painting sunny

100 Days of School, 100 Paper Cranes

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With our oldest child in Kindergarten this year, I am being introduced to all sorts of traditions I was oblivious to before. One of those things is “100 Day” which celebrates the 100th day of school with “a huge huge party, parade party, even better than a birthday you so should have been there Mama!” as Haven enlightened me. It includes a parade, special snacks like a crazy trailmix, activities, and best of all; every student brings in 100 of something to present to the class. It can be 100 of something small taped to a paper, or there is the option of creatively displaying something.

Havey and I put our head’s together, looked around the house, and ended up staring at a package of origami paper Grandma June gifted to us during the holidays. We did the math that if we divided some of the origami sheets into quarters, and dipped into our stash of leftover pretty paper scraps we could make it work. I realized how crazy big a project this was to take on, but we had a three-day weekend to work on it, and I had determined it was less of a waste to spend more time making something we could hang in her room later, than to make something smaller but disposable.

Now for a time-lapse of a 6-year-old learning to fold a paper crane…

Haven's birds 3Haven's birds 4Haven's birds 2Haven's birds 1

Haven stuck with the bigger pieces of paper, and I helped a bit (or a lot at first) with the different steps. After about five of them, she could finish one and have it looking pretty sharp, with minimal assistance during two of the more confusing steps.

Then of course, her attention wandered and I was abandoned to stay up late at night folding tiny little cranes until my fingers bled. Okay, fine, they didn’t bleed. Or even come close to it. But it does make it hard to keep up with an episode of Criminal Minds when you’re constantly folding tiny birds. Thank goodness the husband intervened, learned a couple of the steps himself, and helped speed up the process significantly!

Gradually, the cranes added up…


It was all fun and games, until we ran out of origami paper, I counted the big pile of folded cranes, and my heart fell as I finished with 62. That is a long way from 100. So, we raided our paper scrap stash, used a pen and ruler to cut squares out in a variety of pretty patterned papers, and those got folded too, assembly-line style.

Want to learn how to make a paper crane? I did a little Google search, and here is a good guide and here is a video. Hope that helps!

How do I know how to fold paper cranes? No idea. I’m sure I learned it from my mother and it just got stuck in my brain. My fingers automatically make them when I’m bored and holding scrap paper in my office.

Display idea: We grabbed some pony-beads (those cheap, bright, plastic ones) we had already, and some white thread and a big sewing needle. I threaded the needle, created 2′ or so length of thread and knotted a pony-bead around both threads at the bottom, tied securely. Then, I used the needle to thread on each crane by sticking it through the little hole on the belly of the crane, and up through the top of it between the wings. After they were all strung, I used the needle to tie the threads at the top around another pony-bead. Voila! It’s like a Hawaiian lei of paper cranes.

Haven was so proud to show off her special 100 paper cranes! It was a hit with her, and her classmates. We might re-string them on some pretty, bright-colored embroidery thread before


Paloma the cat, must you always photo-bomb?


We were lucky to have a pack of origami paper, thread and a needle, a couple pony-beads, and extra scrap paper. If you don’t happen to have these things, this couple still be a really affordable and quick project. Any craft store should sell both the papers and the pony-beads, and any of the other supplies if you don’t keep them on hand. I did a quick bit of research, and one big package of 100 origami papers (we had a smaller package than that) retails for between $7-$10 dollars if you want the pretty patterns.

Happy 100 Day!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.


Author: Dani @ Painting Sunny

Hi there! I'm Dani, and it's lovely to meet you. My little family just moved to the quaint little college-town of Ithaca, NY and are loving it. Come hang out with me and talk about food, books, art, and other odd little things.

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