creasing and dividing

The next lesson in your Origami journey is to learn the different types of creases. By now you should have mastered the Mountain fold and Valley fold.

Creasing and dividing is pretty straightforward and you will use these techniques almost as frequently as the two basic folds.


When you need to make a fold later on, you can fold and unfold the paper to leave a crease which you can use later on. This is known as a pre-crease.

origami paper with a precrease
origami paper being folded, using pre-crease as a guideline.

Pinch Crease

Sometimes folding a crease across the paper is not needed or can even be counterproductive by making too many creases which becomes confusing. In these instances, we use the pinch crease. Instead of flattening the crease across the paper, you simply make a small pinch and then unfold the paper. This leaves a tiny crease that you can use as a landmark later on.

Dividing into Thirds

origami paper, divided into thirds.

A lot of the time you will need three equal parts of paper.

  1. Get a rectangular sheet of paper and place it with the shorter sides vertical and the longer sides horizontal.
  2. Now guestimate one-third from the bottom edge and make a pinch crease but do not unfold.
  3. Now fold the upper edge over the folded bottom edge and make another pinch crease or a soft fold.
  4. Unfold the paper to see if the existing creases are equidistant from each other. If they are not you will have to make the bottom crease higher or lower.
  5. Once the creases are perfectly even, you can make a hard fold.

Pleat fold

You can think of the pleat fold as a way of giving the paper an accordion effect.

  1. Make two parallel valley folds.
    two parallel valley folds of pleat crease
  2. Flip the paper over, so the creases are facing your workspace i.e. they now become mountain folds.
    two parallel mountain folds of pleat crease
  3. Pinch the lower crease together, creating a mountain.
    origami paper,mountain fold to make a pleat fold
  4. While still pinching the lower crease, fold over until you meet the upper crease.
    origami pleat fold
  5. Flatten the newly formed (third) crease.
  6. Now you have a pleat fold.
    side view of the origami pleat fold

Okay, so this covered the last of the basic techniques that you will use in almost every Origami design if not all. Next up, we will go over some special moves that you consistently come across in various models. The first one that we will cover will be the Inside Reverse Fold variations.