Fabric Origami

Sometimes there’s scrap fabric lying around just asking to be treated with the same origami love that the paper is (i.e. make it small, cute and wearable). So here’s how I made a little fabric origami crane that’s currently being considered as a future brooch.

It’s simple and easy (hardest part is folding fabric when use to really thin paper). The only special material needed is fabric stiffener – available from Lincraft and Spotlight for less than $10.

Fabric origami crane

Fabric origami crane


  • Ruler and scissors, or rotary cutter
  • Fabric stiffener (I used Stiffey by Plaid)
  • Fabric – recommend: non-stretch, thin (I used cotton fabric)
  • Plastic wrap (I used Glad Wrap)
  • Findings – if you are turning it into jewellery, accessory or decoration


  1. Measure out the square. I measured and cut a 5cm square. If there’s frayed edges, you can leave them for now, but take into account when measuring. Carefully cut out the square.
  2. Lay out the plastic wrap. If making a bigger square or multiple squares, perhaps anchor the plastic wrap around a chopping board.
  3. Place square/s flat on the plastic wrap. Pour a small amount (e.g. 5c coin size) onto the fabric and rub it in with your finger. I found I didn’t need to squeeze the bottle, just let it dribble out.
  4. Add a little more Stiffey in areas not yet soaked and rub in. Continue until all the fabric is wet, but not so soaked that it’s dripping. Do not fold or wring. (I found I didn’t need more than a 5c piece size amount.)
  5. Ensure the fabric is laying completely flat (no creases). Leave it on the plastic wrap to dry (Maybe an hour or two? I just went and did some chores…)

    Process of stiffening fabric

    In action: fabric stiffening

  6. Peel the fabric off the plastic. It should just peel away and not be particularly stuck. Cut off the frayed edges (now easy when hardened) and any excess Stiffey along edges.
  7. Fold origami as you would using paper. Crease folds. Glue anything you want to stay down (Use fabric glue or super glue to stick wing folds together).
  8. Make it wearable! Sew on a jump ring and wear as a pendant. Glue/sew on a brooch pin and wear as a brooch, or attach to a bag or a hat or another accessory.
  9. Or just make it decorative ! Tie string and hang it as a decoration – Christmas is coming up! Cranes for peace.

Origami crane instructions


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