Make an Origami Crane

I have tried for several months to accomplish the bucket list goal of “Making an Origami Animal” and it deceptively appeared simple. But, as it turns out, Origami is really freakin’ hard, even the simplest origami crane, and a dictionary of paper folding terminology was going to be a necessity.

Annette White learning to make an origami crane in Tokyo, Japan

How was I supposed to know how to do a bird base with a reverse and petal fold?

This was getting very complicated.

I did make several attempts, with many different animals, starting with a dinosaur. He did not stand. Not even when I bent his legs backwards. Or tail up. There were also a slew of pitiful frogs, squirrels and turtles that followed.

origami dinosaur

But then, when browsing through a store, my eyes were drawn to a basket full of colorful paper cranes, each origami crane unique. I’m selfish. I wanted my own basket full of origami cranes. Waa, waa, waa. Let the challenge begin.

Origami Crane from Tokyo, Japan

I had every intention of making a video of this goal to show you all how to make your own crane. See, I even started the intro….

But, then I realized that I have absolutely no business showing anyone this delicate Japanese art. Your origami crane might end up headless. Even though I did complete one crane…yes, just one…I am not even an amateur. Just lucky.

So, here’s the Making an Origami Crane diagram instructions I used and a video from someone who actually knows what they are doing…

If, after reading this and watching the video, you decide that you have a passion for strategically folding paper, I need 99 more cranes for my basket. Please send me all your leftovers.

Have you ever made an origami crane?

2018-12-21T07:56:46+00:00August 24th, 2011|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: |


  1. carola August 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    lol, you always make me laugh; thanks! I have a Japanese coworker who does great Origami; including colorful strands of paper cranes.  

    • Annette Renee White August 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Oooh! Have your coworker teach you, it will be much easier than the instructions online 😉

  2. Amanda August 25, 2011 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    practice makes perfect….so good job on accomplishing the task of making an origami crane!!

  3. Krista August 26, 2011 at 11:31 am - Reply

    What a fantastic thing to have on your bucket list! That makes me smile and ponder what sort of "little" delights I could add to mine. 🙂 Way to go!!

  4. Annie August 27, 2011 at 12:27 am - Reply

    Haha, I use to make origami cranes and stars. The reason for doing so? I heard a rumor that if you make 1000 of those, your wish will come true….. haha.
    Practice makes perfect ^_^

    • Annette Renee White August 27, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

      Did your wish come true? I’m going to have to stick to wishing on a falling star & blowing out all the candles on my birthday cakes 😉

  5. Scott - Quirky Travel Guy August 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    Hmm, it does sound like it would be easy… that's disappointing that you can't just run through it in a few minutes.

    • Annette Renee White August 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm - Reply

      Probably would be a lot easier with way more practice 😉

  6. Miranda August 28, 2011 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I have learn origami as one of my 32 Things Before 32. But now I'm a bit concerned, cause I have no hand eye coordination or skill. Guess I better start practicing!

    • Annette Renee White August 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Practice, practice, practice…UGH!

  7. Elle August 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm - Reply

    I've attempted to make a crane before as well and it turns out that I freaking suck at origami!  I'll leave that skill to the more patient people.

    • Annette Renee White August 28, 2011 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      I’m not patient either, that’s probably why this goal was so darn frustrating. I really like instant gratification!

  8. 101 Things Before You Die August 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    I've seen this on a lot of people's lists and I've considered adding to my list but in the end…I really don't want to! Congrats on completing one and good luck on the next 99!

    • Annette Renee White August 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Ha Ha…Thanks! I will not be making anymore cranes, unless someone wants to send me to Japan to learn from an origami master 😉

  9. ash... September 17, 2011 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Not to brag but I just learned how to do origami a few days ago and now i can make cranes in only a few minutes 🙂  Haha.  No, I'm not japanese either.  once you learn how to do a crane everything else is easier just to let you know.  keep at it and good luck!

    • Annette Renee White September 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm - Reply

      Okay, now I’m jealous! I guess I need much more practice!

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  12. Kab April 25, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    I'm currently making 1000 cranes for cancer 🙂 You should read the story of Sadako and the thousand cranes, its a sad story though 🙁

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey April 25, 2012 at 3:08 pm - Reply

      Kudos to you, that is a wonderful thing to do 🙂
      I’m sure you have perfected the art of making a crane by now. Maybe you could teach me a thing or two 😉

  13. Jackiecrazy June 3, 2012 at 2:24 am - Reply

    You call a crane freakin' hard? Then the origami I made is legendary!
    I dunno how to upload my lotus, my boat, and my origami people so I'll do it sometime after.

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey June 3, 2012 at 6:57 am - Reply

      Yep. It was certainly hard for me. Would love to see the origami people, sounds amazing.

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  17. Kerry July 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    I am not a patient person either. 🙂

  18. Russell May 27, 2017 at 5:57 am - Reply

    It just takes a little patience and some practice. You have to concentrate and fold accurately. Don’t give up, I know you can do it.

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