Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Flower Folding For Fun - An Alternative Kanzashi Tutorial

One of the great things about making things is that there are so many ways to arrive at the finished item, which is why I am posting a new tutorial on Kanzashi flowers.  For those of you who have not heard of them, they are a Japanese fabric folding technique to make flowers which were originally made to adorn the hair of Geisha girls.


Fabric - cottons are great to start with  especially as they do not fray but as you become more skilled, try using silks too.
Cutting mat and ruler
Scissors and/or a rotary cutter
Needle and matching cotton
Iron and Ironing board
Glue Gun
£2 coin and a wine glass

Iron your fabrics and cut out 12 x 3" squares - this will make a flower with a 3" diameter, 12 square will make a really full flower - I have chosen to use two complimentary fabrics but you can use all the same fabrics or even more colours.
Fold your square in half diagonally and press with the iron, do not worry if your square is not absolutely right, these flowers are very forgiving.
Now fold the one corner from along the long axis to the point at the bottom.
And now repeat it with the other corner to make a diamond.
Turn the diamond over so that the folds are on the reverse side.
 Now, fold the right side into the middle.
And fold the other side into the middle
Pick up a pin and fold the two sides together along the vertical and place the pin through the centre and flip it over to see your very first petal.
Now repeat this for the other 11 petals, I tend to do this like a factory line and do them in groups of four.
Arrange your petals in the order you want to see them.
Now cut off the triangles at the ends off, cut them straight across to get rid of the excess fabric.
You need to thread your needle with a double thread and make a lovely big knot to secure it.  Put your needle through the thickest part of the petal.
Now pull the knotted end of the thread out and pulling the other end tight, tie the two ends together as tightly as you can.  Trim away the excess thread.
Gently ease the petals into place. Looks pretty rough eh, well we will soon sort that out.
Use your £2 coin to create a template to cover the back of your flower.  If you notice that you have not managed to capture all of the fabric, do not panic, you can either sew it in or use your glue gun.  Now cut out a larger piece of fabric using the wine glass base as your template.
Now do a running stitch around the template about a 1/4" in from the edge of the fabric, pull this tight and you have a covered button.
Now if you are using your flower as a brooch, decoration or bag embellishment you can glue the covered cardboard onto the flower.  If you are using it as a hair decoration, place your elastic under the covered  cardboard, then glue it... and because I go for a belt and braces approach, also sew the button onto the back of your flower.
To top off the flower, you can use an interesting button, or a covered button using the process we have just used to cover the cardboard, using your glue gun you can then attach the topper to the flower.

Now remember that wine glass, fill it with your favourite vin de plonk and sit back to admire your creative genius!

To see what wonderful things you can make and decorate with your flowers take a look at Dream Star's Blog - she is an inspiration!


The mum of all trades said...

this is so pretty. I am going to have a go at those. I love making wee fabric flowers for clothes and cushions, but this will be a new one for me. Thanks for sharing!

Annie and Lyn said...

Very clear tutorial - nicely photographed and the flower is beautiful.
Thank you.
I could imagine all sorts of uses for a flower like that.

Polly Polkadot said...

Oh, you beat me to it! I have a dressing table covered in those ones. I find that fold, very theraputic. Lovely clear tutorial.

Picto said...

Great tutorial I'll follow it to the letter, right down to the vino. :o)

Jan x

rozemie said...

What a lovely blog you have ! I'm follower nr 94 - couldn't resist it. It's very inspirational ! I like it when people make tutorials, I'm going to try and make the flowers. greetings from Belgium, Rozemie.

Krazy Krafts said...

Love it,so clever,wish I had could do that.Good instructions and photos.

Napiligal said...

That's cool. One more thing for my bucket list!

Crafty Intrigue said...

How pretty, great tutorial.

SimonSimple said...

Wow that is very pretty and creative! Good job on the instructions as well.

Have a great weekend.

My Very Educated Mother said...

I've been wondering how to make one of those! Great tutorial, thank you!

Caroline Lovis said...

Lovely make, you can never have too many flowers can you.

dreamstar said...

Hi Ros. Great tutorial and thanks for the link up. Your flowers are looking really fab x

Dragonrat Jewellery said...

Brilliant. I've been toying with trying to make a pair of these for hair clips for a wedding. This is so much clearer than the other tutorial I found.


This is so nice - I love brooches and this would make a lovely summer one, very different.


Anonymous said...


The life and times of a craftaholic said...

Lovely idea! A quick fun craft for a rainy day (which is basically every other day in the UK lol)

Thanks for posting :)

Very Terry said...

Hey, that is pretty simple and cute...I think this old dog just learned a new trick and I am going to try this...I LOVE the fact that you used your wine glass as a template (lol) are my kind of gal!!:) Thank you for sharing.