DIY · Tips & Tricks

How To: Create a Flock of Birds Installation

Being a renter, my studio is actually the guest bedroom of our house. I can’t afford a studio space and I also can’t build a dreamy shed to escape into at the bottom of the garden (but thanks to Shed of the Year, I can show you exactly what it would look like)

Shed of the year dream shed

Whilst the room is littered with art supplies and stock for the Bert Illustration Etsy shop, it also has a daybed crammed into it.

So, to try and make it all tie in a little better,  I created an origami crane installation to hand above aforementioned day bed.

If you fancy having a crack at it yourself, I put together this handy how to for you:


  • 2o sheets of square origami paper
  • Invisible thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Push pins

How to:

1. It’s cool to be square.

start square origami craft paper

You’re going to need a perfectly square bit of paper to make origami cranes. You can buy these pre-cut. I got mine from Flying Tiger (still trying to get my head around that name change).

2. Learn the trade.

origami crane folds

Click here for some written instructions I found useful when I was learning!

3. Practice makes perfect.

practice makes perfect

Give yourself 2 birds to mess up on. Once you get in your stride they’ll turn out perfectly but the first few can be a little tricky.

4. That floating feeling.

han feng paper floating city

Ever since I saw Han Feng’s Floating City at Saatchi’s Paper Exhibition, I’ve been obsessed with invisible thread. Grab some from any craft store (like Hobbycraft).

5. Hook, line and…

where to pierce the thread

Feed your thread through the eye of a slim needle and push through the centre of the bottom of your crane. There should already be a small hole there from the folds. Puncture the top and cut varying lengths of thread to make your flock look effortlessly natural.

6. Complete the look.

white drawing pins for installations

Find push pins the same colour as your ceiling. I bought white pins from WHSmiths but you can find virtually any colour on Etsy. This helps secure the impression that your birds are floating in the air.

7. Positioning.

origami crane installation

Spread them out or bunch them together depending what kind of look you’re going for!

et voila!

Share your results in the comments below or over on Instagram with me using #BertIllustration


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