Introduction: Wire "origami" Crane Pendant

About: Designer, Researcher, and Educator

This instructable is pretty much what the title would suggest: I recreated the shape of the traditional origami crane in a wire pendant. By using a folded origami crane, I searched for the exact shapes and dimensions that make up an origami crane, which then quickly turned into sketching out ideas on how to make it.

Though this project is posted in February, it was a Christmas gift for my (second) gift exchange with the lovely watchmeflyy. It took a bit longer than planned to make the pendant, but I was still going to be able to finish it on time (ish). Only after making the pendant, I realised it was going to be near to impossible to get it shipped without ruining it. But, I found a solution (thanks origami boxes) and then it was time to wait for my package to get to the other side of the world! And then I had to wait for the perfect day: the 5th of February.

The reason behind this specific date is my very first instructable, titled "origami crane instruction". It was published exactly four years ago today, which I thought would make it quite symbolic to post this right now.

I hope you'll like it!

Step 1: Materials

For the pendant itself, you will need:

- jewellery pliers

- wire, I used silver plated copper wire with two different gauges (one for the bending and one for the wrapping)

- triangle protractor (you could use a ruler, but I personally prefer this)

To get the right angles when it comes to the bending, it's quite helpful to fold a crane, so for that you'll need a square piece of paper.

Step 2: Planning

To learn what size and what shape exactly I would need to make the parts, I started by folding a crane. Using a black marker, I carefully marked the sides I would need. With a bunch of coloured markers I filled in the parts I would need to use with a wirework design. By carefully unfolding the crane after marking it, you're left with a layout of the pieces you'll need.

Step 3: Prototype

Before ruining some perfectly good wire, it can be quite helpful to make a prototype first, especially since I wasn't sure yet if what I wanted to do would work at all.

This prototype was created using aluminium wire and masking tape. Aluminum wire is a great material for prototyping wire projects because it's really simple to bend. I prefer using masking tape instead of regular tape because the masking tape seems to be able to stick to right about anything, including wire.

Step 4: Measurements

After having created the square layout, I measured the exact lengths of the pieces. These measurements can be found in the first picture. In order to learn what length of wire was needed per part, I added up the different measurements.

Note: After writing out all those lengths, I realised I wasn't going to make this the same size as the crane I folded, so I divided all values by two. I personally think the lengths I ended up using were perfect for a pendant.

Step 5: A Smal Adaption

To join the neck/ tail to the body a bit easier, I drew the extra black line as pictured. Following this line leaves you with a shape that fits exactly into the body shape.

Step 6: A Bit of Advice

When cutting the wire, your pliers will leave two different sides: one nice and clean edge and a second, sharpen edge. Be sure to use the nice and flat side in your work, it will look better and especially when working on this size it will make your end result look more professional.

Step 7: Measuring

Following the lengths given in step 4, you can cut to wire at the right length. Be sure to add a bit of extra length, this makes it a bit easier to bend the wire in the right shape.

Step 8: Bending

Starting from the middle of the bottom of the wing, measure the exact length you'll need. This is where you'll want to bend the wire. To get the angle of the corner right, the layout of the crane is quite helpful, as you can just put the wire on top and see if it matches up.

Step 9: The Right Spot

When bending sharp corners, like the top of the wing, it's easier to bend the wire just slightly first. If this, after remeasuring, turns out to be the right place, you can bend it further until it matches with the drawing.

Step 10: Ending It

To end the wire, simply cut it off at the exact place where the end and the beginning meet.

Step 11: Two Completed Wings

Of course, your wings won't look 100 % the same, but as long as you stick to the measurements and the layout, you'll be fine.

Step 12: Bending the Base

Bending the base is pretty much the same story as for the wings. One thing to realise here is that the bottom line of the base isn't horizontal, there's a bit of a corner in it.

Step 13: Testing

After bending both the base and the wings, you can check if they match up.

Plus, it looks pretty nice ; )

Step 14: This Is Where It Gets a Bit Tricky

The neck and the tail are the narrowest parts of the crane. They also need the sharpest corner, almost as sharp as just letting the wire turn right back. Don't get too frustrated if it looks a bit messy here, the tricky part will mostly be covered with the wrapping wire anyway.

Step 15: Two Sides

Just like with the wings, you'll need to make a pair of this shape as well.

Step 16: Snap It Back

And of course, what is a crane without a head? Hold the bottom part (especially the beginning and the end) with a pair of pliers while using an other pair to rotate the top part to create the head.

Of course, I messed up here. Instead of twisting the wire so it ends up looking forward, I turned it towards the base, making this quite a special crane that's looking back ; )

Step 17: The Pieces

By now, the different parts are finished, and all that's left to do is join them!

Step 18: What Not to Do

Okay, you can do what I did here, but I recommend you to take a look at the next step first. That whole lot of coiling I started with? You don't need it, a little bit will do just fine.

But, perhaps the title of this step is a bit misleading, because it's most definitely the way to go - what happened before picture number one is the problem here.

Make sure the corner of the tail (where it joins the base) is coiled a few times. After that, add the base and start wrapping both wires. At the bottom part you'll notice that the space between the wire becomes too small to wrap between, I wrapped around both wires. End your wire on the bottom corner of the base.

Step 19: Unwrapping

As you can see, I needed to uncoil quite a bit of wire. Starting just about at the crossing wire would have worked fine here. This saves a lot of time wrapping and unwrapping.

Step 20: Joining the Pieces

Repeat the steps for the tail to add the neck.

Step 21: Positioning the Wings

When it comes to the wings, there are a few options. Play around with the shapes a bit to decide what you like, but keep in mind that this instruction only shows one.

Step 22: Adding the Back Wing I

Take a bit of the wrapping wire and wrap it around the wing once, in the bottom corner. Put it through the neck part, at the spot where the base is joined. Now wrap it a few times around the wing base to secure it.

Step 23: Adding the Back Wing II

This step is the exact same as last step, but then for the other corner.

Step 24: Adding the Second Wing I

I wanted to make the second wing stand perpendicular on the base, so while holding it in this position I started repeating last steps. Word of advice: take a long piece of wrapping wire here, a lot of wrapping is required with it ; )

With the short side, I wrapped towards the outside of the pendant.

Step 25: Adding the Second Wing II

The only difference is that instead of wrapping just the bottom wing wire, I wrapped both this bottom wire and the one from the other wing, just to prevent this wing from moving around. Also, I only did one side here.

Step 26: Making It a Bit Sturdier

The longer piece on the other side was then used to wrap together both complete bottom wing wires. After that I let it continue to the other side of the front wing to make the connection as strong as possible.

Step 27: Let It Fly!

Add a jump ring to it (or the "8" ring I prefer) and your crane is ready to fly!

I hope you enjoyed this project, if you did I'd love to know of course : )

Did you make one yourself? Post an I made it comment below and tell me about how it went!

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