DIY || Origami Crane Mobile

Just after Emma was born I was obsessed with folding paper. I think this image was to blame and my idea was that I would fill the entire ceiling with origami cranes.

While I didn't get around to decorating the entire ceiling with cranes, because it slowly filled up with glow-in-the-dark stars and planets and mobiles from family, I did make an origami crane mobile hanging from a dreamcatcher.

I made two, one for my niece, which had the cranes spiralling around a centre point, and one for Emma. I wanted the latter to be random as though the cranes were flying all over the place. Sort of like it would have been had I followed through on my idea.

What you'll need for this project:

Origami cranes (I made mine out of magazine paper to add colour, but you can use origami paper or plain printer paper, too. Follow these instructions on Wikipedia to fold an origami crane.)
A steel or wooden embroidery frame
Yarn (I used DMC tapestry wool)
Clear beading thread


First, you will have to wind the yarn around the embroidery frame. Try to wind it as tightly as possible to cover the frame. Start by holding the thread on the frame with your thumb and wrap the yarn over this thread to keep it in place. When you are finished wrapping, use a sewing needle to pull the yarn through some of the loops.

Making the dreamcatcher:

First tie a knot on the frame with the yarn, then place the yarn over the frame at the position you would like the web to begin.
Pull the yarn under the frame and downwards.
Pull the yarn under and over the starting thread...
...pulling tight to create an anchor. Continue in this way all around the frame...
...and as you continue in the centre of the frame to create your web. Pull the yarn quite tightly to ensure that the web keeps its shape, and then knot it in the centre with a slip knot. You can also add a bead in the centre if you like.

Making the mobile:

The length of the thread the cranes will hang from depends on the effect that you would like. If you would like the cranes to hang uniformly around the frame, cut the threads the same length. If you would like the cranes to spiral around the centre, cut each thread longer than the last. It will take longer if you would like the cranes to fly haphazardly around the frame, since you will have to hang the frame up and position them as you see fit, adjusting the length of the threads as you go and ensuring the frame remains balanced.

The most difficult part, however, is pulling the thread through the centre of your cranes without tearing them. You will be pulling the thread through the middle of the bottom of the body and through the top. The easiest way to prevent the thread from pulling through the crane at a later stage is to put a bead at the bottom. You can also knot the thread several times, securing it in place with some clear nail varnish. Secure it in the same manner where you join the crane to the yarn of the dreamcatcher. Drop a bead or two into the cranes if you're having trouble balancing everything out.
I would love to see your efforts!


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