Modular Origami Crane Ball Tutorial

There are origami cranes. There are origami balls. And then there are origami crane balls.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 sheets of origami papers for the crane
  • 6 sheets of origami papers for the modular connectors

How to make the modular connectors from a pinwheel base:

Step 1: Make valley folds at the center horizontally, vertically and diagonally.

Step 2: Fold the sides vertically to the center, like doors (photo below center). Use the center crease as guide.

Step 3: Fold horizontally to the center.

IMG_3336  Fold to the center vertically  Fold to the center horizontally

Step 4: Open up the top half to form a trapezoid. Photo below center should be how it looks like. Do the same on the lower half.

Note: Similarities to pinwheel ends here. To make a pinwheel, just fold the upper left “arm” upward and lower right “arm” downward.

Open the top bit to make a trapezoid  Trapezoid done  Do the same on the bottom half

Step 5: Make a squash fold to form a square. A squash fold is when you pry open the paper… and squash to flatten it.

Step 6: Fold the bottom and right side edges to the center (diagonally)

Step 7: Do the same folds on the other corners. This is now your modular connector.

Push the triangle bit in to make a square  Fold the bottom and side edge to the center (diagonal)  Do the same on all four corners

To learn how to make paper cranes, click here.


Step 1: Connect one wing to a linking structure on the modular connector. If you notice, the linking structure has the same triangular shape as the wing so it should slot in perfectly.

Slot in connector to wing  Wing in place

Step 2: Slot in four cranes to one modular connector.

Step 3: Add the rest of the pieces. I find that it’s easier to attach one piece after the other as you go along, instead of making two separate modular connectors with cranes then assemble them together into a ball from there.

Photo below right is what it looks like in progress.

Slot four in one modular connector  Origami crane ball halfway

The final product, ODed in Instagram filters:

Origami Crane Ball FINAL


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