How to Make an Origami Crane

According to Japanese legend, folding 1,000 paper cranes in one year will guarantee your wish will come true. A young girl named Sadako did just that in 1955 and wished for world peace—the origami crane has been an international symbol of peace ever since.

You will need

  • A square of origami paper folded into a Bird Base
  • A flat surface

Step 1 Position Bird Base Position the Bird Base so that there are separate right and left flaps on the bottom. These flaps will be the tail and neck of the bird.

Step 2 Fold the right flap to the center edge Narrow the top layer of the right flap by folding its outer edge to meet the center vertical edge.

Step 3 Fold the left flap to the center edge Narrow the top layer of the left flap by folding its outer edge to meet the center vertical edge.

Step 4 Flip the model over and repeat Turn the model over and repeat, narrowing the remaining layer of the right and left flaps on the other side.

Step 5 Fold entire right layer over Fold the entire top right layer over to the left side, along the center vertical.

Step 6 Flip the model over and repeat Turn the model over and repeat, folding the top right layer over to the right side, along the center vertical.

Step 7 Fold the bottom flap up Fold the top layer of the long pointed bottom flap all the way up to the top. This forms the tail.

Step 8 Flip the model and repeat Turn the model over and repeat, folding the remaining long pointed bottom flap all the way up to the top. This forms the neck.

Step 9 Fold head Fold the tip of the neck in on itself to form a head.

Step 10 Fold left layer over Fold the top left layer over to the right side, along the center vertical.

Step 11 Flip model over and repeat Turn the model over and repeat, folding the top left layer over to the right side, along the center vertical.

Step 12 Pull tail down Pick up the model and hold it in the middle along the bottom. With your other hand, reach in between the layers and pull the tail down and out to a pleasing angle.

Step 13 Repeat to pull neck down Repeat on the other end to form the neck, and pull out the head.

Step 14 Fan the wings Gently spread apart the wing flaps, allowing the crane’s back to spread open.