Origami Crane: How To and History

1. Pre-folds.

1.a 1.b
In order to successfully create a majestic crane, pre-folds are necessary. These creases allow for later permanent folds to be completed successfully.

Fold paper in half both ways and then diagonally both ways.

2. Diamond Fold.

*Caution: This step is difficult, proceed with patience. At this point, the paper should appear to be divided in four square and then diagonally in each square.

Color side up, pick one of the four corners of the paper and inverse fold the diagonal crease. Do the same on the opposite corner, creating a smaller square.

3. Inward Folds.

The shape in front of you should be with the open side towards you.

Fold the left and right edges towards the middle, making a kite-like shape. Do this on front and back.

4. Pre-fold.


This is just a pre-fold, meaning it will help you later.

Fold the obtuse angle to the line of the left/right angles meeting the middle completed in Step 3.

5. Wings in the Early Stages.

*Caution: This step is difficult, proceed with patience.

Open the left and right edges from the middle. Separate top layer of paper from other layers. Allow creases to take charge and fold shape up at pre-fold made in Step 4. This will make a skinny diamond shape. Do this on front and back.

6. More Inwards Folds.

Same as Step 3…

Fold the left and right edges to the middle. Do on front and back.

7. Neck and Tail.


The paper start to looks more like a crane than a slice of tree after this step.

Turn the diamond shape on its side (where the front side meets the back side). Separate front from back. Flip bottom upwards and press front and back sides together as they were. Do on both sides.

8. The Crane.

8.a 75spt
Pull the wings apart. Choose one of the upward points to be a head and fold tip downwards like a beak.

Celebrate your paper-crane making, then make 999 more to make a wish, a.k.a. a Senbazuru.

After your paper folding days are completed, and if you would like to know more about origami, read my essay Unfolding Origami.

Sydney Morris


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