How to String Origami Cranes

Written by michelle watson
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How to String Origami Cranes
String together origami cranes to make beautiful decorations or gifts. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Cranes are one of the most popular origami figures. They can be strung together to make decorations or senbazuru, which is a group of 1,000 paper cranes. According to Japanese legend, whoever makes 1,000 cranes will be granted a wish. Senbazuru are often displayed at weddings or other celebrations. They are also given to people who are sick or experiencing tragedy. The cranes are traditionally strung on a vertical string and stacked directly on top of one another. It's also possible to space the cranes apart on the string for a more airy look.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Origami cranes
  • Thread
  • Needle (thin enough to fit through the bead)
  • Beads

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Instructions

    Stacked Cranes

  1. 1

    Cut a piece of string slightly longer than the desired length. Thread the needle, and pass it through a bead.

  2. 2

    Push the bead until it is 1 inch from the end of the string. Tie the string around the bead to secure it in place. This will keep the cranes from sliding off the end of the string.

  3. 3

    Pass the needle through the hole in the bottom of a crane. Push the needle so that it comes out of the triangular tip of the crane's back. Slide the crane down the string until it is sitting on top of the bead.

  4. 4

    Repeat Step 3, sliding each new crane down the string until it is sitting directly on top of the previous crane. Continue until the string is filled.

    Spaced Cranes

  1. 1

    Complete Steps 1 through 3 for the stacked cranes.

  2. 2

    Thread the needle through another bead. Slide the bead down the string until it reaches the point where you want the next crane to sit. Pass the needle through the bottom of the bead again, and pull the thread tight, securing the bead in place.

  3. 3

    Pass the needle through the hole in the bottom of another crane. Push the needle so that it comes out of the triangular tip of the crane's back. Slide the crane down the string until it is sitting on top of the bead.

  4. 4

    Repeat Steps 2 through 3 until you reach the end of the string.

Tips and warnings

  • When assembling a senbazuru, people often make 25 strands of 40 stacked cranes. The 25 strands are then tied together at the top.
  • Cranes stack best when their wings aren't folded outward and their triangular backs aren't pulled out of shape.
  • Stacked crane strings can become heavy. Be sure to use durable thread that won't break easily.

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