Paper nesting cats are a fun take on Russian nesting dolls, that are easy to make and a great craft for kids too!
We’ve rounded up the best paper nesting cats tutorials, all of which are free to access online.
The 9 best paper nesting cats (and origami) tutorials
These tutorials will walk you through, step by step, how to make your own cute cats from simple sheets of paper.
Here you can learn how to make not only paper nesting cats, but also adorable origami cats of all kinds!
1. Origami nesting cats
This easy paper nesting cats tutorial starts at the beginning, talking you through the materials you need. All you’ll need is four different colors of card stock or scrapbooking paper and a paper cutter or scissors.
The video will then walk you through creating perfectly square pieces of paper of the right sizes, and then making the folds to create your nesting cats. Next, follow the video tutorial to pinch the top down to form the ears and draw the faces, ears and tails on with a sharpie.
Finally, assemble your nesting cats by putting each cat in the next largest size. View the video tutorial here.
2. Paper nesting cats
This is another video tutorial that shows you how to make origami paper nesting cats. Though very similar to the previous tutorial, this video has a slightly different approach and explains things in a different way.
For example, in this tutorial you draw on the cats’ features first, before shaping the three-dimensional form. Some people may prefer one over the other and it’s always a good idea to experiment with different techniques with your crafts.
You can try both video tutorials and see which you like the best. Take a look at the video here.
3. Matryoshka cats
This tutorial shows you how to make a set of super simple paper nesting/babushka cats. These origami cats are very easy to make – all you need to do is make a few folds, shape the top, and then draw in the details!
In fact, they’re so easy that even quite young children can make them. The drawing component is also fun for crafters of all ages, allowing you and your kids to develop your creative side.
These cats are not only a fun craft project that your kids will love to make, but they’re also an excellent teaching tool. You can use the cats in ascending sizes and various colors to teach younger children about colors, counting, sequencing, and tower building.
The tutorial includes photos and diagrams to clearly show how to fold and shape your origami cats. Check out the tutorial here, round up your little ones, and make your own paper nesting cats!
4. Origami cat stacking boxes
This project is a slightly different style of nesting cats, closer to the traditional origami box. The stacking boxes can be used as gift boxes; an adorable and unique way to package your presents.
Once you get started with these you’ll be surprised how many you can make – you’ll soon find you have a tower! This video uses three-inch squares of paper, but they can be made with sheets of different sizes to create smaller or larger cats.
The tutorial does suggest you use glue to make sure the cats’ ears stay on. This not only makes the project a little more complex, but origami purists won’t like the use of glue.
To make these cute origami cat stacking boxes yourself, watch the video tutorial here.
5. Easy origami cat face
This fun project is not paper nesting cats, but we couldn’t resist including this adorable origami cat in this list! The simple project will let you create a cute cat face in just a few folds.
The tutorial has step-by-step diagrams that walk you through the whole process from start to finish. Starting with a single, square piece of paper, after a few folds, you’ll just need to draw on the cat’s mouth, eyes, and whiskers, and you’re all set!
This project is also very adaptable – you can use the same basic pattern to make a fox or a dog with just a few tweaks.
If you want to make your own cute origami cat faces, start by reading the tutorial here.
6. Kitty Russian nesting dolls
One of the big advantages of this take on paper nesting cats is that you need no special materials. All you need is plain paper and sharpies in different colors, as the tutorial shows you how to create different colors and textures quickly and easily.
Adopt this method for a simple and creative way to make your base, and then follow the video to fold your nesting cats. So next time there’s a rainy day and you have nothing prepared, pull out this paper nesting cats tutorial and keep your kids entertained!
Ready to get creative? Check out the video tutorial here.
7. Origami cat
This is another craft activity that is not technically a paper nesting cat, but is still a fantastic tutorial that shows you how to make an origami cat with detailed instructions. The project is a little more complex than others on this list, as you need to make the head and body separately from different sheets of paper.
If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry! The tutorial has photo diagrams to show you how to complete each step, until you’ve made your own cat from paper.
All you need to do is make the two pieces by following the instructions, attach the head to the body, and you’ll have a truly adorable cat!
Check out the tutorial and make your own origami cat here.
