How to make a paper crane

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Step 1
Step 1

To make a paper version of the Japanese cranes that dance delicately, you'll need a square piece of paper that's thin enough to fold easily, but stiff enough to hold its shape when folded. You can buy special origami paper, like we did, but ordinary printing paper is usually fine, too. It's good to do your folding on a flat, even surface.

Step 2
Step 2

If your paper is coloured, like ours, turn it over so that the coloured side is facing down.

Step 3
Step 3

Fold your piece of paper in half, corner to corner, so that it makes a triangle... kind of like a sandwich. Half of the coloured side should be facing you, now.

Step 4
Step 4

Fold it again, cutting the long edge in half. It should look exactly the same as the last step, only smaller, and double-layered.

Step 5
Step 5

Open up one of those double layers, bring one of the sharp corners of the triangle to meet the other and then press the paper flat, so that it makes a little square.

Step 6
Step 6

Flip your piece of paper over and do the same to the other side. You should have a four-layered square, now.

Step 7
Step 7

There'll be a crease down the middle of the square. Without rotating your piece of paper, take a corner on one side of the crease down the middle and fold it in so that it meets the crease.

Step 8
Step 8

Do the same with the corner on the other side.

Step 9
Step 9

Turn your piece of paper over and repeat steps 7 and 8 on the other side. Your paper should be diamond-shaped now, with a thinner triangle on top. Fold the triangle over the thicker section, then unfold it.

Step 10
Step 10

Now, undo steps 7, 8 and 9, but don't press it flat.

Step 11
Step 11

Now, without rotating your paper (we did. Upwards is left in our photos now), take the bottom corner and pull it upwards so that the square opens up and you can see the non-coloured side of your paper.

Step 12
Step 12

Press your paper flat. Turn it over and repeat step 11. Press it flat again. Your paper should look like a long diamond, now, with a slit down the middle.

Step 13
Step 13

Take a corner to one side of the slit and fold it so that it meets the slit – like you did before in steps 7 and 8. Don't unfold it this time!

Step 14
Step 14

Do the same with the corner on the other side of the slit.

Step 15
Step 15

Turn your paper over and repeat steps 13 and 14 on the other side. You should now have a very narrow and long double-layered diamond with 'legs'. You should be able to open the layers out at the edges and bring them together so that there are 'wings' at the top now, instead of 'legs' at the bottom. But don't do this yet!

Step 16
Step 16

Fold those legs upwards (forwards of backwards, it doesn't matter which way) to make a crease. Unfold them, and then open the layers out at the edges and bring them together like it was described in step 15. Fold the legs upwards again on both sides and make sure they're folded firmly. Bring the layers apart again and press them flat so that your paper looks like the diamond in step 15, only with the legs cut off.

Step 17
Step 17

Take hold of the wings at the top of the diamond and pull them out – one away from you and one towards you. The body should open out when you do. If it doesn't, it's okay to press it down a little at the top. You'll have what looks like two tails (they used to be the legs). Just fold down the tip of one of them to make a head, and you're done!

Step 18
Step 18

Now make lots more pretty cranes. If you make a thousand, you'll get a wish.

If these instructions are hard to follow, please email us (see the Contact section) and I (Adil) will put up a video or a set of diagrams. You can search Google for instructions on making paper cranes, too.

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