Vase with Lotus Vines and the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism

Lotus Folding Guide

Fold your own paper lotus blossom!

In Buddhism, the lotus is considered a symbol of purity. 

Unlike the water lily, which looks very similar, the lotus does not rest on the water’s surface. Its stem and leaves rise high above a pond’s muddy water. The large blossoms may be pure white, orange, violet, or pale pink. Any dirt just rolls off them. The lotus is also one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism. 

Folding paper into three-dimensional objects – better known as “origami” (Jap. oru = fold, kami = paper) – has ranked as an art form in Japan since the 14th century. In origami, speed is not important, nor does it matter who creates the most beautiful object. 

The aim is to become immersed in the creative process and to complete the task with precision. Origami helps a person to develop mindfulness, train one’s fine motor skills, and learn to recognize geometric relationships.

Lotus Folding Guide

Here you can follow the instructions in a video. The following slides will take you through the process step by step.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 1


Take a square piece of paper, for example 20 x 20 centimetres. It shouldn’t be any smaller if you want your blossom to flower properly.

The kind of paper you use is important. Normal copy paper is not suitable for folding. We suggest you use original Japanese washi paper, if possible. Otherwise, try using an ordinary paper napkin.

Step 1: Fold the paper in half diagonally and then in half again. Open up the paper.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 2


Fold all four corners to the middle.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 3


Then fold all corners to the middle again.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 4


Now fold all corners to the middle a third time.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 5


Turn the paper over and again fold all four corners to the middle.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 6


Fold just the tips of the four corners slightly inwards.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 7


Gently fold the flaps at the back over the four corners and raise them into the shape of petals.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 8


Now take the next four flaps at the back, gently fold them over the sides, and raise them into the shape of petals.

Lotus Folding Guide: Step 9


Finally, take the four remaining flaps at the back and fold them outwards so that they lie flat under the petals.

Lotus Folding Guide


There, your lotus blossom is finished.

Lotus Folding Guide: Overview of the 9 steps

Here we go through all the steps once more.

Enjoy your lotus blossom!

Speaking to the assembled monks, Yuanmen pointed to his staff and said: See, this staff is about to turn into a dragon and swallow heaven and earth. Where will the mountains and rivers be then?

Well done

Lotus Folding Guide

Lotus Folding Guide