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A traditional design that makes a flat bottomed boat, tapered at both ends and with a curved canopy over the tapered ends.


1. Lay the paper, coloured side down, in a diamond shape with reference to HR.

2. Valley fold both diagonals and unfold, maintaining the diamond shape.

3. Valley fold both the left and the right hand corner so that they meet exactly in the centre. Crease and return to their starting positions.

4. Valley fold the left hand corner over towards the right so that the tip of the paper meets the intersection of the creases made in steps 2 and 3. Repeat with the right hand corner.

5. Remake the folds from Step 3 and press firmly.

6. Turn the paper over from left to right.

7. Valley fold the top and bottom corners in so that they meet exactly in the centre (this has 2 intersecting mountain creases) and return to the starting positions.

8. Rotate the paper clockwise by 90 degrees.

9. Repeat Step 4 and rotate paper by 90 degrees.

11. Description: You should now have a square of paper aligned with HR.
There are 2 flaps on the upper surface of the square: one along the top edge and one along the bottom.
There are also 2 flaps on the under surface of the square touching the table: one flap along the left and one along the right hand edge.

12. Valley fold the top and bottom horizontal edges into the centre where they will touch each other. The folded edges (that have now met at the centre line) will be used in Step 19, so take note of where they are.

13. You will now have a thin rectangle with its long edges aligned with HR. There are little triangular pockets at each corner.

14. Valley fold the triangular pockets along each of their hypoteneuses into the centre line.

15. On the right hand end, valley fold the hypoteneuse of each triangular flap, into the centre line.

16. Repeat Step 15 on the left hand end.

17. You should now have a square shape with 2 added triangles on each end and the long axis aligned with HR.

18. Valley fold the top and bottom corners to touch at the centre. The layers will now be quite thick so fold carefully and firmly. These valley folds will cross each other at the central vertical axis - do not be alarmed.

19. There are 2 folded edges that meet each other along the horizontal centreline. These were formed in Step 12 earlier. Insert your thumbs under these edges and grip the triangular flaps made in Step 18 with your index fingers. Open the model out slightly by pulling the two edges that met at the centre line away from each other, so that the model opens into like a shoe shape with a flat bottom and vertical sides.
Turn the model over.

20. Hopefully your index fingers and thumbs will have changed places when you turned the model over, such that your thumbs are now on the triangle flaps on the outside of the model, and your index fingers are gripping the vertical sides of the model.
Move your thumb tips to be very close to a triangular pocket at one end.

21. In this step, you are aiming to turn the model inside out, at one end.
In one movement press down with your thumbs, while using your fingers to pull the sides of the boat from underneath (pointing towards the floor) into a position on top of the boat (pointing at the ceiling).

22. Repeat Step 21 with the other end.

23. Gently shape the boat and canopies into graceful curves by pinch-creasing along the edges of the hull.

24. Take it for a sail.

Click here for a basic text file of the Sampan