A Thousand Paper Cranes

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve started to see the humble paper crane take centre stage at some stunningly beautiful weddings.  Reading a little bit more in to it,  an ancient Japanese legend promises that the person who folds a thousand paper cranes is granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from an illness.

Although traditionally given as a wedding gift from the father, the couple who make a thousand cranes together can wish for a life time of happiness and prosperity… sounds pretty damn romantic to me.

And it looks pretty good too.

A riot of colour and pattern like the image above makes for a spectacular display.

But keeping it white and pure is equally as striking.

Je Mange image via Flickr

Hanging from trees they make a sweet and meaningful alternative to streamers…

…whilst an installation such as this can add drama and spectacle.

Image by Jenny Ebert Photography

And I LOVE the ombre effect of the image above.

Following this video tutorial I had a little go earlier this evening and after around 6 minutes of folding, concentrating, pausing, rewinding and “wait- I don’t understand!”-ing, I was the proud owner of this little guy:

Only another 999 to go then!

I have already run the idea past Paul and to say he’s not keen would be an understatement.  But I think I’m going to persevere with some gentle attempts at persuasion.  An ombre effect display hanging from ceiling to floor of The Great Barn would make a stunning backdrop to get married in front of.  And I love the idea of saying our vows in front of something we would have spent hours of care, patience and dedication making.  That’s what a marriage is about after all, is it not?

Anyone else thinking of tackling the Japanese legend?

Sama xxx


17 thoughts on “A Thousand Paper Cranes

  1. Hi Sama!
    I totally started the 1000 paper cranes too – I think I got to about 50 and gave up! They are so pretty though and make such an amazing backdrop.
    Charlotte x
    p.s. I have a confession – I may have purchased dress no. 3 over the weekend…oops!

    • Ok, so how long did it take to make the 50? Paul really doesn’t want to… but I’m sooooo tempted. I don’t want to start and stop though!

      Emailing you about the dress no.3- you are hilarious! xx

  2. Can’t you get guests to make them at the wedding? If everyone contributes one each as a pre-cursor to the starter activity, you’ll have reduced the folding by quite a bit! Plus people could write messages in them… ready for you to unfold and amake a wedding-message-crane-scrapbook. Am I going too far here?

    • Hahaha, ok- point proven!

      The favour thing/guest book thing is a very good idea… but they are quite fiddly to make! I can’t see my Gran having much luck to be honest. Plus knowing my guests, they’ll be much more interested in eating and drinking…

  3. I think if you want to make 1000 paper cranes do it. Everyone poo poo-ed my placename pom poms saying a) you wont be able to make 100 pom poms b) they will damage/crush too easily by the time it gets to the day c) they won’t look good…

    But…a) I did make 100 pom poms, and I found it really therapeutic doing so, in fact I wish I had more guests so I could have made more. b) they didn’t crush/damage… 5 days to go and they are still in their boxes looking great c) they look fab! And I can’t wait for the guests to come in the room and see a green pom pom for each place setting… It’s like a little piece of my work towards the wedding on their plate. Can’t wait to see them all out….

    So, you need to practice. Once you think you’ve got the technique practice making say, 50 … see how long it takes you. Have you still got the patience/still love them? If so, just think about where you are going to store them and when you need to start making them and do it… If you love them enough you will do it!

    Good luck!

    PS Why 1000? You could always aim for 500 first?

    • I love you Jo- mainly because you’ve written such a nice, helpful comment, but also because you used the phrase ‘poo poo-ed’.

      I don’t know why 1000 but that’s what the Japanese legend says! X

      • Ha ha … Poo poo-ed. Yes. Showing my semi-middle class, shouldn’t really swear in public “what would people say” roots. I love a bit of poo poo-ing as much as the next pessimistic person, but not when it’s about pretty DIY projects. 🙂

        My sister-in-law is Japanese… I wonder if she knows…

  4. The Japanese legion goes far back but was made popular but the story of “sadako and the 1000 paper cranes” It is a beautiful but sad story. Being Japanese my self my grandmother taught me to make the paper crane. I am 28 years old and in my life I have probably made 1000 or more, but have always given the to friends and family. I am now getting married and I thought that it would be a wonderful thing to do, make 1000 so the wedding is in October and I have about 350 made. It is a lot of work…. But I am very happy and excited to do them. I read in another post that Jo “I found it really therapeutic doing so” with the pom poms. So my suggestion is, if your a bride and stressing, maybe making the cranes or whatever you might to add your own little personal touch to your wedding might just be a good idea. be it cranes or pom poms it will be beautiful.

  5. A great effort! Lovely crane that you made. Perhaps you could improve on the beak next time — try to make it an inside reverse fold.

    I love making cranes and have made hundreds over the years.

    Last year, in my school, I organised an event where we folded hundreds of cranes in aid of the Japanese earthquake. It was beautiful.

    I went to the Origami annual conference last year in England, and saw beautiful display of origami. Here is the link and you could see the lovely slideshow. I hope you like it. http://yingguosuojiblog.com/2011/11/05/世界折纸日/

    Good luck with your journey!

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