Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paper Cranes

    Tonight my youngest son and I made a paper crane.  I have no idea why.  He just walked into the kitchen and asked if I would make him a paper crane.  I told him I did not know how, and to ask his sister, who had been interested in origami a few years ago.  No luck.  So he said, "Why don't you just type in how do I make a paper crane?"   DUH!  Sometimes I am amazed at how he is positive he will find anything he needs on the internet - and then of course, he does.  So here is what we did.  Try it with your kids - it's fun.

How to Fold a Paper Crane

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit
The origami crane is perfect as a gift or gift tag as a decoration, or as the first step to making a senbazuru. The cranes are delicate, but surprisingly easy (and fun) to fold, so don't hesitate to give this craft a try.


  1. Start with a square sheet of paper.  The front of your paper (the side you want to show in the end) corresponds to the blue side of the paper in the photo. The hidden back of the paper is white in the photo.
  2.  Fold the paper in half, into a rectangle. Be sure to crease your folds crisply.
  3.   Unfold, and fold in half the other way.
  4.   Unfold your rectangle. Turn the paper over and fold in half into a triangle.  You should see the back of your paper.  Unfold and repeat along the other diagonal.
  5.   Unfold your paper and turn it back over. You should see the diagonal creases create "valleys" and the perpendicular creases create "mountains".
  6.   Bring the corners together. Allow the valley creases to meet in the middle.
  7.  Align the square. By flattening two opposite sides, you should find yourself with a square that is open on the bottom.  Make sure your square is rotated so that the opening is on the bottom, as shown in the picture.
  8.  Bring the right corner of the top flap to the middle crease, so that the lower right edge lines up with the crease.
  9.  Repeat this action on the left, so that the top looks like a kite.
  10.  Fold down the top corner to make the crease lie along the horizontal line created in the previous two steps.
  11.  Unfold. In doing so, you return to having a square with an opening facing down.
  12.  Take the bottom corner of the square and start to fold it up along the horizontal crease you made in the previous two steps.
  13.   As you fold, note the four diagonal creases on the inside that you made earlier.  You will need to reverse the two creases on the upper flap.  To reverse a crease, fold it in the opposite direction that it naturally folds.
  14.  Bring the outer edges to the middle and flatten, so that you have a diamond.
  15.   Turn your paper over, and repeat the previous five steps.
  16.   Fold the edges to the middle crease.
  17.  Repeat on the other side.
  18.  Fold the right flap over to the left (in the same manner as turning the page of a book).  Turn over and repeat on the back.
  19.  Take the bottom tip of the top flap and fold it up to the top corner.  Turn over and repeat on the other side.
  20.   Fold the right flap over to the left (in the same manner as turning the page of a book).  Turn over and repeat on the back.    Now the head and tail are nestled in between what will become the wings.
  21.  Fold the wings down so that they are perpendicular to the body, head and tail.
  22.   Fold the tip of the head down.
  23.   Pull the head and tail out so that they line up with the outer edges of the body.
  24.   Create 3D volume. If you want a three dimensional body, you can grasp the opposite corners on the bottom of the body and gently pull to create the desired volume.
  25.  Give away, hang, string, or simply enjoy!



  • Thinner paper and paper made specifically for origami work best. Tissue-thin paper is hard to work with, but creates beautiful translucent cranes.
  • Experiment with patterns and textures. The scrapbooking section of a craft store is full of paper for any occasion. Other stores in which to find paper include newsagents, stationery stores, dollar stores and toy stores.
  • The best way to hang a crane is to place a string through the hole in the bottom and the middle of the body, where all the creases cross.
  • This is a popular origami design. If there is a step you are having a lot of trouble with, try searching for "origami crane" in a search engine.  Sometimes a new perspective on the step is all you need.
  • If you are planning on taking your crane somewhere, save the last step until after the trip in your backpack, pocket, purse, etc.  Flat cranes pack better, and you don't have to worry about them getting crushed.
  • For a neat trick to impress your friends, fold or tear a Starburst wrapper into a square. Then use it to make a crane.
  • Consider using recycled paper; it's better for the environment.

 Things You'll Need

  • A square sheet of paper
  • A flat surface
  • A ruler or bone folder to crease the folds (optional)

 Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Paper Crane.  All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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