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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 8: 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

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.

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    60 Discussions


    1 year ago

    That's really cool! Maybe I could try this on some of my other origami, do you think that will work?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is the cheapest place ive found to buy the stuff


    5 years ago

    Can you get this stuff at Home Depot?


    6 years ago on Introduction

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


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    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?

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    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!


    8 years ago on Step 5

    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.


    9 years ago on Step 8

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

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

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


    9 years ago on Step 9

    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


    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.