Introduction: Rubber Origami

Picture of Rubber Origami

Simple instructions to make origami a little more permanent. This project will teach you how to create rubber coated origami crane ornaments.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Originally, I made these as ornaments for my sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Recently I have become some what addicted to dipping things in Plasti Dip The stuff is originally intended to create rubber tool handles. But you'd be surprised how much fun it is to play with.

- Printer Paper 5 inch by 5 inch
- thin gauge wire
- Plasti Dip
- scrap piece of wood, about two feet long
- ribbon or string

- wire cutters
- 2 spring clamps

Step 2: Fold an Origami Crane

Picture of Fold an Origami Crane

I'm assuming you know how to make a simple origami crane (don't worry, it's not too difficult). I used this site to learn how

I started with 5 inch by 5 inch plain white printer paper. Anywhere from 4 to 6 inch paper squares should get the job done.

I recommend folding 5 cranes to start.

Step 3: Cutting the Wire

Picture of Cutting the Wire

Cut some thin gauge wire into about 5 to 8 inch lengths (it doesn't have to be exact). I used 19 gauge stainless steel wire. I recommend a thinner gauge; it will be easier on your fingers. Cut the wire at an angle, creating a sharp point.

Step 4: Forming and Setting the Wire

Picture of Forming and Setting the Wire

Bend the dull end of the wire into a short "J".

Poke the sharp end of the wire through the bottom of the crane and pierce the back.

Fish the wire all the way through, setting the "J" in the hind quarters of the crane.

Make sure the wire is secure. Pinch the wire if you need to.

Step 5: Dip the Crane

Picture of Dip the Crane

This is the fun part. Take the crane by the wire end, and fully submerge it into the can of Plasti Dip. Make sure about an inch of the wire is covered as well.

I'm using a gallon can of Plasti Dip. If you are using a smaller sized can and your crane's wingspan is too wide, you can pour the Plasti Dip into an empty coffee can (or something similar). You may also need a tool to help fully submerge the crane into the Plasti Dip. I used a plastic knife.

Slowly pull the crane out of the dip and let the excess rubber drip off.

Step 6: Hang Them Up to Dry

Picture of Hang Them Up to Dry

I attached two spring clamps to a scrap piece of wood, and stacked them on two coffee cans. I then hung each dipped crane to the scrap wood to let them dry. Only handle the cranes by the un-dipped wire.

It takes about 30 minutes to dry.

Step 7: Re-Dipping

Picture of Re-Dipping

I dipped each crane about two or three times, letting them dry 30 minutes between each dipping.

Step 8: Clipping and Forming the Wire

Picture of Clipping and Forming the Wire

After the crane is completely dry, clip the wire down so that only about an inch is sticking out of the crane's back (hopefully it is all covered in Plasti Dip). Then loop the wire into a hook.

Step 9: Tie a Ribbon

Picture of Tie a Ribbon

Cut a length of ribbon or string, about 6 to 7 inches in length. Loop the ribbon through the wire hook and tie the ribbon ends to each other.

You're done. All that's left is to hang it on the tree and get Snoopy and kids to sing around it.

Plasti Dip comes in many colors, and you could also use some fancy origami paper and use clear Plati Dip. The paper will show through the clear rubber.

I think a mobile of different sized and colored cranes is next.


Redobeat (author)2015-03-20

It is a fantastic idea but. I live in Mexico , can you tell me where to find the platic dip?

If I cannot find it what other product can I use instead of the plastic dip?

I want to make these cranes for an event I have in a few days, they are perfect.

FunkyG!rl (author)2014-12-29

is it possible to brush it on?

CrafteroftheArts (author)2014-11-19

This is really cool! How did you get the idea to make this?

MichaelA2 (author)2014-08-02

This is the cheapest place ive found to buy the stuff

emmewaltz (author)2014-03-27

Can you get this stuff at Home Depot?

bagnitsch (author)2012-12-10

This is a awesome and creative idea. May have to hang some in windows....

wseevers (author)2011-10-29

Can you paint it? All I can find is the yellow stuff? Great idea tho!! I tried the folding 1000 thing (zen something or other) and have a whole box of them, and no Christmas ornament ideas untill now!! THANKS!! Be awesome!!

ppprfldr (author)2011-06-10

Do you know if it is possible to add some dye to the dip to make them colorful? Or do you think colored paper might show through the rubber?

blightdesign (author)ppprfldr2011-06-13

They make PlastiDip in a bunch of colors: white, blue, yellow, red, black, and clear. I've used them all and they work great. Unless you're using the clear dip, the color of the paper does not come through.

Angelbane (author)blightdesign2011-10-05

They also have a tint your own kit now as well

jehb (author)2011-09-28

This would be awesome to make waterproof strings of lights with LEDs. Anyone tried that or something similar? It may work better with a different origami shape so that the LED can have some space around it.

darrenchittick (author)2010-12-22

HOT! I love this! I've folded many cranes and have been thinking about more projects for them. This is GORGEOUS! I've been making earrings out of them with simple French hooks from the craft store. This may well be the next step. Thanks for posting it!

carpfluff (author)2010-10-10

A good idea is to dip parts of the crane into different colors of Plasti Dip. When it dries, it'll probably drip and make a swirl/ splattery looking crane. very awesome, nonetheless.

linafasano (author)2010-01-21

 i can't find white plasti dip anywhere.  everyone sells yellow, black, red, or clear.  can you help?

blightdesign (author)linafasano2010-01-22

This may be more white Plasti Dip than you will ever need, but I can't find it in smaller quanitities:

mettaurlover (author)2009-12-10

Cool! I prefer paint-on electrical tape, though. Much easier, and you only need one coat.

