About Paper Cranes

We receive many inquiries about making paper cranes for weddings, get-well gifts, and other occasions. While we are not experts on the traditions of paper cranes in Japan, here are a few topics for consideration as you plan your crane-making activities.

What is the normal size of paper used for folding cranes?

Good question! We tried to find out and as far as we can tell, there is no specific size for folding a crane. There are a number of web sites that have instructions for folding cranes, and none of them mention the size of the paper.

Here is a photo of cranes of three different sizes made of Obonai Feather Cream. From left to right: 7.5cm (3"), 11.8cm (4.6"), and 15cm (6")

What size of cranes do you wish to make?

The cranes perched on one of Paper Jade's computers were made from 2.75-inch paper and have a wing span of roughly 2 inches with a head to tail span of the same. We recently had a customer decide that given her cranes were to hang from the ceiling of a church, she needed to use 13.8-inch solid-colored paper so that her guests would be able to see them. Whether they are used as table decorations or hanging ornaments makes a big difference in what paper size you may wish to use.

How long will it take you to fold your cranes?

The owner of Paper Jade, LLC is a fairly accomplished origami folder; it takes him about five minutes to fold a crane from two-inch paper. If you have to fold several hundred cranes for a friend's wedding, plan ahead accordingly.

What kind of paper do you want to use to make your cranes?

Many of our customers ask for washi, which is handmade paper. We have several different collections of handmade papers, which you can reach by clicking here and here.

These papers generally come in assorted packs of paper. We have no control over what is included in any given pack. Therefore, your cranes would be beautiful, but of many varied designs and colors. On the other hand, our Paper Jade Exclusives packages contain specific patterns of printed paper in an assortment of designs and colors. You can see these packages by clicking here. The page for each package includes a link to a photograph of the patterns and colors in the package.

Another option is to purchase large sheets of washi in one design. These sheets are found by clicking here. You would need a paper cutter to cut the paper down to the size you wish to use, but your cranes would all be of the same color scheme. 

We also carry many beautiful machine-made papers, both in solid colors and with printed designs, as well as metallic foil-covered paper. Our printed papers and foils are available in sizes of up to 6 inches, with varying numbers of sheets in each package. Our solid-color papers are available in 50-sheet packs of 6 inches or 100-sheet packs of 4.6, 6, 9.5 and 13.8 inches. You can see our selection of solid-color papers by clicking here, our printed designs by clicking here and our foils by clicking here.

We carry Obonai Feather Cream and Obonai Feather White, lovely machine-made papers, in three different sized packages: 15cm (6"), 11.8cm (4.6"), and 7.5cm (3"). Those packages are found here. Because we carry many other papers in these same sizes, they are easy to mix and match. You could have lots of cranes of one specific size or mix all three sizes.

You could always use a combination of kinds of papers. Perhaps you would like to make lots of solid color cranes for table decorations, interspersed with a few washi cranes of differing designs and patterns. Our most popular package of washi paper is the Kondo Yuzen 15cm (6 inch) found by clicking here.

All of our products include a link in their description which displays a photograph of samples of the paper. We try to make these images as accurate as possible, but we are always happy to answer questions about specific products. Please note that the color displayed on your computer screen may vary from the actual color of the product, since we have no control over the color calibration of your screen, your display settings, the lighting in room, and so forth.

Happy folding!

The folks at Paper Jade