A little while ago someone suggested that I make a post all about origami jerboas. I’ve seen a few jerboas out there but not enough for an entire post. It did however give me the idea to make a desert themed post since jerboas are found in desert environments.

There are a lot of different types of animals and insects found in deserts and there are good origami versions of many of them. So in this post we’re going to take a look at some amazing animals, insects, lizards and plants found in desert environments.

Starting off we of course have a fantastic jerboa design by Tran Trung Hieu. I really love how it looks like it’s in mid jump.


Jerboa, Designed and Folded by Tran Trung Hieu

Diagrams available in VOG 2: Origami.vn – Follow Tran Trung Hieu on Flickr or Facebook


Shuki Kato designed this Bactrian Camel and it’s probably the most popular camel design that I’ve seen. Here Xu Daniel has probably folded the smallest version of this model I’ve seen too.

Tiny Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Xu Daniel

Diagrams available in Origami Nature Study


A desert themed post is the perfect opportunity to include some cacti and here are two very beautiful looking ones.


Cactus, Designed by Andrea Borsa and Everlasting, Designed by Riccardo Colletto, both Folded by Andrea Borsa

Cactus instructions not available, Everlasting instructions available in Pajarita Magazine #100


Camel spiders are quite similar to both scorpions and spiders but they’re technically not either. They are found in desert environments though and this one looks absolutely incredible! It’s folded from a single uncut piece of paper too.

Camel Spider

Camel Spider, Designed and Folded by Maeng Heung Gue

Crease pattern available from Maeng Heung Gue’s Flickr


Lizards are definitely found in deserts and this one looks fantastic. Chris Heynen’s lizard is a pretty popular design and this one is folded very well. With the choice of paper used here too it looks like it would be right at home in a desert environment.


Lizard, Designed by Chris Heynen and Folded by J.W Park

Diagrams available in COS 2015


This incredible cobra is folded from a single rectangle shaped piece of paper and must take forever to fold.

Devil Cobra

Devil Cobra, Designed and Folded by Kade Chan (Photo by Chris Hui)

Video instructions available from Kade Chan’s YouTube channel


Dung Beetles are another insect commonly found in deserts and here’s a fantastic one. These insects always impress me with how realistic they look and the little ball here is a nice addition although it is a second piece of paper.

Dung Beetle

Dung Beetle, Designed and Folded by Nguyen Ngoc Thanh

Crease pattern available from Nguyen Ngoc Thanh’s Flickr


Here’s Shuki Kato’s Bactrian Camel design again folded by a different designer. You can really see all the details here and the metallic finish on the paper looks amazing.

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Jaran Darra

Diagrams available in Origami Nature Study


This is another fantastic looking insect found in deserts called a Whip Scorpion. The whole thing is folded from a single uncut square of paper.

Whip Scorpion

Whip Scorpion, Designed and Folded by Derek McGann

Instructions not available


Rattlesnakes are found in desert environments so this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase this incredible model. This is a rattlesnake and an AR-15 rifle all folded from the same square of paper with no cuts! It uses paper with a different colour on each side and you get those different coloured diamonds, tail and gun. This is an absolutely amazing design and it took 10-12 hours to fold!

Rattlesnake and AR-15

Diamondback Rattlesnake and AR-15, Designed and Folded by Jared Needle

Instructions not available


Here’s a different Jerboa design photographed out in an actual desert. Adriano Davanzo always has such fantastic photos.


Jerboa, Designed by Yery J. Astrona and Folded by Adriano Davanzo

Diagrams available in the 22nd Tanteidan Convention Book


Next is easily one of the best origami scorpions I’ve ever seen and it’s even better photographed in this whole desert scene.


Scorpion, Designed by Kota Imai and Folded by P. Colman

Crease pattern available in Young Origami Creators Seminar Research Note Vol. 2


Here’s another very awesome snake design. It’s folded from a single square of paper and if you look closely you’ll see it loops back through itself which is really cool.


Snake, Designed by Satoshi Kamiya and Folded by loganorigami

Instructions not available


Gen Hagiwara’s Frilled Neck lizard is one of my all-time favourite origami models. One day I hope to fold this myself but I’ve seen the instructions and they still look a bit intimidating for my current skill level. This one looks really fantastic.

