Thursday, December 08, 2005

Paper Crane Ornaments

Paper Cranes
Paper cranes are a traditional Japanese symbol of peace. There is a legend that the person who folds a thousand cranes will get his wish. They're also very attractive on the Christmas tree.

You will need:
Heavy grade origami paper (try an Asian market for the best styles)
Strong thread
A long, sharp needle
Little metal rings, 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch
Ribbon, if you like

Fold paper cranes out of the paper. Here's a good How To. Thread the needle with lots of thread (but not so much that you get tangled in it.) Push the needle through the hole in the bottom until it comes out through the top of the crane. Pick a spot 1/4 inch from where the needle came out and push it through there and back out through the original hole. (Lightweight paper tears too easily for this to work.)

Choose which beads you want and put them on the thread. Thread one of the metal rings and then go back down through the beads to the crane. Stitch through the paper again, go back up through the beads, through the metal ring, and back down through the beads. Make sure the string of beads is tight. (But not excessively tight because it will tear the paper.) Push the needle through the top of the crane back down through the hole in the bottom.

Choose some more beads; string them and pick a bead to be the base. (There are many pendant beads for this purpose, but one that coordinates with the thread will also work. Go through that base bead just like you went through the metal ring on the top; go back up through the beads. Stitch through the paper and repeat going through the beads. When you are done, whip stitch around the base of the crane a few times, then slip the needle under the loops, knot the thread, and cut it off. Tie a ribbon bow to disguise the knot; hang from the metal loop.

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