Folding a Paper Crane

By: Ben Elfner

 

 

Introduction:

The crane is a standout amongst many paper origami constructions. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. Some stories believe you are granted happiness and eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise) and is said to live for a thousand years: That is why 1000 cranes are made, one for each year. In some stories it is believed that the 1000 cranes must be completed within one year and they must all be made by the person who is to make the wish at the end. Learning to create origami can be very fun and engaging. These instructions give detailed steps to fold a paper crane. This project should only take 5-10 minutes.

 

 

List of materials:

-      Square piece of paper. Can be any size as long as you can manipulate it so it shouldn't be too small. The sized used here is 8.5" x8.5"

 

Steps:

 

1.Fold Diagonally 

Fold the paper in half diagonally.

 

 

 

2.Unfold 

Unfold. There should now be a crease in the paper from the diagonal fold. 

 

 

 

3.Fold Diagonally Again 

Now fold the paper in half diagonally in the other direction. 

 

 

 

4.Unfold Again 

Unfold the paper. Your square should now have two diagonal creases, forming an "X." 

 

 

 

5.Flip Over 

Flip the paper over to the other side. 

 

 

 

6.Fold Horizontally 

Fold the paper in half horizontally. 

 

 

 

7.Unfold 

Unfold to reveal the new crease from the previous fold. 

 

 

 

8.Fold Vertically 

Fold the paper in half in vertically.  

 

 

 

9.Unfold Again 

Unfold to reveal the new crease.

 

 

 

10.    Fold from Top Down 

Bring the top point down to the bottom, while also folding the left and right corners down into the center. 

 

 

 

11.    Finish Origami Square Base 

You should now have a diamond shape, with a vertical crease running down the center—this is an origami square base. 

 

 

 

12.    Flip Vertically

Orient so the opening is pointed towards you

 

 

 

13. Begin Squash Folds

Fold the right lower edge to the central crease. 

 

 

 

14.    Fold Left Side 

Now follow suit with the left side; fold the left lower edge to the central crease. 

 

 

 

15.    Fold Top Down 

Fold the top section down.

 

 

 

16.    Unfold 

Now unfold the previous three folds. 

 

 

 

17.    Flip Over 

Flip the model over to the other side. 

Flip the model over to the other side. 

 

 

 

18.    Fold the Right

Repeat the same steps on this side, starting with the lower right fold to the central crease.

 

 

 

19.    Fold the Left

Now fold the left side to the central crease. 

 

 

 

20.    Fold Top Down

Fold the top section down (the smaller triangle) to meet the two folds you just made.  

 

 

 

21.    Unfold 

Unfold the last three folds you just made. 

 

 

 

22.    Pull Bottom Up and Squash

Pull one layer up from the bottom, along the creases you just made. 

 

 

 

23.                       Flip Over

Flip the model over to the other side. 

 

 

 

24.    Pull Bottom Up and Squash

Pull one layer up from the bottom, along the creases you just made. 

Pull one layer up from the bottom, along the creases you just made. 

 

 

 

25.    Fold Lower Right 

Fold lower right edge to the central crease. 

 

 

 

26.    Fold the Other Side 

Fold the bottom left corner in the same way, to the crease. 

 

 

 

27.    Flip Over 

Flip the model over. 

 

 

 

28.    Fold the Right Corner 

Now fold the entire right lower corner to meet the central crease. 

 

 

 

29.    Fold the Left Side 

Fold the left lower corner to meet the central crease. 

 

 

 

30.    Fold the Neck of the Crane

Fold the lower right flap up, under, and out to the right.  

 

 

 

31.    Fold the Tail of the Crane 

Do the same with the left side (the tail). 

 

 

 

32.    Fold the Head of the Crane 

Create a head by flattening the flap, and inside reverse folding a little section down at the top. 

 

 

 

33.    Fold out the Wings 

Complete your crane by folding out the wings.