Text-Only Instructions
Credits and Resources:
The crane has become perhaps the most well-known symbol in origami today. Much has been written about this model, including its traditional origins and why it has become such a symbol of hope and peace in modern times.
You can read more about this at the link below.
            National Geographic - How Paper Cranes became a symbol of healing in Japan
For a text-only description of a Flapping Crane by a fellow folder, Lisamaria Martinez, follow this link
To find diagrams and/or videos for this model, simply search for the words "traditional origami crane".
Paper to be used: Square; use any kind of large paper to practice with at first.
 However, speciality origami paper is recommended for this very special model.
Folding level: Intermediate
Steps: 24
The origami crane is a three-dimensional figure, folded from the Bird Base. Its body, tail and head is very recognizable. Its wings can either be close to its body or they can be spread out into a flatter shape, folded away from the body.
There are also many variations to the crane, including crane cards, crane dishes, crane bookmarks and cranes with different properties like standing cranes, flying cranes etc.
Summary Explanation:
To help orient yourself, please read this section before starting to fold.
The crane is folded by starting off with the Preliminary or Square Base, leading into the Bird Base, which is then turned into the crane.
You can learn about the different origami bases at the following link:
The folding of this model is divided into 3 phases:
Phase 1 will explain how to fold the Preliminary or Square Base.
Phase 2 will add 2 petal folds to form the Bird Base.
Phase 3 will describe how to form the crane itself.
NOTE: The Bird Base starts with the Square or Preliminary Base followed by two petal folds If you are able to achieve the Square Base without instructions, fold it, then go to Step 9; if you are able to fold the Bird Base, go to Step 16.
Phase 1: The Prelimanary or Square Base
Step 1
Position a square of paper on your work surface so that its points are facing up and down, left and right or like a diamond.
Step 2
Bring the left point over to meet the right point. Crease and unfold.  
Step 3
Bring the top point down to meet the bottom point. Crease and unfold.
Step 4
Turn the paper over and position the square so that its edges are now facing up and down, left and right.             
Step 5
Bring the left edge over to meet the right edge. Crease and unfold.
Step 6
Bring the top edge down to meet the bottom edge. Crease and leave folded.
Step 7
Grasp the resulting rectangle at its left and right sides and push inward. The folds you made previously should allow the model to collapse into a diamond shape with one folded flap sticking out towards the front of the model and one sticking out towards the back.  
Step 8
Fold the front flap to the left and fold the back flap to the right so that your model will lie flat.
The model will have one open end.
Phase 2 - The Bird Base
To form the Bird Base, 2 petal folds are added to the Square Base.
Step 9
Position the model so that the open end is pointing toward you.
Step 10
Bring the lower left edge of the model's top layer over to meet the vertical center crease. Leave folded.
Repeat with the lower right edge.                                                                                                            
Step 11
Fold the top point down as far as it will go, so the triangular shape at the top of the diamond will cover the already-folded flaps beneath.
 Make a strong horizontal crease along the top edge of the model.
 Step 12
Unfold the top point and both the left and right triangular flaps.
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 upward and you should be able to take the bottom point up an over to lay flat on the work surface.
At the same time, the raw edges of the figure will seem to rise up slightly and move towards each other, meeting at the center of the model.
The result will be a long, skinny diamond shape sitting on top of the diamond-shaped bottom layer.
Step 14
Turn the model over from left to right.
Step 15
Repeat Steps 10 to 13 on this side of the figure.
 Your Bird Base is completed. It will be a long, skinny diamond shape that will now be cymmetrical and multi-layered.
Phase 3 - Forming the crane
Step 16
We will first be narrowing the bottom part of our crane.
To do this, hold the Bird Base so the center triangle, that is now hiding at the inside center of the figure is facing away from you.
The thin flaps that can move back and forth, or the legs, should be nearest you.
Step 17
Bring the lower left edge of the model (top layer only) over to meet the vertical center. Crease and leave folded.
Repeat 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 will have a triangular flap to either side of the center line.
Step 18
Turn the model over from left to right and repeat Step 17 so your model is cymmetrical.
Step 19
Open up the layers on the left side of  the model just a bit.
At the same time, take the bottom point of the left 'leg' and fold it all the way up, as far as it will go.
  Press the layers flat again to close the left side of the model.
 The left leg will basically fold upwards in half and will protrude at the top left of the model and will be enclosed within the layers of the paper.
 Repeat on the right side.
When finished, your diamond should have lost its bottom point, and should now have 2 small points sticking up out of the top, one on either side.
Step 20
The model has many layers now.
Find the skinny point at the top left of the figure and form the crane's neck and head by pulling it away from the center, so that the tip points left.
It is not critical, but try to let the left tip, the neck, lean at around a 45 degree angle.
Step 21
To form the head/beak, hold the neck with one hand and press down on the end of the head. The paper should open slightly and you should be able to squash the point down at an angle, so it will look like a beak.
Check that the head/beak is slightly smaller than the neck of the crane.
Step 22
Now, as you did with the head on the left, Form the crane's tail by pulling the top right point away from the center, so that the tip points right.
You can also fold the tail at around a 45 degree angle or slightly further down.
The tail will automatically look longer than the neck since you have folded the head and beak on the left.
Step 23
Gently pull the model's center flaps down on both sides in an arc as far as they will go to form the wings.
You can leave the wings in this somewhat closed position if preferred, or go to the next step to open them.
Step 24
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.
Remember that you can vary the way you fold the last steps by changing the angles as mentioned above and by spreading the wings more or less.
May you experience the love, hope, joy and peace that each origami crane may bring.
 Making origami accessible to visually impaired crafters through text instructions.
for non-commercial use only.
~`~Compiled by Lindy van der Merwe, November 2023-