Fold 1,000 Paper Cranes

Posted: August 4, 2010 in The List

I have been asked why I would take on the project of folding 1,000 origami cranes.  In all honesty, I can’t remember how I originally came across the idea, but I couldn’t resist once I’d read more about it.

According to wikipedia, legend says that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted a wish.  Duh!  That’s a good enough reason right there!  😛  Ultimately the most popular idea is that it is a symbol of long life.  It has also become a symbol of peace, thanks to the heartwarming/heartbreaking story of Sadako Sasaki, a little girl who ended up with leukemia from the bomb on Hiroshima.  She attempted to make 1,000 paper cranes before she died.  The stories vary on whether or not she succeeded in time.  Supposedly 1,000 paper cranes are also given to couples at their wedding for prosperity and happiness, or to babies for wishes of long life and good luck, or to people who are ill in hospital.  I also just thought it’d be an interesting little crafty project, and get me doing something other than just sitting at the computer.  Unfortunately, my crafty table is attached to my computer desk, so I’ve ended up doing these mostly while at the computer watching something or other on Netflix.

the first three amigos

On July 22nd, I began this adventure with some origami paper I had on hand, which I’d purchased back in Canada a couple of years ago.  I used my trusty google skillz and found several websites to help me learn how to make paper cranes.  This is a good one, as well as this one, and there are some great origami youtube videos here, for all sorts of projects (though they really need some music playing in the background or something!).  It took me about 4 attempts before I felt like I’d memorized the process.  I also got distracted with figuring out other things like lilies, but that’s another story.  Anyways, now I am quite successful with them, and can make a paper crane like there’s no tomorrow.

Apparently a good way to display them is to string them up in 25 sets of 40 cranes each.  The next question becomes ‘Where the heck are we going to put them?’, and then ‘How do we keep the cats from eating them?’.  I picked up some very cheap beaded necklaces at a local dollar store, and cut them into little sections to put at the end of the strings to dress them up and hold the cranes in place.  For now I am just stringing them up with a thin thread, but think that I should use something a little thicker just in case it breaks (also got the thread at the dollar store, so don’t have much faith in it).  I’ve tacked them up onto the wall to make them out of cat range, and stop them from swaying (and in theory to lessen the weight pulling on the thread).

1 little, 2 little, 80 little paper cranes...

Since taking this picture on Aug 4th, I’ve added yet another string of 40 cranes, which means I am officially over 10% of the way towards my goal.  I’ve also finally convinced my husband that this is not going to be a horrible project that will result in us being buried under a mound of paper birds.  It might actually turn out kinda pretty!

One challenge will be where to get the paper.  I’ve already run out of the paper I had on hand (it was less than 100 sheets, let alone 1000), and purchasing more has proven to be pricier than I’d hoped.  Upon further googling, I discovered that most of these projects seem to be made from TINY paper only 3″ x 3″ in size.  The smallest I have is 4 1/2″.  So I think if I tear some of my paper in half that will help.  Anyways, that’s not that interesting to you, but there you have some of the personal challenges involved with making 1,000 paper cranes.  😛  I might have to end up purchasing a kit specifically for this purpose (I’ve found some on amazon).

I have given myself until either my birthday, of Oct. 20th, or Christmas, to finish this project.  So far so good I think!  🙂  Tacking up each string has been quite satisfying.


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