When spring arrives in Japan it means a new school year, gatherings with friends, and end of the business year. This provides lots of opportunities to show your gratitude and congratulations to those in your life that have achieved amazing things in the past year. A traditional way to show this appreciation is to tuck money or a nice note into a little decorated envelope. I came across a great origami solution from Paper Crane ORIGAMI that you can use to make your very own pocket of praise. This is how to make it.

Crane Envelope


① Place the colored side up and make creases as shown.

② Fold both corners to the center mark.

③ Flip to the other side. Fold both edges to the centerline.

④ Unfold the right triangle.

⑤ Bring the edge of the triangle to the centerline.

⑥ Bring the edge to the crease line.


⑦ Fold the upper layer to the right. Then bring the edge to the centerline.

⑧ Fold the tip in so that the zigzag line is prominent.

⑨ Repeat step 4 to 8 on the other side.

⑩ Fold the bottom up.

⑪ Make creases as shown.

⑫ Fold along the creases so that the bottom is pointing up.


⑬ Fold the bottom to the side.

⑭ Open the bottom and flatten it.

⑮ Make creases as shown.

⑯ Lift the bottom tip of the square and fold along the creases.

⑰ Fold right flap to the left.

⑱ Fold the tip to create the head of a crane. Insert a little note and fold back the top.

*Originally created by Susumu Nakajima

You can also use decorative paper or Japanese washi paper to make this envelope. This simple yet elegant envelope is a perfect little addition for showing your gratitude for someone special.

We live in a digital age and it’s a lot quicker to send a text or email if you want to say something. But there is something special about giving and receiving a letter or even a small note. The time and thought people put into a handwritten, or in this case, a handmade envelope is so apparent that it carries a deeper and stronger meaning.

You don’t have to be a master at origami to make this. All you need is a little bit of time and willingness. A small envelope goes a long way to make a lasting impression on somebody.