Introduction: 1000 Paper Crane Wall

This came together for two reasons

1: Ive always wanted to fold 1000 paper cranes. In Japanese its called Senbazuru. There are serveral stories associated with Senbazuru. The main one is an Ancient Japanese Legend that says if you fold 1000 paper cranes within one year you will be given one wish, happiness and eternal good fortune

2: The wall over my bed is really bare. Most of my room is covered in photos and box frames so I wanted something bit different . It had to be colourful and it had to stand out.

I'm a bit fan of colours and this was a good chance for me to set myself a good mini project, make something colourful and throw in bit of my personality into the mix :)

Step 1: Find the Colours

This one I got to have the most fun with.

I started off with origami paper book with 180 pre cut sheets (15cm by 15cm) in 6 different colours and each colour had 3 different patterns. The book was mainly pastel colours which was a really good start to make the rainbow wall

I also had some left over Harry Potter wrapping paper from christmas. After digging these out I really like the contrast in the colours ( deeper tones) but also realised this was a really good opportunity to use up some old wrapping paper and show off my inner nerd.

I managed to find more colours to use from old christmas wrapping paper and all my old Harry Potter paper. I also went out and brought some Star wars and Marvel wrapping paper to make sure all fandoms were represented

Step 2: Let the Cutting Begin!!

The first origami book brought had paper pre-cut in 15cm by 15 cm. I made one a decided I like the size the crane came out. It fit in my hand and i thought it would be a good size to see the patterns on the later sheets.

Using ruler and (many) pairs of scissors, I started to cut out all the sheets needed to make the 1000. I used 3 of the pre cut books and made up the numbers with the wrapping paper.

Step 3: Pre Folding Next

I decided to start making the cranes in batches. This was so that I could see how the colours looked in large numbers but also so I could give my hands a break. The crane folding itself is the next step, this is a pre-fold set.

The first four folds are the easiest.

Pattern side on the table: Fold 1 and Fold 2 (Blue lines) are made folding the paper in half in both directions - right edge to left edge --> top side to bottom Edge

Pattern side on the table: Fold 3 and Fold 4 ( pink lines ) are made folding the paper diagonally in both directions - top right corner to bottom left corner --> top left corner to bottom right corner

Step 4: Fold the Cranes

This is the longest step....believe me. 1000 cranes is no joke. I will explain step by step in photos as best I can

Make sure not to rotate the crane during these steps. Keep the top corner up and the bottom corner down.

Folding the cranes :

Step 1: Place the folded in a diamond rotation, so that the flaps can open at the bottom ( see photo)

Step 2: Fold the left hand (1) and right hand edge (2) into the centre (pink line) and press down hard.

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 3: Make a crease along the (3) line. This helps with the next few steps.

Step 4: Unfold the side folds. Hold the top corner of the diamond and lift the bottom corner up, so that you can see the white underside along the line. (4). Fold down again along the pink lines, making it flat with the colour side showing again. making a thin diamond shape.

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 5: Once again, Fold the left hand (5) and right hand edge into the centre and press down hard.

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 6: fold the right hand edge to the left hand edge (6) . Flip and fold the right hand edge to the left hand edge. This folds the crane so that the centre is no longer open but covered

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 7: Grab the bottom corner ( shown in 7) and fold it up , so that it is inline with the two corners at the top.

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 8: To make the head: on one end, fold down one of the corners made in the previous step (pink tip) . The other side will be the tail. Fold the entire right side into the left side so that the head of the crane is covered. This will expose the middle fold of the crane again.

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 9: Fold the top corner down and press hard along the line (9) . This is the cranes wing!!

Flip and do the same on the other side

Step 10: Gently, pinch the underneath of the crane and pull the tail and head away from the middle. This will open up the crane so that it moves out. once they are pulled out, squeeze all the folds to fix the head and tail into place,


repeat . . . .1000 times

Step 5: Hang the Cranes

After covering the floor with cranes and filling many many bags, I needed a better method of keeping them together. I had spare keychain rings and clear fishing string from previous activities.

I looped a long line onto a key ring to create a hanging point with two lengths from the ring. Using a cord board pin, made a small hold in the top of the crane. There is not need to make one at the bottom as there is one there already from the folding ( as shown in the picture)

I decided to hang them in groups of 25 on my corkboard so I could keep track of the numbers and to stop them being squashed.

Step 6: Prep the Wall

There were a number of ways I wanted to hang these but ultimately decided on using curtain rail holders from Ikea called Betydlig.

The curtain rail holders have two lengths to them which allows the distance from the wall to be adjustable. i chose to secure the shorter side to the wall so I could get the larger of the two adjustable sides on the top.
I measured the length of the wall and got the mid point ( also the middle of the bed). I screwed the first holder to the wall using screw plugs, washers and 2 screws to fix it in place. I picked the end holders placement based on the bed and made sure the three were level with each other.

Step 7: Start the Wall!

I tested out both solid coloured stands and multi colour strands to see which looked better overall seen in the examples

This would make the rainbow effect happen left to right or top to bottom.

I preferred the solid coloured strands to make the spectrum happen left to right and began to hang the strands on wall using the key chains rings on the pole

The first 25 strand I hung was too short . After experimenting, 30 was a good number - most of the lines had to be remade because the string was too short but the longer length was definitely better

Step 8: Complete !!!!

On the last few, I wrote some messages on the paper before folding. Although no one will be able to read them, it was nice to know some had hidden messages.

Here it is.

1000 Paper cranes

Paper used:
Star wars, Marvel, Harry Potter and the colours of the rainbow, including Rainbow paper :)

Colors of the Rainbow Contest

Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest