Our flags of the world origami set didn’t come with a Ukraine paper, so we made our own.

Technically, you can make origami out of any piece of paper. It works best, though, when you’re working with square pieces that are in the sweet spot for weight and thickness that allows them to hold a crease without mashing or crumpling.

Origami paper isn’t terribly expensive, and our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi recently decided to pick up a budget-friendly pack from maker Toyo that looks very unusual in unfolded form.

Sure, the lines are guides for where to make the folds, but what’s with the irregular coloring?

It all becomes clear once you make the final fold, though…

…and end up with a crane with the flag of Japan on its back!

Japan’s sun flag isn’t the only national symbol in Toyo’s origami paper pack, either. Wanting to give her Japan crane some flying friends, Saya next folded this…

…into an Italian crane…

…and this dramatic-looking piece of paper…

…gave her one sporting the Union Jack.

In total, the pack contains origami paper for 24 countries’ flags, with detailed step-by-step instruction illustrations, so that people beyond Japan’s borders can see how to fold them too.

You also get two papers for each design (so 48 sheets in total), since origami, like any craft, is something you get better at with experience. The paper pack can be purchased through Amazon here for 371 yen (US$3.25).

As happy as Saya was as she began to fill her home with little multicultural pieces of art, she noticed that Ukraine isn’t one of the 24 countries included in the set. Given how many nations there are on earth, it’s understandable that not every flag is part of the package, but with Ukraine being in the news, and Saya’s thoughts, so much recently, Saya wanted to make a Ukrainian crane too.

Luckily, though, the pack does contain a paper for the flag of Indonesia, which has the same bicolor layout as the Ukrainian flag, just with different colors, so Saya could use it as a template to make her own Ukraine crane.

The flags themselves have one color on their top half and the other on the bottom, but because of how the folds are formed when making the crane, the division needs to be diagonal on the unfolded piece of paper. To achieve that, Saya took a piece of blue paper and a piece of yellow paper, cut them in half diagonally, then taped the halves together.

▼ The pack’s pre-made Indonesia paper (left) and Saya’s self-made Ukraine paper (right)

Once you’ve got the paper, the folding steps are the same as any origami crane.

▼ Here’s an example.

In Japanese culture, origami cranes are symbols of peace and hope, and peace is precisely what Saya is hoping returns to Ukraine.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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