Oh Wow: Folding Origami Paper Cranes The Size Of LEGO Brick Studs

June 23, 2017

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These are several shots and a timelapse video of the paper cranes that origami crane enthusiast David Kawai folds. He starts with a teensy piece of paper 5mm square, and, 45 minutes later, ends up with a paper crane about the size of a LEGO brick stud. Not only that, he somehow manages to do all the folding with his fingers, not tweezers like I would have imagined. In his own words while I try to make a rose out of a napkin to leave with my tip because waitresses don't find that creepy at all, right?

For the most part, I use my fingertips to roll and press the paper into position, which requires sight and touch sensitivity in combination. Then, to make the folds sharper, I use a surface like a table and my fingernails. When folding, at times, I'm holding the paper with just my fingernails.


The most important thing is to be very precise when laying the initial folds. Even half a millimetre of inaccuracy can affect the end result dramatically. Also, don't handle the paper too much, especially with moist or sweaty hands, or the paper will get mushy and the folds won't react properly. I often let the paper rest and dry for 30 minutes after making the first 16 folds. Though it can be exhausting and time-consuming, I find the process meditative, challenging and super satisfying.

Impressive work, David. Of course I've already been folding similarly sized paper cranes for quite some time now. I already have a ton of them. The best part is they don't take up very much space. Here, hold out your finger and check this on out. "Is this -- did you just wipe a booger on me?" You can eat it if you want, I've already had a bunch.

Keep going for a couple more shots and a timelapse video of a tiny crane being folded.

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Thanks again to Allyson S, who, with two tips already today, is well on her way to winning the nonexistent Friday tip-line contest.

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