Downloadable Hand Decorated Origami Crane

These are my original hand decorated origami cranes. Each wing is a different design.

These are my original hand decorated origami cranes. Each wing is a different design.

Here is my rendition of a hand decorated origami crane, inspired by Cristian Marianciuc. I drew different wing designs on each wing to see what I liked best. (click the images to enlarge)


The finished Crane

Once I had a design I liked I scanned it into the computer, then used Gimp to mirror the pattern I liked best onto the other wing.

I then created a pdf file which you can download here. Print yourself a copy, cut out the pattern and fold along to get your very own hand decorated crane.

The final result is shown at right.


Printed pattern

How to Make It

  1. Print the pattern and cut it out.
  2. Starting with the printed side up, valley fold then unfold along both diagonals.


Valley fold both diagonals, mountain fold side to side and top to bottom.

  1. Flip the pattern over, then book fold and unfold side to side and top to bottom.
  2. Flip it over again. You should have something like the image at right.
  3. Collapse this into a square base.


Continue folding into a standard Bird Base

  1. Continue folding to make a normal bird base .
  2. Finish folding the crane normally.

The printed wing pattern should be on the inside like this.

  1. When your bird base is finished the printed wing pattern will be on the inside.
  2. OrigamiCranes07

    Make sure you form the head on the correct side of the wings.

  3. Before you form the head note which side is the “front” edge of the wing pattern.


The finished Crane

The finished crane.


Reverse fold the central body so it hides down inside the crane and glue it closed for a nicer effect.

This image shows two cranes I folded. The one on the left is the usual Crane. For the one on the right I reverse-folded the body down inside the crane and then used a bit of glue to glue it closed. I like the effect it creates.

If you enjoy folding this origami crane, donations are greatly appreciated.

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Recently Made

A while back I was perusing this thread on and got inspired to build another one of Johan Scherfts bird models. This is one of his earlier kits and I wasn’t super happy with the results, but it’s okay. I made a stand for it from a piece of branch and a piece of wood I had in the shop. I also bought Johan’s latest book, Beautiful Paper Birds.

I’m looking forward to making those.

Crested Tit

Papercraft bird from a kit by Johan Scherft

More recently a post on got me browsing the work of Cristian Marianciuc. The things he’s done with simple origami cranes are brilliant. I had to try some of his ideas myself and made these two cranes. I did each wing slightly differently to experiment. I plan on creating a downloadable pattern that I’ll post here when it’s ready.

Hand decorated cranes

Origami Cranes – hand decorated

Thanks for stopping by.

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Origami Orchid

I’m a little amazed it’s been over a year since I last posted anything. I’ve been fiddling with things here and there but not doing a great deal in the paper craft world. One thing I’m particularly proud of is this origami orchid display I made for a friend. She loved it!

Origami Orchid

Origami Orchid

I ran across an image of the finished flower on the internet somewhere and that led me to this video tutorial on youtube. It took a couple practice runs but it’s a fairly easy flower to fold and the results are great. I made the stem from two or three pieces of floral wire twisted together for extra thickness, then wrapped in green floral tape. There’s a loop of wire at the base and a small heavy stone holding it in place in the origami vase I found at


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Origami Workshop

Recently I was asked by the Cranbrook and District Arts Council if I would lead an Introduction to Origami workshop. Since then I’ve been putting together a plan and folding like crazy testing things out. Naturally, along the way I’ve been running across dozens of great models I want to fold. The gallery below shows some of the models we’ll be doing in the workshop, along with a few I just had to do while I was digging around looking for material.

The butterfly from is very easy to fold but looks great, and will be used to introduce the waterbomb base. The piano and star box are traditional models that we’ll be doing in the workshop to illustrate basic concepts and practice squash folds. The traditional crane will be the ultimate goal of the workshop. If time permits we’ll do the samurai helmet and fish, and others.

