instructions not available

 

This species is called an Alexander Swallowtail. This one also uses some very beautiful soft and feathery looking paper.

Alexander Swallowtail
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/26705807366/

Alexander Swallowtail, Designed by Michael LaFosse and Folded by uschi mitzkat

Diagrams available in Origami Butterflies

 

Here’s the same model folded by a different artist with very different colours. Gonzalo always takes such great looking photos.

Blue Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79001419@N06/7370028592/

Alexander Swallowtail, Designed by Michael LaFosse and Folded by Gonzalo

Diagrams available in Origami Butterflies

 

Here’s a bit of a more complex design with a really fantastic colour change on the body.

Paper Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/never-die/34634853491/

Designed and Folded by 簡單的度過-2

Instructions not available

 

This design is really cool and as you can see in the photo on the right, all the legs and lots of other details are folded underneath the wings. The lighting in the photo is really awesome too.

Lit Up Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/56997154@N06/34885410216/

Butterfly NS 2.0, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by Nguyen Nam Son

Crease pattern available from Mdanger217’s Flickr

 

Here’s a really great design from Do Anh Tu that’s much less complex.

Do Anh Tu's Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/131602442@N08/34913222721/

Butterfly v1.0, Designed and Folded by Do Anh Tu

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another great design that has some really nice colour changes when you use two coloured paper to fold it.

Quentin Trollip's Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12043525@N04/8235134255/

Peace Butterfly, Designed and Folded by Quentin Trollip

Diagrams available in the AEP convention 2013 book

 

Tomasz Krawczyk designed this great origami butterfly.

Origami Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/120745382@N02/33257151923/

Designed and Folded by Tomasz Krawczyk

Instructions not available

 

Here are two more beautiful looking Alexander Swallowtails.

Two Alexander Swallowtails
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/33353348494/

Alexander Swallowtail, Designed by Michael LaFosse and Folded by uschi mitzkat

Diagrams available in Origami Butterflies

 

Here’s another really great design from origami master Satoshi Kamiya.

Butterfly TH
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/never-die/8413732078/

Butterfly TH, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by 簡單的度過-2

Crease pattern available from folders.jp

 

This next one is technically a moth but it still looks really great so I’m going to allow it in this post.

Mudarri Luna Moth
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79001419@N06/8192024753/

Mudarri Luna Moth, Designed by Michael Lafosse and Folded by Gonzalo

Diagrams available in Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies

 

The painted paper used to fold this butterfly really gives it a unique and beautiful look.

Painted Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95620469@N02/17367503680/

Origamido Butterfly, Designed by Michael G. LaFosse and Folded by Andrea Borsa (Paper painting by Hilli Zenz)

Diagrams available in Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies

 

This one uses a tessellation pattern for the wings which gives it a very unique look. The legs, antennae and other details are really great too.

The whole thing is folded from a single 70cm x 70cm square of paper.

Tessellation Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiru/7955657804/

Butterfly op.28 № 12 (version 3), Designed and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another really great design that uses a colour change to the wings and the body are different colours with double sided paper.

Colour Change Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/55687485@N06/12114906685/

Designed by Nguyễn Hùng Cường and Folded by Magali

Diagrams available in VOG 2: Origami.vn

 

This is another really great design and it looks quite vibrant with that green paper.

Green Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edg82/33842046905/

Spring Green, Designed and Folded by Magali

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another masterfully designed origami butterfly from Quentin Trollip.

Quentin Trollip's Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/12043525@N04/14077379003/

Designed and Folded by Quentin Trollip

Instructions not available

 

Next we have a really awesome butterfly that’s folded out of money. The photograph is really awesome too.

Money Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ryukopein1991/33592533013/

Butterfly, Designed and Folded by Lê Danh

Instructions not available… Yet

 

Here are three excellent butterflies all from the same book, Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies. It’s really one of the best origami books you can get if you’re looking for butterfly instructions.

3 More Butterflies
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/5690029262/

Temko Butterfly, Alice Grey Butterfly and Joyce Rockmore Butterfly All Designed by Michael LaFosse and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Diagrams available in Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies

 

I really like how the paper used in this next one is a little bit transparent so you see through the wings a little bit.

Transparent Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/altaix/14408392621/

Designed by Nguyễn Hùng Cường and Folded by Анатолий Кириченко

Diagrams available in VOG 2: Origami.vn

 

Here’s another fantastic and unique butterfly design. The shiny blue paper looks really nice too.

Bluedandelion Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bluedandelion95/6854124694/

Designed by 目黑俊幸 and Folded by Origami bluedandelion

Instructions not available

 

Here’s a beautiful looking butterfly photographed out in the wild. Adriano Davanzo always takes great photos out in nature.

Wild Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/-adri79-/27129675634/

Designed by Robert J. Lang and Folded by Adriano Davanzo

Diagrams available in Origami Insects II

 

The colour changes in this design make for some pretty nice results no matter what coloured paper you use.

2 Origami Butterflies
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79001419@N06/7426427266/

Butterfly for Yamaguchi, Designed by Michael Lafosse and Folded by Gonzalo

Diagrams available in Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies

 

You can’t really see them in this photo but this butterfly has 6 legs on the bottom.

White Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pauliusorigami/4365503972/

Butterfly 1.1, Designed and Folded by Paulius Mielinis

Crease pattern available from Paulius Mielinis’ Flickr

 

This next one is folded from unryu paper that’s been painted with acrylic.

Painted Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edg82/12444618534/

Designed by Nguyễn Hùng Cường and Folded by Edgar

Diagrams available in VOG 2: Origami.vn

 

Hoàng Tiến Quyết has an awesome butterfly design with his trademarked curvy style.

HTQ's Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tadashiorigami/7503681174/

Designed by Hoàng Tiến Quyết and Folded by Tadashi Mori

Crease pattern available from Photobucket

 

Here’s another one of Michael Lafosse’s excellent butterflies.

Paper Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/1000cranes/9476810437/

Butterfly for Yamaguchi, Designed by Michael Lafosse and Folded by Herman Mariano

Diagrams available in Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies

 

Here’s another elaborate design from Andrey Ermakov.

Op.25 Butterfly
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/origamiru/4862794275/

Butterfly op.25 (vers.2), Designed and Folded by Andrey Ermakov

Instructions not available

 

I really like this final image. P. Colman folded a whole bunch of Michael Lafosse’s butterflies with 15 cm squares of several different kinds of beautiful paper. Then he stuck them in a case with pins just like an entomologist would do with a collection of real butterflies.

If you don’t look close you could easily mistake these for actual real butterflies.

Butterfly Case
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pcolman/21389227879/

Butterflies, Designed by Michael Lafosse and Folded by P. Colman

Diagrams for each of these are available in Michael LaFosse’s Origami Butterflies

 

Which one of these origami butterflies was your favourite? Let us know in the comments. If you’ve ever folded a paper butterfly yourself definitely post a photo in the comments as well!