the cranes of double happiness

Update — May 6, 2015:

I’ve just received a com­ment from origa­mi book author, Mr. Didi­er Boursin, inform­ing me that the origa­mi crane card mod­el comes from one of his books (his com­ment can be found below).

I want to clar­i­fy that in the orig­i­nal post (see below), I have clear­ly stat­ed that I did not invent the origa­mi crane greet­ing card instruc­tions. I have in all hon­esty for­got­ten where I’ve learned it. I was an avid fold­er in my teenage years, and have pored over prob­a­bly over a hun­dred origa­mi books from the library. I have been fold­ing this dia­gram from mem­o­ry for many years, but I do not own the book that con­tains this dia­gram, nor do I remem­ber which book con­tains this dia­gram. With some exper­i­men­ta­tion I came up with this dou­ble crane ver­sion, and thought I would share it in case oth­ers would also find it useful. 

From his list of pub­li­ca­tions it is evi­dent that Mr. Boursin is a pro­lif­ic origa­mi design­er and author, and so it is like­ly that I’ve come across this crane greet­ing card mod­el in one of his books, or a book that includes his dia­gram, as he has sug­gest­ed in his com­ment. How­ev­er, it was nev­er my intent to deceive the read­ers or dis­re­spect Mr. Boursin and oth­er origa­mi design­ers. I apol­o­gize for not remem­ber­ing where I ini­tial­ly learned this pat­tern and there­fore could not prop­er­ly cite it when I wrote this post. And so, since now we know where the pat­tern comes from, out of respect, I am tak­ing down the rest of the instruc­tion on this post. 

If any­one is inter­est­ed in fold­ing this mod­el, please con­sult Mr. Boursin’s list of origa­mi books. 

Thank you for reading,




Last week I men­tioned that I was going to a wed­ding (pho­tos to come! :D). I decid­ed to exper­i­ment on a vari­a­tion of my usu­al origa­mi crane greet­ing card, which has only one crane, and make a dou­ble-crane ver­sion. I was quite proud that it worked out! So I thought I’d share the fold­ing instruc­tions here, in case it will come in handy for you some day too :D

I must say, though, that I did­n’t invent the origa­mi crane greet­ing card instruc­tions myself. I learned it from a book, but I for­get what that book is… there might also be instruc­tions of it float­ing around on the inter­web some­where. If you’re not famil­iar with mak­ing origa­mi cranes, it might be help­ful to first try your hands on the orig­i­nal origa­mi crane to get a feel of how some of the folds work (video here).


12 thoughts on “the cranes of double happiness

  1. Hi,
    Thank you so much for this beau­ti­ful and detailed descrip­tion! I have just real­ized that it has been lit­er­al­ly decades (eek!) since I have been mak­ing cranes, and teach­ing cute lit­tle hands how to make them too, but I was def­i­nite­ly not famil­iar with the dou­ble crane ver­sion. How inspir­ing! I am now going to ignore the things I am ‘sup­posed’ to be doing for the next 10 min­utes and give it a try. Thanks again!

  2. I was look­ing for cool crane ideas and came across your page. Def­i­nite­ly gonna try this one!
    Thank you.

  3. Hi Trish, thank you for shar­ing I love this! Real­ly want to use for my wed­ding invites, to enclose the addi­tion­al info sheet, how­ev­er that is A4 and no mat­ter how many times I try it does­n’t work with a piece of A4 fold­ed to the size you spec­i­fy. Is there any way around this? 

    Thank you in advance :)

  4. hi Lau­ra! glad you like the cranes! an A4 piece of paper is slight­ly longer than the let­ter size I used, but it should still work. it just needs to be cut length­wise so that you are fold­ing with a piece of paper that is 3 inch­es by 11.7 inch­es (length of an A4 paper), and not with the whole piece of A4. so you would be able to get 2 cards out of one piece of A4. hope this helps!

  5. Thanks Trish, I real­ly appre­ci­ate the fast response. How­ev­er I can’t cut the piece of A4 (maybe only min­i­mal­ly), as it is a sheet full of wed­ding info (trav­el options, acco­mo­da­tion, etc etc). I have x2 A4 sheets of info to include along with my post­card invite, so I’m try­ing to find a cool way to fold it up and present it. I tried fold­ing the piece of A4 into the size you spec­i­fied, but it did­n’t work (I assume due to folds and flaps being in the wrong places!)

  6. i’m sor­ry that the crane design does­n’t work for your wed­ding invites… it does need a fair­ly long and nar­row piece of paper. thanks so much for try­ing it out any­way! all the best with your wed­ding planning!

  7. Hi

    I’m french author of origa­mi books. Somes are trans­late in eng.
    I sup­pose you fine this card in one of my books or in a book writ­ten by Gay Mer­rill Cross. I gave per­mis­sion to her for this model.
    In your blog, I don’t see any mention.
    If you like so must Origa­mi, please, respect the creators.
    It’s easy to men­tion the book and the author’site.

    Didi­er Boursin

  8. Thank you for your com­ment, Mr. Boursin. I’ve addressed your con­cern in the post above, please review.

  9. Hel­lo!
    There is no chance for you to show how it’s done this envelope?
    I have a great inter­est in learn­ing to do for my wedding!

  10. Hi Tas­sia, thank you for vis­it­ing my blog. I can­not post how this is fold­ed, please see my blog post above for expla­na­tion, as well as infor­ma­tion for the book where the fold­ing dia­gram can be found. Hope this is helpful.

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