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How to Fold Paper.

Updated on January 13, 2014
Strings of paper cranes for prayers of peace sent to Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. (public domain)
Strings of paper cranes for prayers of peace sent to Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. (public domain)

The activity of paper folding or paper creasing has been elevated to an art form in eastern cultures for some time. Japanese origami as a paper-folding art uses a variety of papers. This includes delicate rice paper for tiny objects, construction paper, brown wrapping paper, dollar bills, waxed paper, aluminum foil, elegant decorative papers, and papers inlaid with thin gold leaf, to name several. The objects that can be produces within the folds of paper is limitless: roses, birds, a bat, and elephant, a ship, an airplane. Below, you will find several patterns to amuse you.♥


It has been a tradition for an ill child in Japan to be instructed to fold 1000 paper cranes in order to distract him or her from the illness. By the time they have folded the 1000th bird, they are well, so it is assured them. As the crane in the East represents long life, this reinforces the belief for the child that a return to wellness is close at hand, especially if that hand is folding 1000 cranes (1000 long lives). ♥


1. Begin with a square piece of paper, the same exact length on each side.

2. Fold the square along a diagonal from corner to corner and then unfold.

3a-b. Fold the paper inward as shown in the diagram. 3c. Flip the paper over

4. Fold the paper between the two corners and unfold along dotted lines.

5a-b. Fold those corners toward the center along the crease you just made.

6. Flip the paper over.

7a-b. Fold the sides into the center, but don't fold the flaps up from the bottom.

8a. Fold the pointed end inward as shown.

8b. Flip the paper over

10a-b. Fold the sides toward the center.

11. Flip the paper over.

12. Fold sides under the flaps towards the center.

13a-b. Push down the sides to meet under the flaps and appear as a normal paper airplane body, at right angles to the wings.

14. Staple the front of the paper airplane at the arrow.

15. Bend a paper clip so that it makes an "S" with one side pulled out farther than the other.

16. Slip the paper clip through the hole and pinch the paperclip tight. Launch the plane with the paperclip from a rubber band like a slingshot.

An Origami Elephant

Sadaku holdng a crane, statue -- Hiroshima (public domain)
Sadaku holdng a crane, statue -- Hiroshima (public domain)

The Book: 1000 Paper Cranes

Eleanor Coerr wrote a children's book titled

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes

Sadako Sasaski was a real little girl that was 2 years old when the "Little Boy" atomic bomb was dropped by the US airship Enola Gay on Hiroshima during World War II on August 6, 1945. The plane was piloted by Paul Tibbets and the event is memorialized in Japan and in the US at places like Wright Patterson Air Force Base. This air base has a wonderful musuem and in it, a bookstore and gift shop where you can purchase origami-inspired paper airplane kits.

Sadako at first suffered no ill effects after the Horshima bombing. However, in 1955 at age 11, she was participating in a foot race and collapsed. Taken for medical examination, Sadako proved to have developed Leukemia, likely linked to the radiation from "Little Boy."

Sadako's friend told her to remember to fold 1000 paper cranes and wish for complete recovery and Sadako began to fold in earnest.

Some accounts say that she completed her 1000 tiny folded paper birds and died. Other reports state that she could not copmplete her project and that her classmates at school folded the remaining cranes so that all 1000 could be buried with her in her coffin.

Regardless of the accuracy of either version, a stattue has been raised to the memory of Sadako in Seattle and is incribed at the base with this message:

"This is our cry, This is our prayer, Peace in the world".

Another statue was raised in Japan for Sadako, showing her holding onto one of her paper cranes come to life above her head.

How important, a piece of folded paper...


Retired Air Force General Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, lived in Columbus, Ohio until his death on Thursday October 31, 2007 at the age of 92. He chose to be cremated and his ashes spread across the English Channel where he often flew during the war. He had stated that he did not want his grave to become a gathering site.


If anyone would like to send 1000 paper cranes to the Children's Monument in the Hiroshima Peace Park, please thread them onto garlands of 100 cranes each. Then ship or mail them to the following address. They will be used in memorializing the children adversely affected by the war

  • Office of the Mayor
  • City of Hiroshima
  • 6-34 Kokutaiji-Machi
  • 1 Chome Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730
  • Japan


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    • profile image

      Alison 7 years ago

      I appreciate your hub! Please continue posting interesting stuffs, like paper folding, I really love this post!

    • ratnaveera profile image

      ratnaveera 8 years ago from Cumbum

      Very interesting Hub which has lot of informations to entertain children! Thank you sir.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I sense the pain of frustration. Best of success to you!

    • profile image

      yohomez 9 years ago

      im still trying on how to fold a fucking motorcyle lol!!!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Many books are in the library, giving clear instructions. Use any kind of paper. Even prison libraries may have some good Origami books. LOL :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      In elementary school I did not know about origami yet, but folded just a couple paper objects myself out of construction paper. Then I made small booklets and such. One girls said. "You're just wasting paper" and I kept folding and got A's and she got D's and F's and teacher comments about bad attitude.

      So keep folding! :)

    • oscarmecp4 profile image

      oscarmecp4 9 years ago from South Africa

      Interesting I used to do paper folding myself when I was much younger but ahhh know and then I caught myself doing it again. Who said paper is for writing and printing?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      I very much look forward to reading THAT one!

    • MortimerWorth profile image

      MortimerWorth 9 years ago from Germany

      Hmmm. quite the coincidence. In about two blogs I introduce a character who uses origami in a theraputic manner. One creation is significant in the end.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Me too :)

    • thecounterpunch profile image

      thecounterpunch 9 years ago

      I loved Origami when I was a child ... and still today :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Resonel_gray, thank you so much for stopping by. I've done some origami in the past, but viewing documentaories on the war and seeing photoes and articles about Sadako really hit me.

    • reonel_gray profile image

      reonel_gray 9 years ago from Philippines

      ohh thanks for sharing about origamis n__n

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you both for the comments. Origami is fun, artful, and this topic really resonated with me. I had just seen a documantory on Hirosima three weeks ago.

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 9 years ago from Chennai

      And I bought one for making dinos!

      Great hub, packed with info and fun by painstaking Patty!

    • fridayonmymind profile image

      fridayonmymind 9 years ago

      Excellent information!  Thanks Patty.  I actually just bought my daughter a book on Origami last week.  This will give us more things to make : )