Flowers are always a great item to fold, making nice gifts, and offering limitless options for presentation and display. The lotus flower below was in the instructions included in a package of origami paper that was given to me. Also pictured are the traditional lily, the Primula by Mitsonubu Sonobe (diagrams found at, a five-pointed variation of the traditional lily created by John Montroll, and the Zhoubi bowl by Philip Chapman-Bell. The available links I could find for the Zhoubi bowl diagrams were all broken, so I emailed Philip and he replied with a new link to the diagram. They are released under a Creative Commons license so I’ve taken the liberty of hosting a copy here.



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Mohalia Madness

Back in December I made my first rendition of Ancella Simoe’s Mohalia, a modular origami model she created. Before I even finished it I knew I wanted to try creating some of my own papers to take full advantage of the design.

Ancella mentions in her blog post that the dahlia was her inspiration for the design, so I started with a Google image search. As usual this led from one place to another, to another,  and several hours later, when I finally managed to drag myself out of the web I had collected some very inspiring images to work from.

Eventually I got around to creating a couple patterns, testing and refining them. If I do say so myself they turned out extremely well, and everyone I’ve shown them to agrees.

Custom Mohalia Papers

Custom Mohalia Papers



Between folding and assembling my first four or five “flowers”, I had worked up a couple more patterns. However, I had also learned that it takes a couple hours to build the things.  I didn’t particularly want to waste time and money printing and folding patterns that I may not really like in the end.  So, I fired up my favourite 3D program (Metasequoia) and created a 3D model of a finished Mohalia flower. Now I can test my patterns by applying them to the model as a texture. To test and refine the model I applied my first couple patterns and compared to the actual finished product. As you can see from the images below it works pretty darn well (click the image for a larger view). While not perfect, the textured 3D model gives an excellent preview of what the finished product will look like.


Moonfire Render compared to actual build


Johns Dahlia render compared to actual build


Below are some previews of other patterns I’ve created. When I get around to making the actual flowers I’ll post pictures of the finished items. In a future post I’ll show some of the images I used for inspiration, what the pattern piece looks like, and talk a bit about the process I used.



Render of custom pattern “Burn”


Render of custom pattern “Burn2″



Render-Pink Dahlia

Render of custom pattern Pink Dahlia

Render-Pink Dahlia2

Render of custom pattern Pink Dahlia2










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Recent Projects

Lately I’ve been on an origami kick, particularly modular origami. Here I’ll post a collection of my latest projects, as well as a teaser or two of things to come.

Click on the pictures for a larger view, and for more pictures of the various projects.

Three Swans

Three swans in different sizes & styles. Click for more pictures.

Modular Swans

A few months ago I finished my first modular swan as a gift for a friend. I also bought a small glass dome with a wooden display base for it (see the images).

That project led to me making three more for display (and hopefully sale) in the gift shop at the local airport, where I work part-time. I’ve since made two more, one of which was sold, and the other is on consignment at our local book store.

Flying Crane

Flying Crane. Click for more pictures


This flying crane is from the same book as my original swan, “Modular Origami, Step by Step”. The book is no longer in print, and is very expensive on the used market, but it’s a great book. The book calls for two different sized triangles, but I used three sizes. This crane is also on display at the airport gift shop. One day a lady commented that she’d love a Canada Goose made in this way, which leads to the next project.

Canada Goose

My first Canada Goose. Click for more pictures.

Canada Goose

Based on the pattern for the crane, above , I created a Canada Goose using brown, black and white triangles, also in three different sizes. I simplified the pattern for the neck, thereby reducing the total number of pieces required, and giving what I think is a nicer overall look.

I’ve documented the pattern and piece sizes I used so you can download it and make your own.

Download the pattern.

Modular Dragon

While surfing around and looking at what other people have made using this modular method I ran across several dragons like this one at deviantart and decided that I had to make one too. Some experimenting led to the basic design shown here. I’ve done some additional experimenting with the head (click the image here to see more)  and am now busy folding triangles so I can continue the assembly. Later I’ll work out how to attach the legs, document it all and post the pattern and instructions.

