DIY: Hanging Paper Cranes

Photo by Aly O'Donnell

One of the most challenging parts of living on your own is finding easy, affordable ways to spice up your decor. It seems like everyone you know has the same free posters they picked up around campus or the typical cork board full of pictures of family and friends. Those decorations are great, but if you’re searching for something totally unique, Valley has the perfect solution.

Paper cranes are a popular type of origami and can be affordably cute to hang around your room or apartment. But first, you’ll need to know how to make them…

What you’ll need:

Square paper (as many pieces as you want cranes)
String
A toothpick or small hole-puncher
Tape

How to start:

1. Start by getting all of your square pieces of paper ready. You don’t have to use “origami” paper, but if you do, you can get some funky patterns at most art supply stores. Otherwise, any square paper (any size depending on how big you want to make them) will be fine. Typically, origami paper will be colored on one side and blank on the other to make it easier for folding.

2. Start with the colored side of the paper up. Fold the square diagonally, corner to corner, so the fold lines form an “X” on the paper. Try to be as accurate as possible when folding!

3. With the paper unfolded, flip it over, so the blank side is up. Fold the paper in half horizontally. Repeat this with the other side, so the folds form a “+” shape, on top of the “X”.

4. With the colored side down again, turn the paper so a corner is facing you. Bring the two side corners in to meet the corner that’s facing you. Take the top corner and press it down to join the other corners (as shown in the 8th picture below).

5. Fold the left and right sides into the middle, then flip the paper over and repeat the process. Then, fold the top over and press the crease.

6. This is a tricky step- be careful! Unfold the paper so it’s in the same shape you had in step 4. Lift up the top piece of paper, so you can see the blank side, and bring in the colored sides. Fold the sides in, on top of the blank side, so you form a diamond shape (like in the 12th picture below). Repeat this step on the other side of the paper.

7. Fold the sides of the diamond in again, so that they meet the line in the center. Flip the paper over and repeat. The shape should look like the 15th picture below.

8. Fold up the left and right sides to form a head and a tail, fold over the wings, and voila! You’ve made a paper crane! (Shown in pictures 16-20)

Paper Crane Steps

To hang the cranes, all you have to do is make a hole in between the wings with the toothpick or hole-puncher, and run a string through it. You can then take tape and hang them anywhere you like!