I have loved Paper Cranes ever since I was a child. When I was in elementary school, my mom bought me a copy of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes and I read it over and over again. It is the story of a young girl in Japan after the atomic bomb. When she is 12 years old she is diagnosed with Leukemia from radiation exposure. Sadako spent her time folding paper cranes inspired by the Japanese legend that one who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted one wish. She wishes to live. According to her family, Sadako folded 1,300 paper cranes before she passed away. A memorial was erected to her and all of the children who were effected by the atomic bomb. Every year thousands of people leave cranes near her statue.
I have always had a secret goal of folding 1,000 cranes in my life. It was a goal that I shared with a childhood friend of mine. We grew up and grew apart and I forgot about the goal, but she didn't. She wanted to have 1,000 cranes at her wedding but it didn't end up happening. When she unexpectedly passed away her friends and family came together fold 1,000 paper cranes for her memorial service. Almost two years ago I sat at her memorial surrounded by the many, many paper cranes that were made in her memory and I felt a powerful connection to them. Even more so than I did when I was a child. They are a beautiful, powerful reminder of the good in the world. My younger daughter shares her middle name with my friend and I have created small, beautiful tributes to her and paper cranes around my house. Every time I see a crane, I smile.
I have some beautiful projects coming up on the blog to share using paper cranes, but before I can share how to make those, I need to share how to make a paper crane. I have broken it down step by step with pictures of each step to help you visualize it better.Origami paper is easiest, but you can cut a paper to square if you need to.