Dragon - Basic body pattern

Dragon – Basic body pattern


Hidden Stuff

Small swan on scale cube

Small swan on 5cm scale cube

My first swan in display dome

My first swan in display dome

New swan in Glass Dome

New Swan in Glass Dome

Three Swans

Three swans on the mantle

Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Dragon Head

Dragon Head (incomplete)

Dragon body sample

Dragon body sample

My Second Canada Goose

My Second Canada Goose

Just another shot of Canada Goose

Just another shot of Canada Goose

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Mohalia by Ancella Simoes

Mohalia, original design by Ancella Simoes

Mohalia, original design by Ancella Simoes

Here’s a beautiful modular origami flower I made recently. This is an original design by Ancella Simoes. Her original post shows a beautiful example of what you can achieve with the right paper. Her site has lots of other great stuff too so be sure to check it out. Click the images for a larger view.

I picked up some Kimono patterned paper at our local book store and chose this one to try out the design. I’m very happy with the results.

The modular components are very easy to make. The original design called for 16 pieces, but mine ended up only using 15. Apparently some variation in my folding or assembly affected the number of pieces required in the final flower.

Mohalia in sunlight

Mohalia in sunlight

This is a very elegant design and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes modular origami. The instructions are available in issue 2 of Reference Fold, a free, downloadable e-book by Joshua Goutam. Click the link above and scroll down a bit to find the download link. There are several other free origami e-books you can download there as well, including Reference Fold #1.


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Modular Origami Ornament

A couple of years ago my son and I were Christmas shopping at the local mall. Numerous vendors rent tables in the mall at this time of year, and at one of these we found a delightful young Asian lady selling these beautiful modular origami ornaments. Being interested in all things paper I stopped to ask her about them. Not only did she tell me all about them, she gave me a copy of the instructions, showed me how to fold the pieces, how to assemble them, and how to assemble the final product. We gratefully bought one of her ornaments (for a mere 8$) and carried on with our shopping.

As the following Christmas approached I finally got arounMy First Modular Origami Ornamentd to trying one myself. This, one, in simple red and green became a Christmas gift for my mother.  I didn’t have any good origami paper, so this is a plain “folding paper” which is the same color on both sides. Traditional origami paper is colored on one side and white on the other.

I was quite pleased with the result of my My Second Modular Origami Ornamentfirst ornament (and my mother loved it, of course),  so, when I finally got hold of some proper origami paper I had to make another one. You can see how the white underside adds detail to the individual “flower” sections in the final product.

If you’re interested in learning more you’ll find an excellent tutorial on this particular ornament at “Folding Trees“.  An excellent collection illustrating the amazing variety that can be realized with this technique can be found at And of course, if you search for “kusudama” you’ll find hundreds more.

Oh, and last but not least, I have to share a great laugh I got as I was uploading the images for this post.  My typing skills are average at best, and after uploading the first image I was typing the caption “My First Origami Ornament”. However, I made a couple of typos and got “Modular Origasmi POrnament“. What are the chances of two typos working so well together?


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Modular Origami Swan

A couple of years ago I saw some pictures and patterns on the internet for this beautiful modular origami swan. The swan was made from about 500 triangular pieces, each folded from small rectangles of paper.

Image - Modular Origami Swan

Modular Origami Swan

I decided that I wanted to make one, and went looking for a pattern. The pattern I settled on required about 400 triangles. I started folding the pieces, and eventually I got them all made and started assembling the swan, but over time other things took priority. Recently I decided to get that project finished, and I’m happy to say it turned out beautifully.

If your interested in more there is a good instructable by krysteanuh on (Modular Origami Swan) and if you search on youtube you will find many examples and some good tutorials. You can make all kinds of amazing things with this same technique.


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