18 January 2013

DIY: Kusudama Paper Flowers

Kusudama are Japanese paper flowers, traditionally made into a ball which was then filled with incense or pot purri. These flowers are so versatile; feel free to make a ball, bouquet or table decoration from these flowers, or alternatively, just leave each flower singular and bunch them together in a vase.

Paper flower ball from Etsy aquavina
Kusudama paper flower ball; photo via Etsy; Aquavina

What you need:
  • Paper squares (1 square = 1 petal. I make 5 petals per flower)
  • Pair of scissors
  • Glue (craft glue works the best!)
  • Paper & Bulldog clips
  • Wire or bamboo skewers
  • Buttons/beads/sequins (optional)

How to:

Cut out squares of paper according to the size & amount of flowers 
you want to make. (I suggest a 10 x 10cm square as a medium sized flower to start with - once your first flower is made you can increase or decrease the size of the square to suit. I cut out 5 squares of paper for each flower).

Starting with one square, fold it in half on the diagonal.

Position your square of paper so that it sits like a triangle, 
with its point facing away from you.

Carefully fold one of the triangle corners in to the centre, to meet the point. 

Repeat with the other corner. Now you have a nice folded diamond.

With one of the corners you just folded up, slide your finger inside the opening and flatten down to make a mini kite, making sure the centre fold of the mini kite lines up with the edge of the folded diamond.

Repeat this with the other corner.

With one of the flattened mini kites, fold in half on the centre line (little arrow). The big arrow shows this being done.

Repeat this with the other kite.
Where the arrows show, cut off the little excess bits to 
make a diamond shape once again.

Run craft glue along the flaps where the arrows show.

Bring the two flaps together to meet. Squish together to allow the glue to hold (you may need to use a paper clip or bulldog clip to secure it until it stays). Congratulations! You have now made one petal!

Repeat steps 1 - 10 to make four more petals. When your petals are made, place a line of glue in between each petal and clamp using a bulldog clip till dry. Then, bring the petals to meet in a full circle and glue. Secure with a paper clip in between each petal to ensure they hold. 
You now have finished one flower! Yipeeeeee!

Once you have made all your flowers, thread florist's wire through the centre, or secure them to a wooden skewer. Glue sequins, buttons or beads in the centre of the flower to jazz them up.

Photo via EtsyMyWoollyMammoth
These flowers are quite easy to make, though I do admit, they are time consuming. My recommendation; pop on a season of your favourite tv show (mine is Friends) and before you know it, you will have made tons of flowers. 


These flowers can be personalised to suit your taste - just make them out of any paper you desire. I have made all different types of flowers, out of plain coloured paper, patterned paper, to newspaper or even old manuscript (for my friend Rosie's wedding). The flowers I made for Rosie's wedding were made from paper squares that were ripped on the edges to give a rustic charm. They were bunched together and stuck in a vintage glass bottle, viola


Don't they look delightful?

They can even be glued onto bamboo skewers and 
stuck into a polystyrene ball. 
How beautiful is this bridal bouquet?
Photo via CapitolRomance
Kusudama flowers are perfect for any occasion; dressing up a plain old vase, a bridal bouquet, or as a handmade gift. Best thing about giving someone these flowers? They last forever!

! Happy Folding !

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