Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beaded Origami Crane: Tutorial

The beaded cranes I made for the Japanese School fundraiser sold well. Imagine that beaded cranes were food and people were starving - that's how well they sold.

On Wednesday - the first day of the sale - all 22 beaded cranes sold. So Mami asked me to make more. I brought 10 into the school that morning, and by the afternoon, they were sold out again. So I made 6 more for the after school sale.

At this time I was starting to get a little anxious because I felt like there was such a high demand for the beaded cranes that I had to spend every freakin' minute I had making them. Plus - the principal of the school had mentioned wanting to place a massive order for cranes as Christmas gifts next year.

This - of course - is all great for the school in Japan, but I hadn't really signed up for this amount of work. To put it into perspective - if I'm only beading the cranes (meaning Mami has already folded them) I can bead 6 - 7 cranes in an hour - without a break. So it took me 3 - 4 hours to bead 22 of them.

You do the rest of the math on that one. Needless to say - I hadn't planned on donating hours upon hours of my time to this project. I just wanted to help out a little. I have things to do people - and they weren't getting done.

So then I took a step back and started to relax. I decided I will make what I can, but I won't let them become a priority or an obligation. I taught Mami how to bead the cranes, so she could help with that part too.

Then I thought - Well hey - if people seem to like these so much, maybe they would like to make them too. So I present, the BEADED ORIGAMI CRANE TUTORIAL!!!

Here's what you'll need:

An origami crane. See tutorial here for folding your own.
2 colorful beads (I like glass beads)
2 small beads (I use gold here, but they are usually gold or silver)
1 slightly larger gold bead (or silver)
a heavy thread like a button thread or thin embroidery floss, cut about an arm's length of it
1 long needle

Thread needle and pass it through the crane. Insert it from the opening in the bottom and puncture a hole in the middle of the back. Pull most of the thread through, leaving only about 3 inches sticking out from the bottom.

Slip on the larger of the gold beads and then 1 small gold bead, like so.

Make a loop with the thread and slip the needle back through the beads and crane in reverse order; small gold bead, large gold bead, crane. Bring the needle back out through the small opening at the bottom. Pull through, but leave enough thread for a good loop on top.

Bead the bottom glass beads. You can do this in whatever order you like. For this crane I went small bead, large bead, then the small gold anchor bead. The small anchor bead will always be last because that's the bead that holds the other ones on.

Run the thread back through the beads - but not the anchor again! Just go back through the glass beads in reverse order. You'll pull the thread out at the top of the bead closest to the crane. That meets up with the other loose end of thread.

Now is the time to readjust your thread so you have a nice sized loop at the top. When you have it how you like it, tie a knot in the two loose pieces of thread, directly below the cranes body. I usually ties 3 -4 knots. Then I snip the excess off.

Tie a knot in the top loop of thread to hold the gold beads in place. And VIOLA'! You have a beautiful beaded origami crane!


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