Frilled Neck Lizard

Frilled Neck Lizard, Designed by Gen Hagiwara and Folded by Kyoung Su Kim

Diagrams available in Spirits of Origami


This incredible looking cactus was photographed at a convention in 2015. Believe it or not this is folded from a single square of paper and it must take a ton of time to fold all those individual spikes.


Cactus Opus 680, Designed and Folded by Robert J. Lang (Photo by Michelle Fung)

Crease pattern available from Robert J. Lang’s website


Here’s another absolutely incredible scorpion. Unless you look really closely you can’t really tell that it’s made out of paper, it’s that real looking! It’s also folded from a single uncut square of paper.


Scorpion, Designed and Folded by Maeng Heung Gue

Instructions not available


Here’s another fantastic take on that Bactrian Camel model. I kind of expected that there would be more camel designs out there. This one is certainly popular which makes sense since it’s such an excellent design.

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Pan Hang

Diagrams available in Origami Nature Study


This is another incredible snake that’s folded from a single piece of paper. This one was photographed at a convention.


Cobra, Designed by Ronald Koh and Folded by Romain Pauchet

Instructions not available


Here we have a cute little road runner that’s folded from a regular old Frog Base. This is an updated version of a design from 11 years earlier that you can see in the upper right of the image.

Road Runner

Road Runner, Designed and Folded by Terry Nicolas

Instructions not available


Fernando Castellanos also folded Shuki Kato’s camel and did a fantastic job. The paper used here is absolutely perfect.

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Fernando Castellanos

Diagrams available in Origami Nature Study


This next model is mind blowing and I’ve been waiting for a post to include it for a long time. This desert themed post is perfect since some quails are found in desert environments and also it wouldn’t be uncommon to find a skeleton like this in a desert either.

Quail Skeleton

Quail Skeleton, Designed and Folded by Kei Watanabe

Instructions not available


Here we have one of the very few other camel designs I’ve seen out there. It’s an excellent design that uses one uncut square of paper.

Dromedary Camel

Dromedary Camel, Designed and Folded by bodorigami

Instructions not available


Here’s another incredible origami scorpion that you could easily mistake for the real thing. This one is also folded from a single uncut piece of paper.


Scorpion, Designed and Folded by Maeng Heung Gue

Instructions not available


When I saw this model I knew I had to include it in this post. These lizards run across the desert and alternate which feet touch the ground to try and cool them down. I love how that’s incorporated into this design and it looks like it’s running across the ground. The model is actually balanced so it stands up perfectly like this on its own.

Blue Desert Lizard

Blue Desert Lizard, Designed by Andrey Ermakov and Folded by Dzmitry Lysiuk

Instructions not available


Here’s another excellent little jerboa that looks quite cute.


Jerboa, Designed by Tran Trung Hieu and Folded by Vít Masopust

Diagrams available in VOG 2: Origami.vn


Certain species of tortoises are found in desert areas so here’s a beautiful looking one folded from a single 40cm x 40cm square of paper.


Tortoise, Designed by Nguyen Hung Cuong and Folded by Guillermo R. Parrondo

Diagrams available in VOG 2: Origami.vn


These are technically “magic balls” but uschi mitzkat turned them into a gorgeous little cactus garden.

Cactus Garden

Magic Balls, Designed by Yuri Shumakov and Folded by uschi mitzkat

Video instructions available from Jo Nakashima’s YouTube channel


Here’s one more folders excellent take on that Bactrian Camel design.

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel, Designed by Shuki Kato and Folded by Vít Masopust

Diagrams available in Origami Nature Study


This is another fantastic scorpion design that’s folded out of a pretty small sheet of paper. The paper must get pretty thick and difficult to fold when folding so small.


Scorpion Version 2.0, Designed by Kota Imai and Folded by Xu Daniel

Crease pattern available in Young Origami Creators Seminar Research Note Vol. 2


Our final model for this post is P. Colman’s incredible take on Ronald Koh’s King Cobra. This is folded from a single 5″ x 150″ sized rectangle of paper. This really has to be incredibly time consuming to fold and the face looks especially awesome.

King Cobra

King Cobra, Designed by Ronald Koh and Folded by P. Colman

Instructions not available


What did you think about all these desert origami models? Let us know which one is your favourite in the comments!

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