How to make 1000 paper cranes for your wedding

Wedding Planning

Above image by Yaz of Forever Pictures

Editor Grace Davis shares a Japanese-inspired hand-made decorating idea for your big day…

For our wedding, my fiancé and I decided to hand make as many things as we could. One of those things was 1,000 paper cranes. The folding of a thousand cranes is an old Japanese tradition, said to bring good luck to the folder. I have always loved origami (despite not being very good at it, so trust me, if I can do this, so can you!) and I decided the cranes would be a beautiful addition to our hand-made day!

My cranes were used cranes to decorate the venue: some were hung from the beams in multicoloured strings, others on windowsills and the rest were scattered as table decorations. They looked beautiful and I was so pleased I had done them! So follow along with me to learn how to make 1000 paper cranes for your wedding…

For this all you will need is 1000 (plus a few practice) sheets of square paper. Any size will work but the smaller, the trickier to fold! I’m using a rainbow pack but you could try theming the colours to your colour scheme or even getting patterned paper which matches your theme.

Tip: the neater you can make the folds, the better, however my paper isn’t all perfect and most of my cranes come out a little unique but that’s ok!

How to make 1000 paper cranes for your wedding

Step 1: Fold your square in half, diagonally from corner to corner to make a triangle.

Step 2: With the shortest point at the bottom, fold this triangle in half, left corner to right corner.

Step 3: Lift the top flap and open it up, bringing the point down to the bottom and creasing the sides down.

Step 4: Now turn the paper over and do the same thing on the other side: lift the flap sticking to the side, open it and bring the point to the bottom, creasing the sides down. You will now have a square shape again!

Step 5: Take both sides of the top layer and fold them into the middle. The edges should meet and you will now see a kite shape. Unfold this – all we want for now are the creases made by doing this.

Step 6: From the bottom, open the flap by pulling just the top layer up.

Step 7: This is the tricky bit! Keep lifting the flap upwards and flatten it down, bringing the two sides to fold into the middle. This will leave you with a long diamond shape.

Step 8: Flip your origami over and repeat steps 5 to 7.




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