News: Life-Sized Origami Elephant Folded from One Giant Sheet of Paper

Life-Sized Origami Elephant Folded from One Giant Sheet of Paper

Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper, which has been around since the 1600s. The word origami comes from the two Japanese words ori, meaning "folding," and kami, meaning "paper."

Traditionally, one sheet of paper is transformed into a three-dimensional object without cutting the paper or using adhesives. Swiss origami artist Sipho Mabona gave this practice new life by folding a life-sized origami elephant that will blow you away.

Sipho Mabona is an origami artist who currently resides in Zurich, Switzerland. According to his website, he has been folding paper since he was five years old. In recent years, he has come to be known for his life-sized origami animals, such as the elephant from the video above and a rhino.

White Elephant was a 2014 installation at the KKLB museum in Beromünster, Switzerland. With the help of three assistants, Mabona was able to turn a single 15 x 15 meter (about 50 x 50 feet) sheet into a full-size origami elephant that stood 3 meters (almost 10 feet) tall, only slightly larger than your typical hotel towel elephant.

The elaborate folding is supported by an aluminum structure and finished with a coat of white paint to keep it crisp solid. You can see a time-lapse video on Vimeo (and in the GIF below) of the entire process below, which took about three weeks.

Maboni explained that the reason for creating this massive mammal out of paper was because he wanted to show origami as a serious and noteworthy art form.

There's no denying he created something truly extraordinary and his art continues to push the boundaries of what can be made out of paper with each new installation. He's even made a giant blue rhinoceros.

If you're looking for some origami inspo to brighten up your holiday decorations, make sure to check out these tutorials for a tree-topping angel or some intricate snowflakes.

Share this article using the links below, and let us know what you think in the comments! If you enjoyed this post and have ideas about things happening in the world that inspire wonderment, make sure to send a tip to or @katie_pooch on Twitter.

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Cover photo by Sipho Mabona/IndieGoGo

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