In this tutorial, I will be showing the steps to make a classic origami crane. I did not invent this set of instructions, but I did learn it in Japan. This should take anywhere between 3-10 minutes depending on your experience and skill with origami. The only materials you need is a square piece of paper. I hope you find this instructable helpful! If you're having trouble, there is a 5 minute video attached that I made as well.

*Tip: The folds and creases will only be as precise as you make them!

Step 1: Turn Paper Over

1. Take the paper and flip it over to the NON colored or patterned side (if there is).

Step 2: Mountain Fold Paper

1. Mountain fold the paper. A mountain fold is when you fold the paper in half (making a rectangle).

2. Fold it again to make a square.

3. Then unfold. (There should now be creases that break up the paper into four squares).

Step 3: Fold Into a Triangle

1. Take two opposing corners and fold together to make a triangle.

2. Fold the existing triangle into another triangle.

3. Unfold. (There should be creases that make 8 triangles).

Step 4: Making a Smaller Square

1. Take two parallel corners and push the outsides into the center with your thumb and index finger. Then take two hands and grasp each tip with your index and thumbs (as shown in picture two).

2. Once the sides are in the center, slowly move the two flaps down. The sides should easily fold because of the creases.

3. Fold the top square down.

4. Now you should have a square.

5. Rotate the square so that the open corner is facing you.

Step 5: More Creasing

1. Fold one layer on both sides into the center. They should not overlap each other.

2. Repeat on the other side.

3. Then fold the top triangle down.

*Make sure you really fold and crease this part well so that it will actually help later. All folds in origami are for a reason.

4. Unfold these last 3 mini-steps so that you are back with the small square with creases.

Step 6: Creating the Wings

1. Lift one layer of the square from the corner facing you with one hand. This should open a little pocket.

2. Then take both sides and fold them into the center line all the way from the top to bottom.

3. Repeat on the other side. (You should have a diamond looking shape)

Step 7: Finishing the Wings

1. Fold one layer of both sides (on the bottom part) and fold into the center.

2. Flip it over and do it again.

Step 8: Folding the Neck and Tail

1. Turn the crane to the side and split the 'legs' open.

2. Insert your index finger into the side (on the top part) forceful enough to leave an indent.

3. Hold the bottom of the leg with your middle finger and thumb while your index finger is still above holding the place.

4. Slowly bring your middle finger and thumb up as it folds inside the socket. Start to remove your index finger once the leg starts to fold easily into the socket.

4. Do this on the other side.

Step 9: Making the Head

1. Choose which side you want to be the head.

2. Pick it up by the neck and use your other hand to grab the tip and flatten all of the layers so that the top is not sharp anymore.

3. From the top, push your nail (or finger) down in the middle of the flattened part while holding the side of the head (where the top is bent) with your index finger and thumb.

4. While you push down on the flattened part, squeeze the sides to make the crease 'official'.

*If you can't do this step for some reason, then just fold the top part down sideways to give the same head effect (not pictured). It will just not stay and will be a flap.

Step 10: Finishing Your Crane

1. Pull open the wings.

2. At the bottom of your crane there should be a hole. Blow into the hole to make the core blow up.

3. Enjoy your origami crane!

1 Person Made This Project!


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Question 11 months ago on Introduction

what are the measurements for the square sheet of paper, are there any, or does it not matter?


2 years ago

This is so cool, it might have taken me a few tries not to mess up, but after a few tries I mad a it’s.


4 years ago

That's really pretty :)