How to make a paper crane

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.

Looking for a fun origami project? Why not try making a paper crane! In this blog post, we'll show you step-by-step how to make your own crane.

Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, has captivated people worldwide for centuries. Among the various origami creations, the paper crane holds a special place. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of paper crane folding, from its history and symbolism to the step-by-step process of creating your own paper crane masterpiece.

Origami is a traditional Japanese craft that involves transforming a simple sheet of paper into intricate and beautiful designs through folding techniques. The art of origami not only showcases creativity but also provides a sense of calm and mindfulness. Paper cranes, in particular, have become iconic symbols of Japanese culture and are often associated with peace, hope, and good fortune.

Origami Basics

Before diving into the world of paper cranes, it’s important to understand some basic principles of origami. Origami originated in Japan, but its influence has spread worldwide, with various styles and techniques emerging over time. To begin your origami journey, you will need a few essential tools: origami paper, a flat surface, and patience.

Origami paper comes in different sizes, colors, and patterns. Traditionally, origami paper is square-shaped, which allows for more symmetrical folding. However, rectangular paper can also be used, as long as the proportions are maintained during the folding process.

Origami Paper Crane

The paper crane, known as “orizuru” in Japanese, has a rich history and deep cultural significance. According to Japanese folklore, folding 1,000 paper cranes grants the folder a wish or brings good luck. This belief gained international attention through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who was exposed to radiation during the Hiroshima bombing and aimed to fold a thousand cranes to heal herself.

To fold a paper crane, follow these step-by-step instructions:

Preparation and Folding Techniques

  • Choose a square sheet of origami paper.
  • Fold the paper in half diagonally, crease, and unfold.
  • Fold the paper in half diagonally in the opposite direction, crease, and unfold.
  • Rotate the paper 90 degrees.

Folding the Wings and Tail

  • Fold the paper in half horizontally, crease, and unfold.
  • Fold the top layer of the bottom half upwards, aligning with the center crease.
  • Repeat the previous step with the other side.
  • Flip the paper over.

Shaping the Crane

  • Fold the top tip downwards, creating the crane’s head.
  • Fold the bottom tip upwards, forming the tail.
  • Fold the wings by bringing the outer edges towards the center crease.
  • Gently pull the wings apart to give the crane its characteristic shape.
  • Once you have completed these steps, you will have successfully folded a paper crane, a true masterpiece of origami!

Benefits of Making Paper Cranes

The process of folding paper cranes offers numerous benefits beyond the joy of creating something beautiful. It can be a meditative and therapeutic activity, allowing you to focus your mind and find inner peace. The repetitive folding motions also help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, origami cranes stimulate creativity and problem-solving abilities as you explore different variations and experiment with various paper types.

Origami Crane Symbolism

The paper crane has a profound symbolism in various cultures. In Japan, it represents longevity, good fortune, and fidelity. It is also closely associated with the story of Sadako Sasaki, whose perseverance and hope inspired countless people around the world. Today, folded paper cranes serve as powerful symbols of peace, healing, and unity.

Origami Crane Variations

While the traditional Japanese paper crane, known as “tsuru,” is widely recognized, there are many other captivating variations to explore. Modular origami involves creating larger structures by combining multiple smaller units, resulting in intricate and visually stunning cranes. Advanced origami enthusiasts can also explore more complex designs that incorporate intricate folds and details.

Origami Crane Display and Decoration

Once you have folded a collection of paper cranes, you may wonder how best to display them. One popular option is to create a shadow box or a mobile, where the cranes can gracefully float and catch the light. Paper cranes can also be used as beautiful decorations for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, or baby showers. Incorporating them into centerpieces, garlands, or gift embellishments adds a touch of elegance and symbolism to any event.

Origami Community and Resources

If you find yourself captivated by the art of origami and paper crane folding, consider joining local origami groups or clubs. These communities provide opportunities to connect with fellow enthusiasts, learn new techniques, and share your creations. In addition to physical gatherings, there are numerous online resources, video tutorials, and forums dedicated to origami. Books and websites offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration, allowing you to expand your skills and delve deeper into the world of origami.


The art of making paper cranes through origami is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. From its historical significance to its therapeutic benefits and symbolic representation, folding paper cranes connects us with an ancient craft that continues to inspire and captivate people of all ages. So, grab a sheet of paper, follow the step-by-step instructions, and let your creativity take flight as you embark on your own paper crane folding journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can I use regular printer paper for folding paper cranes?
    • While it is possible to use printer paper, origami paper is recommended for the best results. It is specifically designed for folding and comes in various sizes and colors.
  2. Are there any other origami designs I can explore?
    • Absolutely! Origami offers a vast array of designs, from animals to flowers, boxes, and geometric shapes. You can find tutorials and resources online to discover more origami creations.
  3. Can children learn to fold paper cranes?
    • Yes, children can enjoy folding paper cranes. It can help develop their fine motor skills, patience, and creativity. Start with simpler designs and guide them through the process.
  4. Where can I showcase my paper crane collection?
    • Paper cranes can be displayed in various ways, such as shadow boxes, mobiles, or by stringing them together to create garlands or ornaments. Get creative and find a display method that suits your style.
  5. What if I make a mistake while folding a paper crane?
    • Mistakes happen, and that’s part of the learning process. Origami is all about patience and practice. If you make a mistake, simply unfold the paper and try again. Don’t be afraid to experiment and learn from each attempt.

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