Origami Crane Chain


Legend says that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted one wish. It’s a beautiful idea which a young Japanese girl named Sasaki Sadako hoped to achieve. Sasaki was an infant at the time of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, and developed leukemia as a result of her exposure to radiation. At the age of eleven, she began making a senbazuru ( a thousand paper cranes), wishing for her recovery from leukemia. As time went on, however, she began to wish for world peace instead. While she died at the age of twelve, her message was not forgotten. The Children’s Peace Memorial in Hiroshima commemorates the child victims of this bombing, and every year, thousands of origami cranes are sent to Hiroshima by children from all over the world.

 A senbazuru is a beautiful symbol of peace, and a great idea for a school project where many classrooms can be involved. On a smaller scale, a simple crane chain provides a powerful reminder of this story, and is a lovely way of brightening up a child’s room. Both of my children enjoyed making them years ago, and still have them hanging in their rooms today.


  • origami paper
  • needle
  • thread
  • scissors
  • beads (optional)
  • hook for hanging

Cranes can be made by fairly young children, but does require patience and precision. Chains can be of any length and colour combination. We worked our way through colours available in a standard packet of 10 x 10 cm origami paper. A larger size such as 15 x 15 cm will work better for younger children.


Once you’ve completed all the folding, lay the cranes out in the order they’ll be attached. Thread a needle using coloured thread, make a knot at the bottom, and poke the needle through each crane from the small open hole in the base, through the centre of the top. Make sure your finger is not resting there, so it doesn’t get poked. Also, make sure the thread is long enough for all the cranes, and to hang the chain at the height you had in mind. Once all the cranes have been attached, make a loop at the top end of the thread for attaching onto a ceiling hook.


Including a bead between each crane is also an option.


How to Fold A Crane:

You can easily find instructions in books and on the internet. While there are minor variations in these instructions, the end result is the same. I have included some basic information about origami in this post: Origami 101 .

There are many wonderful origami books available at bookstores and libraries.  Classic Origami by Paul Jackson is one of my favourites.

Here are a few websites:

Origami Crane Instructions


Origami Resource Center


Filed under Japan, Multicultural Art, origami, paper crafts

21 responses to “Origami Crane Chain

  1. dianaramblesdotcom

    Great idea! So colorful!

  2. Neat Idea! Love your blog! I would love for you to visit my linky party going on now at http://wallisfarmsdailywalk.blogspot.com/2013/01/blog-post.html

    Have a great day!

  3. What a fun craft and I love the colors that you used. It turned out so pretty and would look so nice hanging in a window or doorway I think.

  4. So fun!!!!! LOVE IT!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  5. I have always loved origami and have several nice books and lots of paper. A few years ago we hosted a family dinner with a Japanese theme. After we ate (er, well it was actually Chinese food!) I handed out paper and taught the 6 adult kids how to fold a crane. They were pretty impressed at how well they did! I have never seen them strung into a chain. Yours is lovely!

    • Love your story, especially the Chinese food part 🙂 I used to carry origami paper in my purse when the kids were younger…before everyone had a smart phone. It rescued us from many a melt down in restaurants and long line ups. Long live the crane!

  6. looks great! My 7 year old would love this! He would love your whole blog, in fact; I’ll have to show him.

  7. The shiny colors are so pretty!

  8. I pinned this, I think the crane chains are great!

  9. It’s so very pretty! Thank you for sharing this at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  10. If you’re going to take the time to fold 1000 paper cranes, it sure makes sense to turn them into something useful! Beautiful. Thanks for linking up at OneCreativeMommy.com.

  11. somewhatsimplesteph

    That looks like it took forever! Amazing! Thanks for linking up to my link party! 🙂

  12. Oh,how beautiful!! I always love paper cranes. My mother made many one year to decorate her Christmas tree. I don’t know if she made it to 1000 or not. I know that was her goal. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  13. This are so pretty and fun! They make such a colorful display. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent this week. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  14. Thank you so much for stopping in and sharing your inspirational craft project with our Crafty Showcase last week! You rock!

    We can’t wait for you to stop in and share more of your ideas with us. The Crafty Showcase is open from Friday midnight until Thursday noon! http://bowdabrablog.com/2013/01/12/saturday-showcase-craft-project-linky-15/

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Susie @Bowdabra

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