Hanging origami crane tutorial

So! As requested, here is a quick little tutorial on how to make Senbazuru, aka hanging origami cranes.

A little info from wikipedia on Senbazuru:

千羽鶴 Senbazuru is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes
will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from
illness or injury.


You can buy kits to create Senbazuru, but since I've been trying to be thrifty I decided to just buy 1000 sheets of origami paper and figure it out myself. I think the standard is to hang 40 cranes on 25 strings, but I've been experimenting with different ways to space out the cranes to look nice while I work towards 1000… Here is what I've come up with so far!

Here are instructions for making origami cranes, and above is everything you'll need for this project! If you don't have origami paper, you can purchase some at your local shop (or online!) or make your own by cutting a sheet of paper into a perfect square. You could use magazines, wrapping paper, old letters or whatever! Be creative and have fun 🙂 The paper I used was about 2×2" – I think this size is easier to fold than larger sheets and takes up less space when completed.

Step 1: Cut a piece of thread the length you want of cranes, tie a knot at the end and thread through your needle. Then push the needle through the opening at the bottom of the crane.

Step 2: Continue pushing the needle through the center of the crane until it is threaded. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each crane added until you have the desired amount for your strand.

Step 3: Lay the threaded cranes on a flat surface and spread apart gently on the string until they are in the position you would like them to be. Once positioned, place a small drop of super glue on the entrance and exit point of each crane and leave to dry. If you want to stack your cranes directly on top of each other like traditional Senbazuru, then skip this step.

And that's it! Hang the final piece however you'd like. I taped a few to the underneath of a shelf until I can get more made for some sort of complete piece.

Hope you enjoyed this, if you guys make any let me know! And if you'd like to know more about Senbazuru, I recommend this reading traditionscustoms.com.

The Totoro cookie tutorial will be next Tuesday!

13 thoughts on “Hanging origami crane tutorial

  1. Becky says:

    This is awesome!! I used to make mini crane mobiles and used little seed beads to keep the cranes in place. I can’t wait to see your mobile progress!


  2. Lulu says:

    one Christmas, my mother and i made what seemed like a million paper cranes for our tree…and after X-mas we hung them all on a looong piece of yarn! =] this is such a great tutorial! thank you!


  3. cyndy says:

    I need an idea on how to hang them with acrylic beads and lights for the cake backdrop at my daughters wedding. need help fast


  4. Amy says:

    Hiee \(^o^)/
    Great post, it’ll be really helpful for sure, thanks ^_^
    I was just wondering though if you could possibly help me out with a question realting to constructing the Senbazuru in the traditional form.
    Ok, well firstly, when it comes time to thread the individual cranes, what type, thickness of string would you reccommened?
    Also, when threading the cranes on (in the traditional manner) do you use glue to secure each one?
    I was thinking of doing a blended rainbow design and wanted all the cranes directly on top of eachother (with no space/gaps, so you cannot see the string), but obviously making sure there not squishing eachother.
    I actually have never seen one in person before, and so I’m not too sure as to how the cranes are attached, like are they held/joined together by glue or free sitting on top on one another??? Not too sure PLEASE HELP T.T
    Many thanks
    Amy ^U^


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