How to Make Paper Ornamentscomments (17) September 1st, 2008
As someone who's folded 1,000 origami paper cranes, made miles of paper garland, and crafted individual paper shades for seven strings of holiday lights, I can say with some authority that if you're planning on creating crafts for the holidays, now is the time to begin work on those projects! Granted, Labor Day may seem a bit early to begin, but in my experience, things frequently take longer to complete than one anticipates. In the case of the 1,000 origami cranes mentioned above, I got that harebrained (birdbrained?) idea one year shortly after Thanksgiving. Making a paper crane is relatively simple, I thought, so how hard could it be to make 1,000 of them?
The truth is, it's not hard, not at all, but it is time consuming and there's the rub. After the first evening of folding (in front of the TV) I had a total of 15 cranes completed. A little bit of math revealed that was just over 1/10 of 1 percent of the full project. A little more math (of the slightly more complicated type) revealed that at my current rate of production, I would complete my project somewhere around February 4 of the following year! Yikes.
|More decorating ideas:
• How to Make a Garland with Punch
• How to Make a Snowstorm
• How to Make a Surprisingly Simple Paper Wreath
Not being the sort of person to give up (or listen to reason), I proceeded to increase my production output. I folded cranes on the subway, at the deli, in waiting rooms, at dinner, while watching TV, and walking to appointments. I fielded questions about what I was doing, and the subsequent question, "Why would anyone want to?" I withstood a lot of sidelong glances, a few quizzical stares, and one patently aggressive slur, but I could not be deterred. The project became my own personal Labor-of-Hercules, with myself in the role of demigod.
By mid-December, as I passed the halfway mark, I realized the task was substantially larger than anticipated. Yes, I had to make another 500 cranes, but I would also have to rig up something to hang each of them by. That meant using a quilling needle to make a perfectly positioned hole through each crane's body and threading a metallic cord through the hole and tying it off with a knot.
The rest of the story you can write yourself: I did nothing but work on cranes; I grew irritable and withdrawn, and I suffered from a precipitous lack of sleep in the last weeks leading up to Christmas.
The result? Well, much to the relief of myself and my friends, I met my goal late Christmas Eve. However, the truth of the matter is, 1,000 cranes on a Christmas tree looked nothing like I'd imagined. One friend said, gently, that I could have achieved the same effect by taking a bushel of spitballs and tossing them into the branches. A neighbor's little girl was less kind—if more honest—when she asked, "Why didn't you do something pretty, like put Christmas ornaments on your tree? We got ours at Wal-Mart; you can borrow some."
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