Introduction: How to Make a Flying Paper Crane

In Japanese culture, paper cranes held magical properties. There are many instances where people with a terminal disease like leukemia believed that if they folded 1000 paper cranes, they would be healed. Books were written about this, like "Sodoku and the 1000 paper cranes" that detailed the story of a little girl who attempted this great challenge! These stories speak about the importance of myths and legends in a society. This crane actually flaps its wings as well! Lets get to folding.


-A piece of square paper (any color, smooth textures work best!)

Step 1: Step 1: Prepare Your Paper

To successfully fold a flying paper swan, you need to make sure your paper is completely square. This will ensure that there is no extra creasing that could affect the way your swan flaps its wings.

(If you have origami paper already you should be able to skip this step, it should be perfectly square. The creases do help you fold more precisely later on though!)

1. fold the paper into a triangle.

2. fold the triangle in half into a smaller triangle.

3. Unfold the triangle and cut along the top crease.

4. Once you have cut it, fold the paper hot-dog style and line up the edges. If needed, trim them.

Unfold and fold hamburger style now, lining up the edges once more. At this point, you should be certain that all edges of your paper will successfully line up and you have a perfect square!

It is important to ensure that all of the creases are already folded into your paper before you begin folding. This will help the process and make sure you can fold some of the delicate folds necessary.

Lay your paper flat again, it should look like the picture above.

Step 2: Step 2: Begin Folding

Now that you have your creased and perfectly square paper. We are going to begin folding.

1. Fold your paper into a triangle.

2. Fold the two outer corners of your triangle into itself so that the points meet in the middle. (see picture above for a "in action" picture)

You should have a square. Keep the two folded edges facing towards you.

Now we are going to turn them inside out, make the smaller triangles fit inside your square as shown.

Step 3: Step 3: Make a Kite!

This step resembles a kite, once we are finished with this step you will be able to see if you are headed down the right track!

1. face the folded corner of your square AWAY from you as shown in the picture above.

2. Fold each corner in (making sure to only grab only one fold!)

It should look like the picture above at this point!

3. Flip it over and do the same thing to the other side. You've made a little kite!

(if you accidentally folded the two "wings" of the kite on the wrong side, you won't be able to complete this next step. So make sure they are the correct direction!)

Step 4: Step 4: the Boat

This step resembles a boat when we are unfolding the "kite".

1. With your kite facing fold away from you, open up the bottom side into a flat piece as shown in the picture above.

2. Try and press the top corner flat against the table, it should naturally want to fold alongside the edge of your kite. Make sure the edges are neatly folded into the center of your little boat. Do the same to the other side and it should be completely flat.

3. Flip it over and do the same to the other side.

Step 5: Step 5: the Walking Lady

I promise it will actually be a flying paper crane, bear with me and the names!

1. Pinch both corners from the same side upwards as shown in the picture

2. Without letting go, pinch the other two sides of the boat and flatten it.

You should see distinct legs of you "lady," of sorts. Imagining that her head is the opposite end.

Step 6: Step 6: Touch Your Toes

Make the "walking lady" touch her toes.

1. Fold a single side at a time over the "feet". Flip over and do the same to the other side.

Step 7: Step 7: Neck and Tail

We are almost finished!

1. Hold your triangle bottom towards you, point away.

2. While gripping the center of your triangle between thumb and forefinger, pinch either side of the two "legs" pull them downwards and crease the fold.

Fold them at an angle, also a medium distance away from the triangle. Too far or too close will cause the crane not to be able to fly well.

Step 8: Step 8: Time to Fly!

It should look like a crane now!

1. Fashion a head on your crane by inverting the end of the head or tail.

Sometimes one side will work better than the other for flying, so maybe test it out first and see!

Make sure to pinch the piece where the crane's head is connected to its body before flying it. Otherwise the crane will rip from the middle as you try to fly it, probably destroying it and making you think, "Was she lying to me about this whole flying thing??"

2. Flap its wings till your heart's content. You're finished!

Now go make 1000 of them :)

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