Sunday, March 30, 2008

D.I.Y. Kanzashi

Here is a cute idea for making some japanese hair ornaments, all from Shojo Beat magazine.

Solid-color Hobotai silk, cut into one inch squares
Sharp, pointed tweezers
Spray starch
Rice starch glue
Wood board (to use as workspace)
Stiff cardboard
26-gauge florist's wire
Decorative thread, beads and other details as desired

Tsumami kanzashi or hana kanzashi are beautiful traditional hair ornaments from Japan. Once only worn with kimono on special occasions, kanzashi have recently found a new lease on life recently as part of modern street fashion in Japan.


There are two basic petal shapes that you can use to make almost unlimited designs. You can even create multicolored petals by folding two different colors of silk together! We're making round and pointed petals here.

Before folding your petals, you will need to starch your silk (the simple spray starch available in most grocery stores will do).
Next, spread a 1/8 inch thick layer of glue onto your board to hold the petals you have folded once they are done.

Round Petal Technique:

3.Fold silk square in half to form a triangle.
4.Place tweezers along center of triangle, and fold in half again.
5.Place your tweezers along the spine of new triangle.
6.Fold the sides up around the tweezers.
7.Holding the pieces in place, slide tweezers out and move them around to hold the petal shape in place.
8.Cut excess silk away (keep a 90 degree angle between the cut and the back of the petal).
9.Place petal in glue on board.

Pointed Petal Technique:

3.Fold your square of silk in half.
4.Fold in half again.
5.Fold in half once more
6.Grip petal in tweezers as with the round petal, and cut to size leaving a 90 degree angle between the cut and the back of the petal.
7.Place petal in glue on board.


1.Cut one-inch-or-smaller circles out of stiff cardboard for as many flowers as you plan to make.
2.Pierce a hole in the center of the circle and pass a length of florist's wire through the hole, curling the end to stop the wire in the hole. (You can add a small dot of foamboard to the center to level out the petals for a flat flower.)
3.Spread glue onto your circular flower base.

4.Using tweezers, lift a petal from the glue board, smoothing the glued edges together.
5.Place as many petals as desired onto the base, evenly.
6.Gently form petals on the base to whatever shape you like. Once you've placed the desired number of petals, leave to dry while you're creating the next flower.

7.When all of your flowers are dry, gather the wire stems together like a little bouquet and bind them with an attractive thread. You can attach small silk leaves, buds and other decorations to add a little character!
8.Now bind your "bouquet" to a hairpin (I made my pin from a heavy gauge florist's wire, folded in half, then shaped to form two prongs).
9.Finish off by gluing little beads or other decorations to the centers of your flowers. I added some beaded dangles for a contemporary touch.

Follow the following step for a seasonal look that coincides with the spring cherry blossom season in Japan: Once you have a dried and completed round petal flower, turn it into a cherry blossom by adding a small dab of rice glue to the outside of the petal in the middle, and squeeze for a few seconds with your tweezers. When you let go you'll have that recognizable cherry blossom dimple! Repeat on all 5 petals.

1 comment:

catherine said...

Thanks for the tutorial that´s my weekend homework.

Love them :)