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How to Make an Origami Crane

Learn how to make an origami crane with this origami video from Howcast.


This is a video for the origami crane.

The first step for the traditional origami crane is a diagonal fold. We're going to start with the color-side up, and then go ahead and fold the bottom corner up to the top corner. Make sure that it's nice and lined up so it's very precise. We're not trying to go super-fast, just trying to get it exactly on that spot. Then slide your finger down, out to the corner, and then out to the other corner. Open it back up, and then we're going to do the other diagonal fold. Again, take the bottom and bring it up. Everything nice and lined up, just like that. Open it back up. You should have a nice '+' with your creases.

Flip the paper over, and now we're going to do two book folds. We're going to take the bottom edge and bring it up to the top edge. Make sure it's not askew or off to the side, at all, try and get it nice and even across the top. Once you do, crease down, just like that. Then open it up and do the other book fold as well, just like that.

Once you have that last one, go ahead and leave that crease down, and pick up the model a little bit. What we're going to do is if you pinch right here and right here, near the top of the corners, what we're going to do is we're going to rotate the model up, just like this. You see how we're getting all 4 corners of the paper are going to come up and touch each other, right at the top. Then you see how we've got these extra flaps, we can squash those flaps down. This doesn't use any new creases. We haven't made anything new. This is just using all of the folds that we already have to create what's called a square base or a preliminary base. The important thing about the orientation of the base is to make sure that these flaps that we have open here, they have to be towards you. Get them, and make sure that they're not up at the top, but that those extra flaps are pointed towards you. Not off to the side, but right down at you.

Next, we're going to do two kite folds. We're going to take these 2 bottom edges that lead down to the open flap, and we're going to fold them into the middle of the paper, just right on that middle line, right all the way down. We'll do it on the left-hand side and also on the right-hand side, just like that. Then once we've done both of those, go ahead and fold down this top triangle, right here. It's going to go all the way across this line. That's the crease line that we're going to use. We fold that triangle down, just like that.

Next, flip the whole thing over with this. Make sure that this triangle flap is on the bottom, underneath. We're going to do those 2 kite folds; we're going to do those again on this side, just like that. Once you've done those 2 kite folds, go ahead and open those back up. Those are what we call preliminary folds. We're going to use those creases to use another fold later.

What's going to happen is we're going to take one flap of paper, just one. There's a couple of different spots there, but just open up one flap of paper. What we want to do is we want to flatten it out and pick it up as high as we can. When we pick it up pretty high, what's going to happen is these 2 outside flaps are going to want to work their way into the center. We've already made that kite fold. When we folded this over, we already created that fold right in there. Go ahead and let the paper do that. We're going to pick the paper up all the way up to the top and pull in these 2 edges. This is called a petal fold, just like this. You see how that flattens out nicely.

Next, flip the paper over, and we do the same thing here. Open up that triangle, open up these 2 flaps, fold this guy back down. We're going to pick up this panel right here and do another petal fold. Pick it all the way up to the top. It should match the one behind it, just like that. This is called the crane base.

Once we have the crane base, make sure that you have these 2 slits right here at the bottom; these are going to be our tail and our head. What we're going to do is we're going to do 2 kite folds. We're going to thin this again. Go ahead and take these 2 edges and bring those into the middle. Make sure that the edges are pointing down, towards here. Don't fold them where the go up like that. They're down towards the openings on the left side and the right side. Flip it over, and do it one more time.

We've got these 2 flaps. What we're going to do is we're going to fold them both up as far as they'll go and out to the side at whatever angle you want. If you want the head to be a little bit closer, reaching a little bit forward or you want the tail to be a little farther back. Whatever angle you want, go ahead and fold them up and fold them back down. We're going to use that crease that we made to do what's called an inside reverse fold. An inside reverse fold is instead of taking this flap in front, or even if we were to fold it behind, we're going to open this panel up right here. There's 2 panels right there, open them up, and we're going to fold this in the middle of them. We're going to bring it up inside the middle. What happens is this back spine of the paper right here is going to reverse its crease. It's switched around, and you see how it's gone in the middle of the paper. It's an inside reverse fold. We're going to do that on both sides. Try to do it on the creases we just made. When we folded this up, try to use those creases.

Once we do that, you can figure out which side you want to be the head and which side you want to be the tail. I'm going to use this guy for the head. What's going to happen is I'm going to make another inside reverse fold. Just open it up and fold the beak down, like that. Again, that's been folded on the inside of the paper, like that. Fold down each of the wings. That is the origami crane.

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