Introduction: How to Make 1,000 Cranes (or Just One)!

We've all seen the paper birds, but have you ever wanted to learn how to make one? If you don't know how to make one, this instructable will show you how to make one of the most elegant, timeless origami figures...

And then I'll tell you how to make a thousand.
(And it's really easier than you'd think.) (:

(1,016 are in the picture below.)

Step 1: Making a Square

First, you need to make a perfect square. The easiest was to do this is to get a piece of printer paper, or some other kind of rectangle paper, and make it from this. Or you can buy origami paper, which is already a perfect square but is a little expensive.

1. Start with your (rectangular) sheet.
2. This is where your fold will be.
3. Fold the top edge to the side edge; make sure you crease well.
4. Cut off the excess.

Step 2: The Square Base

In origami, most figures are made from bases. This one actually has two, the square, which precedes the bird base. These are the instructions for the square base.

1. Do preliminary folding. Fold corner to corner and edge to edge. (see picture for visual)
2. Fold the left corner to the bottom corner... You will NOT yet be able to flatten it. Keep the figure not-flat.
3. Then bring the right corner to the bottom corner...
4. You should have something like this... (the red is on the INSIDE btw)
5. Then put the top corner to the bottom.
6. Now you should have this: a squarish figure.

Step 3: The Bird Base (preliminary Folding)

These are preliminary steps to make the bird base, once you finish this step, you're halfway done with your crane!!

1 & 2. Fold the bottom right edge and the bottom left edge to the center of the diamond. MAKE SURE OF TWO THINGS:
a. that the bottom of your diamond is the throng of the corners and the top is the original paper's center. (picture 1)
b. that you only fold ONE flap to the center, not both.
(see picture 2.)

3. Fold the top area down over the top of the flaps.
4. UNfold.
5. Flip over and make sure the corners are still down. And do steps 1-4 again on this side.

Step 4: The Bird Base

1. Make sure you follow the folds you made!!! Take the bottom flap and "hinge" it on the fold going across the paper. And by "inverting" the direction of the way you folded the diagonal folds, you make the square diamond into a rhombus diamond. (the left and right corners go onto the middle line next to each other.)

2. this is what it will look like halfway through completing this step the finished step is picture 3.
3. This is what it should look like. Now, turn over and repeat.
4. And this is the completed bird base!

Step 5: A Special Step.

If you do this step, your crane WILL NOT be able to flap. However, it will look much nicer if you do. I recommend making a second crane (one with and without this step) and see which one you like better.

***NOTE***: i turned the figure ninety degrees to the right because i find it easier that way.
but i WILL refer to the directions as top, left right, blah blah blah. Even if its wrong.

1. Take the left and right edges and fold them them to the center. (sigh. or the top and bottom if you can't flip the orientation in your head.)
2. Repeat on the other side.

Step 6: Continuing On!!

1. Now, move the left flap OVER to the right side, so now you'll have one flap on the left, and three on the right.
::Flip it over and do it again. So now you have two on each side again, except it looks a little different. (Should look like picture One.)

2. Move the bottom flap allllll the way up.
3. Repeat on other side.

Step 7: Making Its Tail and Head

1 & 2. All you have to do is fold one tip of neck down so it forms the head. I fold about a third of the neck down.

3. Move the flaps back to where the were. (move one flap to the right, flip over, repeat.)

4. Then pull out the neck and tail out and press on the bottom area to make a new fold on the joint.

Step 8: Unfurl!

Pull the wings (gently) apart from each other...

And see your pretty crane! (or functional if you decided to skip section 5.)

Step 9: Now... 1,000!!

Okay. It's a big goal. But it's really a cool feeling when you get them done...

And according to legend, you get a wish. (:
i haven't made mine yet... hmm.

::Take around small papers with you in an Altoids tin to make cranes in the car! (I will enter that into the pocket size competition if i have time!)
::At night, sit in your room or someplace nice, listen to music, and fold the night away.
::Do different papers! The same paper gets BORING. I used a National Geographic magazine for the 250. They have the prettiest pictures too!
::If you buy expensive paper, make the papers smaller, into fourths or sixteenths!
::Make a few a day. (With page-a-day calenders, make 4 cranes from that!)
::Have friends help! about 400 of these were made by my two closest friends.

Don't stress yourself over it. I made my 600 or so in about 2 months by devoting one to three hours a day to folding.

Thank you for checking out my 2nd instructable!!!