How to make an origami crane quartet

This crane quartet is an intermediate-advanced level origami project. If you have never done origami before, you may want to practice with some simpler models before tackling this one. This model will take a lot of patience and approximately 20 minutes to complete. Practice the model a few times using a perfect square of inexpensive copy paper (or similar). After you’ve successfully folded this model a few times, you can then move on to any specialty origami papers, if desired.

Begin with a square of paper that is at least 6 8 wide. You will be dividing this square into four equal squares and you don’t want to end up with a piece of paper that is too small to work with. You will also need to find a flat, stable surface upon which to work. Folding against such a surface (table, book, floor, etc.) will give you the sharp creases necessary for a successfully folded model. Running a ruler or pencil edge over each crease as you work will also help sharpen your creases.

Read each step through before attempting it and move on to the next step only when you are certain that all previous steps have been properly executed.

  1. Position a square of paper on your work surface so that the edges are facing up and down, left and right. Make sure that the color you want for the exterior of the crane quartet is facing down.
  2. Bring the left edge of the model over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.

3, Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and unfold.

  1. Use scissors to cut along the crease lines made in Steps 2 and 3, starting from each edge and moving toward the center. Leave a small portion of the square’s center uncut (approximately 1/10″). You should be left with four separate squares that are joined at the center of the model. The right wing tip of each crane will meet at the uncut portion.
  2. Rotate the model to the left so that the points of the upper right square are facing up and down, left and right. All four squares should now form a diamond shape. In the following steps, you will be working with the top square, referred to as “the model”, only. Try to proceed as if the other three squares do not exist.
  3. Bring the left point of the model over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.
  4. Bring the top point of the model down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold.
  5. Turn the model over and rotate it to the right so that its edges are facing up and down, left and right (the model should be in the upper right position relative to the other squares).
  6. Bring the right edge of the model over to meet the left edge. Crease and unfold.
  7. Bring the top edge of the model down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded.
  8. Grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward. It should collapse along the pre-existing folds. The result will be a diamond shape that has one folded flap sticking out toward the back of the model and another sticking out toward the front.
  9. Bring the front flap back to meet the left point of the diamond and bring the back flap up to meet the right point. Make sure all of the creases are as sharp as possible and that your model lies as flat as possible. Position the model so that the open end is pointing toward you.
  10. Bring the lower-left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the model’s vertical centerline. Crease and unfold. Fold the lower left edge backward along the crease line you just made. Crease and unfold. Repeat for the lower right edge of the model.
  11. Bring the top point of the model down toward the bottom of the model, to a point that just past the model’s center. The resulting horizontal crease line should touch the top of each of the crease lines made in Step 12. Crease and unfold.
  12. Bring the bottom point of the model (top layer only) up toward the top of the model, opening up the top layer as you go. The top layer should collapse along the crease line made in Steps 9-10 and the bottom point should come behind the top point to touch your work surface. The left and right points of the model will meet at the center. The result will be a narrow diamond-shaped top layer. Press flat.
  13. Turn the model over and Repeat Steps 12-15. Position the model so that the open end is facing toward you (the model should be positioned as if it were the top point of the diamond shape formed by the remaining squares)
  14. Bring the lower-left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the vertical center. Crease and leave folded. Repeat with the lower right edge.
  15. Turn the model over and repeat Step 17. Rotate the model and position it so that it forms the bottom point of the diamond shape formed by the remaining squares.
  16. Locate the two “legs” that make up the model’s top point. The leg that is attached to the rest of the squares should lie directly ion the work surface, while the free leg takes the upper position.
  17. Locate the two legs that make up the model’s bottom point. Open up the outer left edge of the model’s left “leg” just a bit. Place your forefinger at the left leg’s right edge and push upward and to the left. Push up so that the leg’s existing crease is reversed and the tip protrudes from the left of the model at an upward angle. Much of the leg should be enclosed within the paper layers. Repeat for the right leg to create a symmetrical model.
  18. Hold the model down at it center and push down on the right edge of the left tip folded up in Step 20. Push until the tip’s crease is reversed and it points downward and to the left, A portion of the tip should be enclosed within paper layers. This forms the crane’s beak.
  19. Pull the left leg a little more to the left and pull the right leg a bit more toward the right.
  20. Bring the free leg located in Step 19 down toward you and pull gently at the leg that is attached to the remaining squares. This forms the cane’s wings. You may want to complete this step after all cranes have been folded, as their bulk may be more difficult for you to work around.
  21. Repeat Steps 5-22 for each of the remaining squares. Make sure that the beaks are all pointing in the same direction.

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