Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all have been doing kind things for yourselves during Mental Health Awareness month. For our third week of crafting, we will be making origami cranes! Origami is a craft that has been around for many, many years and simply means “to fold paper” from the Japanese words oru and kami. Origami may seen intimidating given how many complex designs that can be made, but it is meant to be a peaceful and meditative craft that helps us focus in on the moment while working with paper. And thankfully, all you need is a sheet of paper. Check out this article to see the benefits of origami and how it boosts mindfulness.

You can fold any type of origami for this week’s craft, but we chose origami cranes specifically due to their symbolism of hope and healing. They say that if you fold 1,000 origami cranes your wish will come true!

The supplies needed are very simple. All you need is origami paper and if you don’t have the paper needed, printer paper works just fine. There will be a video link given on how to use regular printer paper to make your origami crane. Other supplies I gathered was thread and string, as well as a needle, so that I could hang up my cranes and beads to give it some more flair if I wanted!

Now, I am not adept at origami folding, but I found a great tutorial to follow by YouTuber Origami Tsunami. The video goes through the folding process slowly and even gives colored lines to make the step-by-step process easier. I was surprised (and very proud) that I was actually able to make a crane for the first time. I also didn’t find the process overly stressful and noticed that I felt very calm and focused while working on my crane.

Here are some of the finished cranes!

Now, after you’ve made a handful of cranes, the last step is threading them if you want to do so. What you need is a relatively thin thread (I unfortunately couldn’t use my rainbow string since it was too thick) and a long needle. You’ll want to thread the needle at the spot right between the cranes wings and it will come smoothly out of a hole in the bottom that’s formed due to all the folding and creasing. I plan on making lots more cranes, but you can add beads as you thread them through and hang them up somewhere in your home or window.

I don’t know if I’ll be aiming toward making 1,000 cranes, but whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or wanting to practice mindfulness, you can make a few cranes and slowly work toward that wish! 🙂

Mariah Pugliese is a Reference Librarian at the Kirkwood Public Library. When not at the library, she enjoys reading and writing sci-fi/fantasy and taking care of her 25+ houseplants who are all named after fictional characters in literature.