How to Fold Paper Cranes

Origami is a hard art for some people to master. It should be due to how the instructions are confusing, the pictures don’t make sense, or you just don’t understand what is happening.

Paper cranes. A classical thought when thinking of origami. Surprisingly, many people don’t know how to fold paper cranes (myself included until recently). To help out with anyone who wants to learn, I have wrote this post on just that.

Like most origami, you will need a square sheet of paper, your hands, and a hard surface if you can.

1. Fold the paper on a diagonal so you get a large triangle. Fold the paper in half so you get a smaller triangle. (Basically you have folded the square paper into four, equal triangles.)

2. If you open out the small triangle, you will notice that you have the large triangle, but there is a crease running down the middle. Now, you will take one of the corner of the triangle, not the one between the other two, and pull it down to the one between the other two. You will do this in a way that forces the paper to open (so you have to hold down the other half of the triangle). When the two corners touch, you would notice a square-ish shape. Fold down the creases so you get the square. Repeat on the other side.

3. Now make sure that the square foldable you have has the open ends facing to you and the folded parts facing away from you. It should look like a square diamond to you. Fold one open edge to the center crease, that should be there, of the diamond. Repeat to the other edge. Flip the paper over and do the same to the two edges on this side.

4. You would notice that the folded flaps make a line naturally. Fold the paper down on this line and make a crease. (So that small triangle you see just fold over the larger, skinnier one.) After you have made a crease, unfold the paper.

5. At this step, you should have a non-square shaped diamond with flaps folded to the center on the front and back sides. Now you will open the flaps. Once the flaps are open, choosing one side, open the paper up so that the paper goes over the crease made in the previous step. The paper would naturally start to bend at the flap creases. Crease down on the flap crease so you get a tall diamond shape. Repeat on the other side.

6. Now make sure that the paper has to two, not connected parts at the bottom, like legs. The edges of these “legs” would be fold to the center of the diamond. So what you get is a thinner diamond. Repeat to the other three edges.


7. Fold the paper so the folded flaps are not visible (so close a book but with the separate legs as the covers). Repeat on the other side.


8. You now have a diamond-ish shape with the bottom portion being whole but the top has empty space between the two sides, looking like ears. Fold the bottom portion upward so the tip of the bottom portion lines up with the tips of the ears. Repeat on the other side.


9. Now open the book, so that the fold flaps are partially visible, since some parts are covered due to folding. Pull down the bottom portions you folded in the step above, just a little as this is the head/neck and tail parts of the cranes. Make sure the parts are creases and to the positioning you want.

10. Chose one side and make a head. This is done by folding a part of the tip down and pushing the horizontally bent paper back together, so there is a v-shaped valley.


11. Put out the wings so the body is expanded. You may crease the wings so they stay open. You are finished with your crane!

12. Optional: you could curl your wings downwards for added flare.

Thank you for anyone who tried.

Out of fuel for now,



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