October 19, 2012

DIY PROJECT: Paper Cranes

Without really planning it,  I ended up being really inspired to incorporate several Oriental elements in my wedding such as hand fans, hair sticks and of course hanging paper cranes.  I also nearly added Chinese paper lanterns to the list but there was a sudden surge in their popularity so I decided to ditch them at the last minute. I literally was seeing paper lanterns at every wedding I attended for several months in a row!  Anyway I was very intrigued when I came across the Japanese tradition of folding 1000 origami paper cranes for their wedding. I've always loved origami it's such an interesting art form; simple and yet quite complex at the same time.  I quickly became quite obsessed with weddings that featured hanging paper cranes and decided to bravely attempt to fold my own cranes. I knew I would never make it 1000 but decided to at least aim to fold 100 or more.

In the end I managed to fold a whopping 200 cranes, although it honestly felt more like 2 billion, but as with all DIY projects, patient diligence pays off! I planned to have the cranes hanging from several locations at the reception, but in the end decided to only use a few strings as a back drop for the head table hanging from a lit arch.

This is the tutorial of how I made my hanging cranes and a picture of the final result. Below my tutorial I attached other inspiration photos of hanging paper cranes.


Picture 4

  1. Choose your paper. Although you can order special origami paper I went with regular card stock.
  2. Cut the paper down to size.  Perfect squares of paper are needed for this project, but I didn't want to pay extra for that size, so I ordered colored paper in regular letter size (8.5" x 11")  and used my fiskars paper cutter to cut it down to size. Tedious to say the least.
  3. Fold the paper into cranes, using a bone folder to get the crease lines perfect. If you don't know how to fold paper cranes, here is a great video that teaches how to fold them
  4. Cut a long length of fishing wire. The length depends on how high up you plan to hang the cranes. I used a 9 ft length of wire, just so I would have extra wire in case I needed it. 
  5. Thread the fishing wire into a large eye beading needle
  6. Tie a knot at the very end of the wire
  7. Push the needle through the center of one bead as if you were making a string of beads
  8. Push the bead to the end of the wire and and secure it by passing the needle through the center of the bead once more. This bead forms the base of the string of cranes
  9. Push the needle through the center of one paper cane and pull the wire all the way until the crane is resting on the first bead from number 8 above.
  10. Thread another bead until it is resting directly on the crane ( If you look really closely at picture 4 above you will see a bead on the top of each crane, sorry for the bad lighting)
  11.  Leave about an 2 or 3 inches of space on the wire and tie another knot
  12. Repeat steps 7 to 12 until you have as many cranes on the wire as y
  13. ou like.




  1. so labour intensive but so worth it. Yours was beautiful. It is so effective

  2. Thanx Marian. Yes very labor intensive!