Japanese flower

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Japanese flower  How to make a Kanzashi Japense flower

Kanzashi flowers are a traditional Japanese accessory that add touch of sophistication to hairstyles and gowns for special occassions. They are worn by Geishas, Geikos, Maikos, Shichigosans, and Japanese brides.

The most beautiful Kanzashi flowers are made by hand, using silk coated in rice starch and put together with a traditional rice glue. There are countless varities of Kanzashi flowers, ranging from simple to extravagant. They can have rounded or pointed petals, with leaves or without, adorned with pearls on patterned or plain silk. These stunning pieces are added to hairpins to embellish elegant updos.

We'll show you step by step how to create a basic Kanzashi flower of your own. This version has 5 petals and is ultra simple to make. It uses items that are easily found around the house: fabric scraps, buttons, and a needle and thread are all you need to get started!

Supplies
Tools
  • Sewing materials
    • Needle
    • Pair of scissors
Materials
  • Fabric scrap (nothing too thick)
  • Buttons
  • Thread
Directions
  • Cut 5 7 cm x 7 cm squares of fabric, following the thread grain.

  • Fold in half diagonally.

  • Fold points towards bottom, forming a square.

  • Turn the square over.

  • Fold two points towards the center of the square, making sure the points meet, and fold in half again.

  • Your square will look like this (View of back, front, and profile).

  • Cut off the bottom point.

  • Repeat preceding steps with the remaining fabric squares.

  • Pass a piece of thread though the 5 pieces, making sure to get the thickest parts of each petal.

  • Loosely tie the ends of the thread together.

  • Turn over and open the petals. Spread them out until they resemble a flower. The thread should be hidden by the folds of the petals.

  • Sew a button in the middle of the flower to form the stigma. We sewed a second button underneath to help attach the one on top.

  • Voilà! The flower is ready (view front and back)

Tips

You can make your flower with as many petals and in any sort of fabric you like. However, we recommend sturdier fabrics so the flower doesn't droop (but not too sturdy!) Once you've successfully made a few flowers, feel free to use lighter fabrics. Paper also works wonderfully. 

These flowers aren't for costumes alone- their possibilities are endless. Use them to add some panache to your outfit, as an accessory, for gift wrapping, as a center piece at your next dinner party...

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