DIY & Crafts

Origami Crane Mobile

Canadian Living
DIY & Crafts

Origami Crane Mobile

I've spent a lot of the last week thinking and reading about the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As I've mentioned before, I used to teach English in Japan, so the country and its people are very dear to my heart. The thought – and especially the images – of such devastation is almost unbearable. But there's one thing I do know, having lived there. The Japanese people will pick themselves up again and go on. There's a term for that stoic bearing-up in Japanese: ganbaru. The word gets translated many different ways; everything from "hang on" to "do your best." People use it all the time. They tell each other "Ganbatte" (that's the command form of the verb) whenever there's a challenge to face, whether it's studying for an exam or surviving the unthinkable, like the one-two-three punch of a 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. This week, people around the world have been trying their best to encourage Japan to ganbaru. One of the nicest, craft-oriented ways I've seen is Paper Cranes for Japan. Around the globe, people are folding origami cranes, a traditional symbol of peace, hope and healing, and posting their results – pretty or not – on this page as a token of their good wishes and hope for the Japanese people. mobile43 I'm not the world's best origami folder (I get my mountain and valley folds backwards more often than not), so I'm not sure I should be the one teaching you. But this video tutorial does a pretty good job. With any luck, you'll make fewer balls of crumpled paper than I will in your journey to create a crane that's pretty enough to post. However, I do have a great idea for what to do with your perfect cranes (or any other shape you like to fold). Supplies
  • Bamboo barbecue skewers
  • Sturdy scissors
  • Transparent fishing line
  • Small beads, such as seed beads
  • Long sharp all-purpose sewing needle
  • Even number of origami shapes you've folded
mobile12 Instructions 1. Using scissors, cut pointed end off each barbecue skewer. mobile14 2. Cut lengths of fishing line, 12 to 16 inches, depending on how low you want the cranes to hang. I made eight cranes, so I cut eight pieces (it has to be an even number to balance). Thread each length of fishing line through seed bead and tie securely using several tight overhand knots. I find pulling one end with my teeth and the other with my fingers works well. (I don't think my dentist would agree.) mobile19 3. Thread opposite end of beaded fishing line through needle. Push needle through opening underneath crane and up into body. Gently poke with needle until you feel the peak of the back. mobile21 4. Push needle and fishing line through. Pull up until bead is secure under body. Repeat with all your cranes and beaded fishing line. mobile22 5. Tie one crane about 3/4 inch in from end of one skewer. Tie another crane on opposite end. Adjust so they are balanced. Repeat with remaining pairs. mobile27 6. You'll notice there's no picture of this next step – it would have been easier if I were an octopus or had chimpanzee toes. I needed three hands to tie (or rather two hands and my incisors), so there was no way I could hold a camera at the same time. If you like to tie flies for fishing, maybe you have one of those clippy third-arm devices – that would be handy at this juncture. At any rate, cut some more lengths of fishing line. Tie one length in centre of one of the balanced pairs. Then tie the other end to the centre of another balanced pair. Play with the height to ensure that the cranes move freely and don't crash into one another. Repeat with all the pairs. Slide knots around to adjust the balance, if necessary. mobile31 7. Hang up your mobile. A cup hook screwed into the ceiling is ideal, but I hung mine from the end of a pretty curtain rod. mobile42 Wishing the people of Japan hope and healing. Ganbatte!
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Origami Crane Mobile

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