8. Paper cat video tutorial
This tutorial also shows you how to make an origami cat with a head and body, but this time in a video form. This is handy if you prefer working by following a video, rather than reading written instructions.
Even though the written tutorials we’ve featured here are clearly illustrated with handy photos, some people simply prefer to follow a video, and this one clearly shows each step so you can easily follow along.
Follow the video to create your own cat from paper here.
9. Introduction to origami tutorial
If you’re completely new to origami, start here!
This introduction to origami for beginners will break down all the basics, including key origami terms and folds. You can follow the video as you learn how to make mountain folds, valley folds, as well as diamond and triangle collapse folds, and more!
You’ll then be able to apply this knowledge to make paper nesting cats, or a range of other origami projects. If you want to learn origami, take a look at this introductory tutorial here.
What is origami?
Origami is the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, which developed around 1000 years ago, and is thought to have even older roots. The term comes from to Japanese words: oru, meaning “to fold”, and kami meaning “paper”.
Although there are forms of origami that involve cutting and/or using paper of various shapes, it is usually folded from a single sheet of square paper. Simply through careful folding, you can create an incredible range of three-dimensional objects, from boxes and boats to animals and birds.
Origami can vary in difficulty from very easy to incredibly complex. The simplest projects, like origami nesting cats or dolls are perfect for kids to make.
These projects require very few supplies – generally, all you need is a sheet of paper. This makes it a fun craft for people of all ages!
Are origami nesting cats easy to make?
Although some origami can be tricky, paper nesting cats are super simple. All of the tutorials on this list are beginner-friendly, and kid-friendly too.
Additionally, most of the projects we’ve shared here only need a few basic materials and no special tools – all you need to use are your fingers! All of these things make paper nesting cats the perfect craft for children, and a great way to introduce your kids (or yourself) to origami.
How to make the perfect origami nesting cats
If you want to make the most out of the tutorials listed above, it is important to keep a few things in mind when making your paper nesting cats.
Firstly, make sure your hands are clean before you start. Dirty or greasy hands will not only leave marks on the paper, but they also make it harder to make crisp, clean folds.
You should also take your time. Although paper nesting cats are easy to make, it is important to be precise, as with any type of origami.
You should always prioritize accuracy over speed, as if you make one mistake in origami this can quickly snowball as errors multiply.
If you make a mistake, start again with a new sheet. If you try to rework your folds, you’ll likely forget which folds are good and which need to be redone.
More importantly, extra folds will throw off the alignment and simply not look very good. It’s not worth the hassle – just get a new piece of paper.
It’s also a good idea to practice on scrap paper, wrapping paper, or square memo pad sheets first before using your special origami paper. And you can always repurpose your discarded origami fails by using the paper for decoupage or other papercraft like die cutting.
Finally, bigger is always easier with origami! Smaller sheets are harder to work with as folds need to be more precise. So start with larger sheets to make the bigger cats, and work your way up to creating little cats with smaller sheets of paper.
Other paper nesting doll ideas
Nesting cats are a cute take on nesting dolls, and there are some fantastic tutorials out there to make paper nesting dolls too!
We particularly love these origami Russian nesting dolls, which are super easy to make, so are a fantastic, simple craft project for kids. The project uses clever use of shapes and patterns to create adorable paper nesting dolls in a distinctive Russian style.
You can then stack the dolls like genuine Babushka dolls. The site has a video tutorial as well as step-by-step written instructions with photos.
You’ll find the written instructions and video tutorial here.
For other ideas, this video tutorial also shows you how to make paper nesting dolls, where you draw or paint in the bodies as well as the heads. Or for another take on paper nesting dolls – this one with no folding at all – take a look at this video tutorial.
Origami is a diverse artform that can be used to create an incredible range of effects and three-dimensional objects. Paper nesting cats are a fantastic way to get started with origami, and are perfect for little hands.
Kids will not only love making origami nesting cats, but they will learn a lot while playing with them! These paper nesting cats tutorials cover both written and video instructions, as well as different types of origami cats and even nesting dolls – so you’re sure to find a project that you love.
Looking for other paper craft ideas then check out our birthday invitations tutorial guide.
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