Ask Holly: Easy Origami Kusudama Flowers

Origami Kusudama Flowers

The first time I saw a  Japanese kusudama (薬玉) ball I wondered, “Hmm could I make that?” Kusudama balls are origami paper flowers made by gluing or sewing modular units of paper together and used for decoration or gifts. The kusudama I saw was made with a pattern called Butterfly and after one attempt,tap dancing barefoot on glass soaked in rubbing alcohol seemed like a better idea. However, I discovered a simple origami kusudama flower pattern that is just as pretty, easy, and rewarding.

Children eight years old and up take to origami like pros. While most adults have to look at instructions over and over, kids with their sponge-like brains can fold away like they’ve been doing origami since birth. With some printer paper, scissors and glue, you can easily make one or many flowers. If you can make 12, then it’s time to glue them together and make a ball.

origami kusudama flowersOrigami Kusudama Flowers:

  • Thin paper, such as computer paper or origami paper (the brown flower was made with kraft paper)
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips
  • White glue
  • Wire (optional)
  • Buttons (optional)





 origami kusudama flowersHow to fold:

  • Cut the paper into four 4″ x 4″ squares or smaller
  • Fold the paper in half to make a triangle
  • Now fold the two corners down to make a diamond shape.
  • With the points facing away from you fold the paper down and out so it looks like a wing. Now fold the other side down.
  • Pull one wing up and stick your fore finger inside to make a kite shape. press down your fold and repeat on the other side.
  • Fold the top of each kite shape down to make a triangle
  • Now fold the triangle in half from the outside inward and repeat on the other side
  • Squeeze a thing line of glue  along the inside of one of the triangles
  • Fold the one triangle over to meet the other without making a crease.
  • Use a paper clip to hold together while the glue dries
  • After you have made 5-6 petals start to glue them together and hold in place with paper clips.

origami kusudama flowers

Stick a wire in the middle of the flower and glue in place for a stem. For the curly center simply take small piece of paper and roll it up cut it to size and glue in the middle of your flower. You can glue a button onto the curly center as well.

origami kusudama flowers

Using the buttons is a great way to use up the extra buttons you saved from new clothing and it covers up messy folds.

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