Jasper's Origami Primer -- Techniques

Making the Valley Fold

The valley fold is the simplest of origami folds. Often folders just slap it together very roughly, and sharpen up the crease. This easy method usually works well. But if (like me) you are a perfectionist, here are two ways to crease the paper almost perfectly:

To see a larger picture of each substep, just select the corresponding image.

Valley folding a rectangle:

  The valley fold is indicated by a dashed line without any dots. Reference creases are sometimes indicated by straight lines, and sometimes they are not indicated at all. Begin by rolling the bottom half of the paper up in front of the top half.
  Line up the top edge of the paper, as closely as is reasonable. If you can barely see one paper's width of paper at the top edge, that is probably good enough.
  Center the paper along the line. If the paper is not perfectly symmetrical, you can adjust for that flaw here. If there is a reference crease, it should line up.
  Hold the corners flat; tug slightly at them, and flatten the middle of the paper.
  Keeping the paper in tension, resolve the crease by flattening the paper from edge to edge.
  The finished valley fold. If you were to unfold it, the crease would look like an aerial view of a river bottom.

Valley folding a diagonal:

  Begin by rolling one corner of the paper on top of the opposite corner.
  Like so.
  Line up part of an edge.
  Line up parts of two edges. This makes the touching corners line up.
  Line up more of one edge, while keeping the previously alignments. This makes the third corner exact.
  Flatten out the edge; resolve the corner.
  Line up more of the third edge.
  Resolve the crease. That is, finish it by making it go from corner to corner.
  The finished diagonal valley fold.

Navigational Assistance:

You can go up to the primer on origami techniques, go on to the mountain fold, or view the Origami Menagerie.

Copyright 1995-96, 98-99 by John Paulsen, who thanks Michael Khusid for his help with these pictures. You can send John your comments.

Last updated July 23, 1999.