Here I’m going to show how to fold a simple vase using a pleating technique. I call it pleating because the shape is constructed by a series of mountain fold/valley fold pairs, just like pleats in fabric. This is the crease pattern I’ll be working from:
The crease pattern has seven identical rectangles, which I call gores. In the final form, the two end gores will be glued on top of each other to turn the paper into a tube, so only six gores will be visible. I designed this model to be simple enough to be folded from printer paper, but almost any paper should work.
Pre-creasing the crease pattern
The first step is to fold along all the lines in the crease pattern. The blue lines indicate valley folds, and the red lines indicate mountain folds. This step will make it easier to collapse the vase into its final shape.
The mountain folds are a bit more challenging because they are curved. I usually hold the paper up and pinch along the curve using both hands.
After all the folds are pre-creased, the model should look something like this:
Collapsing the form
At this stage, all the major folds are in place. All that is left is to collapse the vase into its final shape using those creases. The first step is to glue the paper into a tube. Glue the front of the gore on one end of the paper to the back of the gore on the other end of the paper. It only takes a tiny bit of glue – I used too much here, which wrinkled the paper. The paper should end up as a tube with six gores visible.
Once the glue is dry, it’s time to start collapsing the shape. I find it easiest to start collapsing from the base. Fold the paper along the creases you already made. In the very center, all the layers of paper should start to align:
For this model, it’s a bit tricky to get the base to stay closed. (With more gores and nicer paper, the base locks into place very easily.) Pinch the six corners of the paper that are sticking out to help lock the base in place.
Here’s what the finished base looks like:
The last step is to collapse the top edge of the vase. Again, fold along the pairs of creases that are already there. To get the paper to stay folded, fold the corner of the flap under. (Alternatively, you can glue the flaps down.)
Here’s the fully collapsed top of the vase:
The finished vase
Stay tuned for my next tutorial on how to design your own pleated origami models!