How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Learn to fold a beautiful origami crane with our detailed tutorial and instructional videos. Perfect for beginners and fun for kids’ school projects or festivals!

origami crane

Hello, Craftaholics! Ready for some origami fun? Today we’ll share a trendy and one of the most beloved paper folding projects; yes, you’ve probably guessed it right, it’s an origami crane! 

Most of the popular origami patterns have originated in Japan, but origami crane craft holds great significance in Japanese culture; it represents peace, longevity, and good fortune.

There is also a myth that creating 1000 origami cranes brings good luck. It’s more like a tradition, claiming that anyone who folded 1000 paper cranes would be granted a wish or a lifetime of happiness. 

The origami crane is a beginner-friendly paper-folding project, as most people try to learn and practice their origami skills with it. We tried our best to break down the instructions as clearly as possible so that anyone can make it.

Making an origami crane requires a piece of square paper only, without glue or scissors. What it does require is steady hands and patience. This origami project won’t even cost a dollar.

origami crane long image - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

How to Make an Origami Crane

Things You’ll Need


  • A piece of square paper. (If this is your first attempt at making an origami crane, use a 15cm x 15cm square sheet.)

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Step by Step Instructions

Authors Note: Please do not rush through the instructions. The origami crane involves flipping and turning sides a few times. Missing a step can make the whole model difficult to complete.

Fold a piece of square paper in half diagonally, along both sides. Unfold both folds. Turn the paper to the other side and fold it in half vertically and horizontally. Unfold both folds again.

1 Origami Crane Step - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Step 2: Form the Preliminary Fold

Fold in the diagonal creases and flatten the current origami pattern. It will form a diamond shape with a visible crease along the middle.

Step 3: Make the Petal Fold Crease

Hold any one open side of the current origami pattern and fold it along the middle crease of the pattern. Similarly, fold the other side (left and right open side).

Turn the pattern to the other side and similarly fold that side. Unfold all folds. Slightly open the top flap of the pattern from the open end.

3 Origami Crane Step - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Step 4: Create the Petal Fold

Fold in both sides of the flap along the left and right creases (as shown in the video). The final output will be a beautiful petal fold.

Step 5: Make the Bird Base

If we do the same fold on the other side of the current pattern, the petal fold will turn into a bird base. Turn the pattern to the other side and follow the petal fold steps for that side.

5 Origami Crane Step - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Step 6: Shape the Sides

Fold the open side of the petal, as shown in the video. The target is to make it a bit pointy, as this fold will form the head and tail parts of your origami crane.

Step 7: Repeat the Side Folds

Watch video clip no. 6 again, as this fold will be repeated three more times. First, fold the left and right sides of the pattern where the slit is.

Then, turn the pattern over and repeat the fold on the other side.

7 Origami Crane Step - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Step 8: Flip and Pair the Flaps

Carefully open each flap and pair them with the opposite flaps. This makes sure the crane’s wings and body are symmetrical. Flatten the flaps neatly for the next steps.

Step 9: Fold Up the Sides

Fold up one side of the pattern and flatten it neatly. Then, turn the pattern over and fold up the other side in the same way. These folds will start forming the crane’s wings and body.

Step 10: Finalize the Wings and Body

Turn the current pattern (after folding up a side) to the other side. Similarly, fold up the side and flatten it neatly with the origami pattern.

Once, both sides are folded up, we will flip the sides again. The parts folded up are the head (and neck) and the tail of the origami bird.

10 Origami Crane Step - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Step 11: Make the Final Flips

Flip the sides again to prepare for the final folds. This step sets up the paper for making the wings.

Step 12: Form the Wings

Fold down the flaps on both sides to make the wings of the crane. Flatten them neatly to adjust the shape. You can fold them to 90 degrees later to make them look like wings.

12 Origami Crane Step - How to Make a Traditional Origami Crane (with Video Guide)

Step 13: Make the Crimp Fold

Follow the video guide to make the crimp fold, which shapes the head and tail of the crane. This step defines the head and tail.

Step 14: Adjust the Bottom

Finally, adjust the bottom of the crane so it stands properly and looks balanced. This completes your crane, making sure it is stable and looks good.

Watch Complete Video Tutorial: How to Make Traditional Origami Crane

Having trouble following our written tutorial? No worries! You can watch the video tutorial on our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button and turn on the notification bell for more fun craft ideas!

Helpful Tips for Beginners

  • Avoid using thick or stiff paper. Use light or medium light craft paper for this project. Because these papers are easier to fold and holds creases well.
  • Always make sharp creases. Use your fingernail or a flat tool like a bone folder to ensure each fold is crisp and holds its shape.
  • The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Try to fold a variety of models to improve your skills.

Enjoyed crafting the origami crane? Here are some of our origami projects from our website that you may also like,

Amongst all the origami patterns, the crane holds a special place. It is a symbol of hope, one of the few beginner-friendly origami crafts that include many basic folds and bases, and of course, it is meditative for people of all ages.

If you find our tutorial helpful and follow it to craft an origami crane or 2, please tag us on Facebook or Instagram (use #thecraftaholicwitch) and show us how you’re using or decorating it.

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