Origami – Flapping Crane

A yellow Crane sits against a blue background

Text only origami instructions for blind crafters and friends written and adapted by Lisamaria Martinez, April 2020. Crane instructions inspired by this YouTube video.

What You Should Know

  • Paper to be used: square, any size
  • Folding level: Beginner+ / Intermediate
  • Steps: 28

Instructions

Step 1: Place a square piece of paper down on a hard, flat surface with the points oriented to the left, right, top, and bottom. Your paper should look like a diamond.

If using two-sided origami paper, lay your paper with the patterned or colored side up before starting to fold.

Step 2: Fold the left point over to meet the rightpoint. Crease well and unfold.

Step 3: Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease well and unfold.j

Your diamond should be divided into 4 equal triangles by 2 valley folds that make a cross or plus sign shape.

Step 4: Turn your paper over and position the paper so that the edges are facing up, down, left,and right. This should be the original square shape of the paper, but now with the 2 valley creases from the previous step forming an X with 2 mountain creases.

Step 5: Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease well and unfold.

Step 6: Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease well and leave folded. You should now have a rectangular shaped model with a mountain crease dividing it into 2 squares, each of which is also divided in half diagonally by a valley crease.

Step 7: Grasp the model at its left and right edges and push inward. It should collapse along the pre-existing folds. The result will be a 3-dimensional diamond shape that has one folded triangular flap sticking out toward the back of the model and another sticking out toward the front of the model.

Step 8: Bring the front flap back to meet the left point of the diamond and bring the back flap up to meet the right point. Make sure all of the creases are as sharp as possible and that your model lies as flat as possible. It should now look like a 2-layered, flat diamond with one open point which should be oriented such that it is facing you.

This is known as the preliminary square.

Step 9: Bring the lower left edge of the model’s top layer over to meet the vertical center crease. Crease and leave folded.

Step 10: Repeat step 9 with the lower right edge.

Your model should still look like a large diamond shape on the bottom layer. The top layer should now look like an irregular diamond with a narrower, tapering point at the bottom comprised of 2 triangular flaps. 

Step 11: Bring the top point down toward the center of the model as far as it will go so that it lies on top of the two triangular flaps. Crease this well and then unfold. There should now be a valley crease at the top edges of the two triangular flaps.

Step 12: Unfold the two triangular flaps you created in steps 9 and 10. Your diamond-shaped model should now have 3 creases originating up from the bottom point: the original center crease and one diagonal crease on either side of it.

Step 13: Pull the bottom point of the model (top layer only) up toward the top point. The top layer should collapse along the existing crease lines. As you move the bottom point upward, you should be able to take the point up and over, past the top point of the model. Press your newly created diamond flat on the work surface. You now have a long, skinny diamond shape sitting on top of the diamond-shaped bottom layer.

This is known as the petal fold.

Turn the model over like turning the pages of a book.

Step 14: Repeat Steps 9-13. (It does not matter if you turn the model over or not at the very end.)

Step 15: Bring the lower left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the vertical center. Crease and leave folded.

Step 16: Repeat step 15 with the lower right edge.

You should now have an even skinnier diamond with a much more tapered point at the bottom and a top point that’s somewhat wider. The bottom section is comprised of 2 triangular flaps that meet at the center. 

Turn the model over.

Step 17: Perform Steps 15 and 16 on this side of the model. (Again, it does not matter if you turn the model over or not at the very end.)

Step 18: Your model is 2 layers thick.

Fold the left side of the diamond, top layer only, over to meet the right side of your model. Your model is now 1 layer thick on the left side and 3 layers thick on the right side.

Turn your model over like turning the pages of a book.

Step 19: Fold the left side of the model over to meet the right side of the model.

Your model is back to being 2 layers thick on the left and right sides.

Step 20: Fold the bottom point of the diamond as far up as it will go.

Turn your model over like turning the pages of a book.

Step 21: Repeat the previous step on this side of your model. It is not necessary to turn your model over.

Step 22: Fold the left side of the model, top layer only, over to meet the right side. Your model is now 1 layer thick on the left side and 3 layers thick on the right side.

Turn your model over like turning the pages of a book.

Step 23: Fold the left side of the model over to meet the right side of the model.

Your model is back to being 2 layers thick on the left and right sides.

Step 24: At this point, the top and bottom layers of your model are made up of 2 large triangles. These are the wings of your crane.

Fold down the wings of the crane as far down as you can–exposing 2 smaller triangular shapes standing straight up and nestled in between a smaller triangle comprised of 2 layers.

To perform this, you might want to pick your model up from the surface you have been working on.

Step 25: Pick one of the triangular shapes to be the tail of your crane and the other one to be the beak.

To form the beak, slide your finger along the outer edge of one of the triangular shapes. This will allow you to open up the edge of the “neck” of the crane. Fold the point of the neck out and down about 45 degrees in between the 2 layers that form the neck.

Pinch the head, neck, and beak to sharpen the folds.  

You do not need to do anything to form the tail.

Step 26: Gently pull the tail and head away from each other and in opposite directions.

Step 27: Grasp one wing in each hand, and gently pull them away from each other to open out the body and allow the crane to stand more easily.

Step 28: To make your crane fly, make sure the tail is pulled out at about a 45-degree angle. Pinch the “very bottom corner of the crane, just below the tail, being sure to include the tail in the pinch.

Gently grasp the lower half of the neck and pull away from the body. Pull outward and push inward to get the wings of the crane flapping.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: