How to Make a Paper Crane

Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. The crane is a famous origami model, which is both beautiful and basic in design. Here's how to make a paper crane:

  1. Lay a perfectly square piece of paper on your table one corner up, so it looks like a diamond. The size of the paper determines the size of the crane. [source: Origami-instructions]
  2. Fold the top corner down to the bottom corner and open.
  3. Fold the left corner to the right and open.
  4. Flip the paper over to the back side.
  5. Fold the square in half horizontally and open.
  6. Fold the square in half vertically and open.
  7. Bring the four corners together along the creases. Flatten the model. Turn it so you have a small diamond with two layers of flaps coming off the middle, vertical crease.
  8. Pull up the two front triangular flaps. The bottom edges meet at the center crease of your diamond. You now have a triangle above the center fold.
  9. Open this triangle section. Fold down the three layers at the top of your diamond. You have a small diamond.
  10. Open the very front layer of the bottom corner upward. Press the sides of this flap inward toward the middle. At the same time, flatten the paper. You now have an elongated diamond on your small, square diamond.
  11. Flip your paper over and repeat steps 7 through 9. You now have a double-layered elongated diamond with obtuse triangle flaps coming off the middle.
  12. Fold the front obtuse triangle flaps upward so the bottom edges meet along the vertical centerline.
  13. Flip the paper over and repeat. You now have an elongated kite, with the lower portion split in the middle like two legs.
  14. Fold the "legs" up, so the outer edge of each remains along the same line. Crease very hard and unfold. Flip and repeat.
  15. Take each "leg" and do a reverse inside fold. The outside edge of each leg meets the other leg's edge in the middle, and is now on the inside of the leg. The legs should be pointing upward and away from the middle. You now have a three-point crown.
  16. Fold the triangular portion of the middle flap down, making a wing.
  17. Make the other wing.
  18. Reverse inside fold the tip of one "leg." This is the crane's head.