This very decorative origami vase is an intermediate level project that should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. If you do not have any prior origami experience, it may take you a bit longer. Be patient and read each step through before attempting it. Only move on to the next step when you are sure that all previous steps have been correctly completed. It is crucial that all edges and points meet evenly and accurately.

One of the wonderful aspects of origami is that you do not usually need a lot of supplies or equipment in order to begin folding. For this model, all you need is a square of paper, a pencil, a ruler, and a good work surface. Practice your model with any paper you happen to have on hand. Your model will fold more accurately and attractively, however, if you use paper that is at least as heavy as the standard sheet of copy paper. Once you have folded your vase a few times, then move on to special colored or patterned papers for your final display version.

You have to work on the right type of surface in order to produce an accurately folded model. Folding against a surface that is hard, flat, and stable will help you line up edges and points evenly and make the sharpest creases possible. A table works best, but a floor or hardback book will also work. Run a pencil or ruler edge (or similar) over each crease as you work to make each one even sharper.

- Place a square of paper onto your work surface so that its edges are facing up and down, left and right.
- Use a pencil and ruler to divide the square into thirds, both vertically and horizontally. The result should be 9 equal squares lightly drawn onto the paper.
- Bring the left edge of the model over to the right vertical line. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the right edge of the model over to the left vertical line. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the bottom horizontal line. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the bottom edge of the model up to meet the upper horizontal line. Crease and unfold. The result should be crease lines that run along the lines you drew in Step 2.
- Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the first vertical crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the right edge of the model over to meet the first vertical crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the first horizontal crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the bottom edge of the model up to meet the first horizontal crease line you come to. Crease and unfold. The result should be a paper that has been divided into 36 squares by the crease lines made in previous steps.
- Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the first vertical crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the right edge of the model over to meet the first vertical crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the first horizontal crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the bottom edge of the model up to meet the first horizontal crease line you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the second crease line in from the right edge. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the right edge of the model over to meet the second crease line in from the left edge. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the second crease line in from the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.
- Bring the bottom edge up to meet the second crease line in from the top edge. Crease and unfold. The result is a greater concentration of squares at the center and along the edges of the model.
- Locate the third vertical crease lines in from the left and right edges of the model. Reverse these existing crease lines by folding the left and right edges of the model to the back. Re-crease and unfold. These new creases should be sticking up from the model a bit.
- Repeat Step 20 for the top and bottom edges of the model.
- Grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward so that the creases made in Step 19 meet along the model’s center vertical crease line. Press the model flat. Rotate the model 180 degrees to the left so that its short edges are facing to the left and right
- As you did in Step 20, grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward so that the creases made in Step 19 meet along the center vertical crease line. This step may take a little manipulation to accomplish. The result will be 4 square flaps at the top of the model. Turn the model over.
- Position the model so that the pleated strip with the square flap its center is situated vertically. Two small pleated strips should extend horizontally at either side.
- Bring the upper left point of the vertical pleated strip down so that the left half of the strip’s upper edge comes to lie along its vertical center crease line. Crease and unfold. Repeat for the strip’s upper right point.
- Open up the pleated strip’s top edge a bit and push in at the upper left and right points. The strip’s top edge will come down to form a point that lies flat and the left and right points will meet. The result will be a diamond-shaped flap. Press flat.
- Repeat Steps 24 and 25 for the remaining three pleated strip edges. Turn the model over. Once again, the top layer of the model is composed of four square flaps.
- Bring the top right point of the upper left square down and to the left to meet the first intersection of horizontal and vertical crease lines you come to. Crease and unfold.
- Rotate the model to the left and repeat Step 27. Repeat until the interior top points of all the squares have been created in a similar fashion.
- Bring the left edge of the model in to meet the vertical centerline. Crease and leave folded. Repeat for the right edge.
- Bring the top edge of the model down towards the center of the model and tuck each corner into the pockets created in Step 29. Repeat for the bottom edge. The result will be a square-shaped model with four diamond shapes that meet at its center.
- Locate each of the four points that lie between the four-diamond shapes. These points meet at the center of the model.
- Turn each of the four points under, between the layers of the model. Press flat. The space created by turning under these points will be diamond-shaped.
- Look at the model’s top layer. This is the opening of the vase and it should remain this way throughout the steps that follow. Turn the model over.
- Locate the square that lies at the center of the model. This will be the vase’s bottom
- Open up the folds of the model around the square to re-form the pleated strips created in prior steps. To accomplish this you will have to open up the vase. Take care not to alter any portion of the vase’s opening.
- Open up the vase all the way. The finished vase should have a square top with a diamond shaped opening. A pleated strip should extend from each side of the square down to meet at the bottom. The area in between each pleated strip should be pushed in toward the center of the vase.
- Insert a finger through the vase’s opening and into one of the corners of its square-shaped top. Open up the corner a bit so it is not flat. Repeat for the remaining three corners to complete the vase.