I was throwing a party, because... why not? And I needed a show stopper.
So I folded 400 paper cranes, strung them up and hung them outdoors at varying heights so they looked like a flock in flight. As I now understand it, this is actually a Japanese wedding tradition, where a bride folds 1000 cranes for her wedding. Apparently, the process teaches her patience and steadiness and calms her spirit, thus preparing her for a long and happy marriage. Gross.
I've already posted how I strung the birds, but planning how to hang them in flight formation was tricky. Because I'm a type-A nut bag (is that one word or two?), I built this diagram, organized the strands in segmented boxes and color-coded the whole thing.
Basically, I hung the longest strands in the center and hung shorter strands in subsequent circles. And I used the existing pergola to plan for spacing. It made for easy hanging too. I tied the strings to paper clips, threw the clips over and and clipped them to their own string. This was the idea of a much smarter person than I. They went up in 30 minutes and came down in 20. Genius.
As always, I was rushing to get everything done and didn't take any good pictures.
I used craft paper for its color, but you shouldn't. It's stiff, hard to fold and dries your hands after just a few. Get origami paper. Trust me on this. I actually really enjoyed the methodical folding. You can crank out a ton pretty fast while watching TV. It's strangely calming. Weirdly calming. I kind of got addicted to it.
In fact, I couldn't stop. I folded another 60 white cranes as the backdrop to the food table. It only sort of camouflaged the cinder block wall.
On a related note: I still have all these birds, and I'll happily arrange for them to be yours.