jpnagle59 (author)2009-12-08

Hi there, love the work! I have used this plastic/vinyl solution since way back in the 70's, and it is really good stuff. The comment I wanted to add is after you dip the piece you are working on, do not let it dry over the can. I was tempted to do this while coating some tool handles one time. I thought it would be ok, and less messy if i did that. Trouble is, that the fumes from the can won't let the dipped piece dry. And it will also destroy the final set of the plastic. I just thought I would pass that on...JPN

macrumpton (author)2009-12-07

Great idea! It also makes me think that maybe I could fold the cranes out of mylar so they would be weatherproof. A transparent or translucent one would be cool, but mirrored also has some appeal. You might have to make them a little larger since the sturdy mylar is about as bendy as card stock.

lexinerus (author)2009-12-07

Sorry, but the link is wrong

SquirrelBrained (author)2007-05-11

I'm interested in the longevity of the Plasti Dip. Do you know if the coating discolors or flakes over time?

I've used plasti-dip to coat foam swords, beastman horns, foam skulls, and whatnot. It lasts forever. I use black, and it's never faded. No flakes, no peeling. I have stuff that's years old, and still in great shape.

So far no discoloring or flaking, it holds up very well.

DanDaDad (author)2007-09-08

ve seen Plasti dip advertised to cover tool handles, but it has several uses. My brother once made a halloween mask using pantyhose stuffed with newspaper and 2 balloons for shape. He then painted it with several coats of Plasti dip over the pantyhose. Then he burst the balloons , removed them and the newpaper. It would stretch , somewhat, so he could put it over his head. Of course after he cut a few well placed holes so he could breath and see of course. It eventually got a few tears in it as everyone would try it on, but it lasted at least 2 years.

RaNDoMLeiGH (author)DanDaDad2009-01-21

Ah that's a great idea too. There should be a plastidip group the way there is a duct tape group! And an origami group! (There probably already is, I just haven't looked...)

I'd be for a plasti dip group. It sits right next to my duct tape, and epoxy in my work room.

JakeTobak (author)RaNDoMLeiGH2009-03-29

That's a great idea, just made one!

Freshy Smooth (author)2009-05-24


rocktopotomus (author)2008-05-05

clear spray acrylic works well too, and it preserves the color/pattern of the paper.

I use Minwax wood hardener on my origami if I want it to last outside, like under a porch. Doesn't keep it in shape in flat-out rain, but it's great if you want to just weatherproof it a bit. You have to watch out for colorfastness and make sure you ventilate that stuff really well!! I LOVE the idea of doing white PlastiDip for wedding favors! What a great idea! You could do schmancy little origami "dishes" for wrapped candy and use a contrasting colour of PlastiDip around the edges or brush it on in thin layers for designs. I had no idea it came in white. (I have blue.) Wonder what kind of paint sticks to it, acrylic?

F-zero (author)2008-12-07

this is so win

crafty_crayons (author)F-zero2008-12-11

lol u mean this is so gonna win

sbrown (author)crafty_crayons2008-12-18

No, I am quite sure he meant this is so win

crafty_crayons (author)sbrown2008-12-26

lol thats improper english ahah

sbrown (author)crafty_crayons2008-12-26


F-zero (author)sbrown2008-12-22

Indeed. I could probably think of 50 different things to dip in plasti-dip. I didn't even know this stuff existed!

sbrown (author)F-zero2008-12-23

i need to acquire some of that

thecutecupcake (author)2008-08-22

has anyone tried this with the spray plasti dip?

outside18 (author)thecutecupcake2008-12-15

yeah, it doesn't work... it wilts the paper and it's really hard to spray evenly all over. I don't recommend it. I also got it all over myself... and the spray is pretty hard to get off.

bjfong13 (author)2008-12-04

I love this idea! I just tried dipping the crane into the plastidip, but I'm think the consistency is too thick. Did the excess drip off with time? What consistency was your dip? What's the best way to dilute it (they give three suggestions on the can)?

blightdesign (author)bjfong132008-12-05

You should try to shake off as much excess as possible immediately after dipping, but more does drip off during drying. I have never needed to dilute the PlastiDip, but I have noticed that the consistency can change due to room temperature.

bjfong13 (author)blightdesign2008-12-05

Does it really shake off pretty easily? I felt like my plastidip was really gooey and i had to wipe the excess off with a cotton swab... just to let you know, you've inspired the concept for my wedding favors! we're going to buy nice wrapping paper to cut into squares for the cranes and then hang the cranes from the centerpiece branches. i'm also going to make little shrinkydink tags with our name and date on it. at the end of the night, the guests will be able to take the ornament home with them! FUN!

blightdesign (author)bjfong132008-12-05

I wouldn't wipe it off with a swab or anything really. It would probably affect the finish. And my sister used the cranes for her wedding favors too. She tied little name cards with table numbers to the birds.

pls (author)2008-12-02


Keith-Kid (author)2007-12-07

This would be great for ornaments! Excellent!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!!

Miqel (author)2007-09-15

Anyone tried doing a cheap version of this with candle wax, in my case that would come from old melted candle stubs? I´ll try this before the christmas season, might solve all my gift propblems.

willtanclan (author)2007-06-12

Hello my name is Will Tan and i'm 13. great idea this is. I live in Melbourne Australia can you tell me where to buy Plasti Dip. thanks

Plasti dip is available in Australia through the Australian Distributors Plastic Dips & Coatings. Local distributors can be found on "FIND A DISTRIBUTOR". If there is not a distributor in your area you can buy on line at Hope this helps.

blightdesign (author)willtanclan2007-06-12

I got mine from this site
Quilter's Husband

adidame (author)2007-07-20

I love your photo of the cranes flying in your window. I can't wait to try this with other projects!

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