With this how-to on the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, you'll learn how to make a strikingly beautiful water lily from a paper napkin. For complete, step-by-step instructions on assembling your own paper lotus flower, watch this origami how-to and, if you like, read along below.
You will need a paper napkin of at least 30cm square. You can use a fabric napkin but you may need to use starch to stiffen the material. It is possible to purchase paper napkins that have the feel of fabric, these are ideal for this model.
Open out the napkin completely and fold all four corners to the centre. Do not worry if new points are a little out as napkins are never perfectly square. Just ensure you have flat creases.
Fold all four corners to the centre again. As in step one, ensure you have nice flat creases.
Fold all four corners to the centre for a third time.
Turn the napkin over and press flat.
Fold all four corners to the centre on this reverse side. You may need to keep your finger on the centre to keep it from springing open.
Firmly kink over one corner and hold it in place.
Holding down the kink, reach underneath for a flap.
Still with your finger on the kink, pull this layer from underneath straight upwards.
The kink will hold this petal in place. Now repeat the kink and pull with the three remaining corners.
With your finger in the middle, pick up the napkin and turn it over.
Peel back and slightly over the four triangular flaps as shown.
Now peel back the four square flaps that have become visible.
The Lily is complete. Use them to decorate your dinner table or to hold sweets, fruit or even a paper frog!