Tutorial: How to Make a Paper Crane Desktop Mobile

Paper Crane Mobile

It’s been ages since I made one of these little guys, but yesterday I was waiting to hear from the vet about some tests on one of our cats, and things like that always get paper cranes on my mind.

Cranes traditionally symbolize luck, health, and long life. Any time things aren’t going so hot, my fingers get itchy to fold some paper cranes. These desktop mobiles make great gifts, or you could make one to add a little luck to your very own life!

Here’s how you do it:


Little Squares of Origami Paper
origami or scrap paper cut into 3″ squares
scrap wood or wooden plaque
paint (optional)
hammer and small nail
needle and thread
3 small beads
white glue
1 piece of floral wire

Fold It

Baby Cranes!
First, you’ll need to fold yourself four paper cranes. You could use origami paper, if you have some handy, or get creative! Maybe round up some junk mail or security envelopes for the paper?

The Base

Making the Arc, 1
For the base, you could use a piece of scrap wood or one of those wooden plaques from the craft store. You can leave the wood natural or paint the base the color of your choice!

Once the paint is dry, take your hammer and nail. Gently hammer the nail in on top of the wood on the left, about 1/2″ from the edge, and pull the nail back out. Do the same on the right.

The Arc

Making the Arc, 3
Put a dab of white glue into each nail hole, then take your floral wire and gently bend it into an arc. Stick the ends into the nail holes and press to make sure they’re seated well.

Use the palm of your hand to very gently press the arc so that it’s slightly flattened on top (like in the picture above there).

You’ll want to let this dry before hanging your cranes.

Hanging the Cranes

Stringing, 2

You’re going to hang three of these little guys with your thread and glue the fourth to the base. To hang the cranes, thread your needle, then stick the needle through the bottom of the first crane. Tie a bead to the thread that’s sticking out of the bottom of the crane, so it won’t pull through, then tie the top piece to your wire arc wherever you like. Trim off any excess thread, and rub a little white glue on the top thread to keep the crane in place.

Stringing, 3

Repeat this for the other two cranes, hanging them at different heights.

Finally, put a small amount of white glue on the bottom of the remaining crane, and place him on the piece of wood wherever you like.

Finishing Touch!

Voila! A lovely little lucky mobile for your desk!

Finished Mobile

Edit: We heard back from the vet late last night, and the results were in the grey area. She needs to go back in a month to see if she’s still losing weight. Keep your fingers crossed for our (formerly) fat cat! She’s at a healthy weight now, so I hope she just is getting healthy!

4 comments on “Tutorial: How to Make a Paper Crane Desktop Mobile
  1. I was delighted to find this tutorial. Always meant to look for a book in the library but never go around to it. I would love to make paper craines, so thank you very much for this. Brenda Hunter.

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