Instructions for how to make a paper crane origami style. This is a traditional form of origami and is easy to follow for anyone who wishes to make this timeless craft.
The origami crane is probably the most popular origami model there is. It’s easy to make and it’s recognizable. And did you know that if you fold 1,000 origami cranes, you can make a wish? It’s true!
In Japanese culture, the crane is a symbol of long life and good luck. If you make 1,000 paper cranes (senbazuru), you can make a wish. The story goes that a young girl named Sadako Sasaki was diagnosed with cancer after being exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. While in the hospital, she started folding origami cranes in the hope that she would recover and live to be an old woman. Unfortunately, Sadako did not survive, but her story has inspired people around the world to fold paper cranes as a symbol of peace.
You can make your own paper crane following the instructions below. All you need is a square piece of paper and some patience!
What You’ll Need
- 1 square sheet of origami paper
Fold your square origami paper in half diagonally to form a triangle. Then, fold the triangle in half to form a smaller triangle. Unfold the triangle.
Fold the top corner of the triangle down to the bottom corner. Crease well and unfold.
3. Turn the paper over and fold both top corners to the center crease, forming two smaller triangles.
4. Take the top layer of both small triangles and fold them down, lining up with the bottom edge of the paper as shown.
5 Staple or glue the two layers together along this edge, then fold open (along the previous crease lines).
6. Next, we will make the flaps for our crane’s wings. On each side of the crane, make a small cut about 1 inch from the center fold and 1/2 inch from the outer edge of the paper (as shown).
7. Make two more cuts on each side, angling in towards the first set of cuts (as shown).
8. Starting at one end, make accordion folds along each set of cuts until you reach the other end (as shown).
9 Once all your accordion folds are in place, staple or glue each side together to secure (optional: you can also tuck one end underneath the other to keep it closed).
10 Your crane’s wings are now complete! To finish assembling your crane, simply tuck its head under one wing and staple or glue it in place
- Start with a square piece of paper, preferably origami paper. If you only have regular 8.5×11 printer paper, follow these instructions to make a square sheet.
- Fold your paper in half on the diagonal to create a triangle.
- Fold the top corner of the triangle down to the bottom corner. This will create a smaller triangle on top of the first one.
- Unfold the last step, and then fold the top layer only (not the whole triangle) down to the bottom corner again. This time, crease well and unfold.
- Now you will have a series of parallel folds. Pinch along these folds to make a sharp crease in the center of your triangle, as shown.
- Fold each side of your triangle in to meet at the sharp crease in the center, creating a smaller triangle.
- Again, pinch along the center folds to make a sharp crease, then unfold.
- This time, take the top layer only and fold it in so that its point meets the bottom corner of your triangle. The result should look like a pocket.
- Flip your paper over and repeat steps 6-8 on this side. When you’re finished, both sides should look like pockets.
- Now it’s time to start folding crane heads! Take the top layer of one side and fold it down so that its point meets the horizontal crease at the bottom of your pocket (as shown). Unfold and repeat on another side.
Tips & Tricks
Fold the paper in half, then in half again.
Open it back up and fold each side into the center crease.
Now fold each of those halves into the center again. You should have four equal sections now.
Fold each of those sections in half again. Now you should have eight equal sections.
Unfold the entire paper so that all the folds are visible. Now fold each corner into the center to form a triangle.
Fold each triangle in half to form a smaller triangle. Now you should have 16 triangles total.
There are many different ways to make a paper crane, but the most common method is to use a square sheet of paper. This method can be adapted to make a wide variety of crane designs, from traditional Japanese cranes to more modern artistic variations.
To make a traditional Japanese paper crane, start by folding the paper in half diagonally to form a triangle. Then, fold the triangle in half again and open it up so that you have a narrow strip of paper. Next, fold each end of the strip towards the center so that they meet in the middle, and then fold the whole thing in half again. Finally, unfold the paper and flatten out the folds to form a square. To finish your crane, just follow the instructions below.
To make a more modern variation on the paper crane, start by folding the paper in half horizontally to form a rectangle. Then, fold each side of the rectangle towards the center so that they meet in the middle, and then fold the whole thing in half again. Next, unfold the paper and flatten out the folds to form a square. Finally, follow the instructions below to finish your crane.
1) Fold one corner of your paper square down to meet the opposite side, and crease well. Unfold.
2) Fold another corner down to meet that side, and crease well. Unfold. You should now have two folds going from opposite corners toward the center of your square.
3) Fold your square in half diagonally so that all four corners meet in the middle. Crease well and unfold. You should now have four triangles pointing outwards from the center of your square.
4) Fold each triangle in half so that its point meets its corresponding side at about halfway up (as shown in step four of the traditional folding method). Crease well and unfolded
At this point, you will have something that looks like a kite with eight triangular flaps coming off of it (four on each side).
5) Take two adjacent flaps on one side of your kite shape and fold them together so that their points meet (as shown in step five). Crease well and unfolded Repeat with remaining flaps until all eight have been folded What you should now have is something that looks like an octagon with triangular flaps on each side (technically it’s now nonagon).
6) Now it’s time to start forming your crane’s body by folding down two adjacent flaps towards the center (as shown in step six). What you should now have is something that looks like a hexagon with triangular flaps on each side Crease well and unfolded. Repeat with the remaining flaps until all eight have been folded. You should now have something that looks like a pyramid with a triangular base.
Tip: For an extra-secure hold, you can glue or tape these folds together before proceeding to step seven. If not, no problem we will secure them as we go. Just be aware extra-secure hold may be necessary if you are working with small or weak paper.7) Now we are going begin forming a wingspan by taking one flap on one side of our pyramid shape and folding it over towards
- Origami is a great way to relieve stress and have fun!
- You can make origami cranes with any type of paper, but origami paper is usually the best choice.
- To make a traditional origami crane, you will need two sheets of square origami paper.
- If you cannot find origami paper, you can use any type of paper, but it will be harder to fold.
- Once you have your paper, follow the instructions below to make your crane!
fold one sheet of paper in half hamburger style to create a crease down the middle of the paper.
open the paper back up and then fold each side into the middle fold so that it meets in the center. crease well.
unfold the last two folds and then fold each side into the center again. this time, tuck the flaps underneath so that they are hidden.
now you should have a long, skinny rectangle. take one end and fold it up about halfway to meet the other end. crease well and unfold.
repeat step 4 on the other side so that you have two folds going in opposite directions.
take one side and make a small triangle by folding up the bottom corner to meet the top edge of the paper (see photo). crease well and unfold.
7 repeat step 6 on the other side so that you again have two folds going in opposite directions
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to make a paper crane. Paper cranes are a popular origami project for beginners and advanced origami artists alike. They are simple to make and can be adapted to any paper size or shape. Give it a try and see for yourself how easy and rewarding paper crane origami can be!
-The Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques, by Will Guy (Lark Books, 2000) -The Japanese Art of Origami, by green felt (Dover Publications, 2002) -The Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger