Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Wedding Cranes

Three years and twenty-two days ago, Mr. Cakes and I got married. And in my unbiased, completely impartial, totally objective opinion, it was AWESOME. I loved our wedding. More specifically, I loved our reception. A night of drinking and dancing and I'm the center of attention? Yes, please. It was definitely a labor of love -- I made the save the dates, invitations, favors, programs, place cards, centerpieces, and crossword puzzles (Yes, crossword puzzles. That's how I roll). I was so in my element! But my most favorite creation from our wedding is our cranes.
I'm half Japanese and the Japanese tradition (although I think it's now actually more popular in Hawaii, where I'm from, than it is in Japan) is for the bride to fold one thousand and one, let me repeat, ONE THOUSAND and ONE origami cranes for her wedding. It's supposed to show her patience, dedication, diligence, commitment, blahblahblahblah...or it's also just another reason to show off her mad crafting skills.
I knew that I wanted to do the thousand cranes for our wedding but I also knew that I didn't want to display them in the what has become the usual way. For one thing, those creations are amazing and beautiful but they're just really not our style. For another, those bad boys cost some major bucks -- I've seen as much $2000. What?! I wasn't shelling out that kind of coinage when I knew I could make something myself that I would love just as much if not more. That's how my frames o' cranes came about.
I got seven square shadowboxes at Ikea, and ordered online red origami paper in different prints (our colors were red and cream). Altogether I probably paid under $100 for everything. I wanted my cranes to be small so I ended up cutting my 3"x3"origami paper down 1.5"x1.5". Then I started folding. We had just over a year between getting engaged and getting married so I had a lot of time to fold which was good. I think it took me probably four or five months of folding cranes to get to 1000. Folding a crane is pretty easy -- folding a thousand, still easy, just tedious. Folding a thousand the size of a quarter...I like a challenge. I suggest having a lot of reality shows to watch in the evening while you fold to help pass the time.
When I had all my cranes folded, I cut a piece of black card stock to fit the shadow boxes and then proceeded to glue every single last one of those cranes in rows. I was also insane and decided to number them as I went so, if you look really closely at the pictures, you can see little gold numbers scribbled to the bottom right of every crane. I tried to have Mr. Cakes fold a couple cranes but, to my nitpicky eyes, his cranes were not worthy so I did them all myself. I did, however, have him him fold one -- the very last, 1000 and first crane, in big gold paper and had that one framed by itself:

Isn't that cute? In the end, I think they came out fantastic and they are being displayed proudly in our living room. It's almost like it was fate because the seven frames fit perfectly in the little space right above our main window. I had the suggestion that I should have tried to spell something out or designed some kind of a pattern with the different cranes which would have upped the insanity factor by a few more notches but would have been really cool.
What about you guys? Anyone else have cool crafts or projects they did for their wedding?


  1. Wow. This is so... wow. Stunning. You blew me away, really! What a great tradition - a little mad, takes a lot of work, but that´s just how love is, right?

  2. Thanks! It is kind of crazy when you think about it but when it's for your wedding, I think people are willing to do a little extra. If I were to make this as a gift for someone, I'd just do a small square of them or something which would be a lot less insane. Thanks for the comment!

  3. stunning work, what an amazing heirloom for your family. There is no equivalent in the UK sadly :-( Perhaps we should start one :-)

  4. That's so cool! I had a friend direct me here. We folded 1000 cranes for wedding... which was probably one of my favorite aspects. We had people take some home after the wedding. The rest we made into ornaments for our Christmas tree as well as for others. I love how you framed yours though.

  5. Oh...I have finally found it! My wedding was last month and I still have 1001 cranes in ziplock bags, just waiting for their new home. I have imagined, researched, asked around and no project has seemed worthy of my labor of love. But I absolutely ADORE the frames of cranes. I hope you will not mind knowing that mine will be displayed in a similar fashion. And thank you SO much for the inspiration! Jen H.