Thursday, 8 September 2011

My first tutorial: Basic Kanzashi Flower

Earlier I was reading this blog and Cindy showed a flower brooch she'd bought at a show recently and said she'd like to know how to make one and so I've done my first ever tutorial. It's been done in record time so I hope everything is clear. If you take your time and practice a bit you really can make some lovely flowers.  Apologies in advance for the state of my hands and nails.  I seem to have got black pen ink all over them from when I was just answering some letters (Yes, I know very Jane Austen I actually sit and write letters with pen and paper!)

Anyway onto the tutorial!

Kanzashi flowers are a type of Japanese Origami flower often used for brooches and embellishments. They look like they are complicated and I guess they could be a bit fiddly when you start off but they're actually very simple to make.

Materials:
  • Six or more identical squares of fabric 2.5" squares are good to start with. (I used 2.5" squares for this tutorial, but you may want to go bigger the first time so you can get used to the fabric folding.) Something lightweight like quilting cotton that will hold folds is ideal. If you wanted something glitzier you could use silk.
  • Small scraps of felt. Fabric glue or a hot glue gun.
Tools: Some quilting thread, a needle, scissors and pins.

Optional: brooch fastening, decorative button and or beads.

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I just grabbed some scraps from my stash. Possibly the ugliest fabric I have but this is just to show you how it works.

Take your squares of fabric and fold them in half on the diagonal with the wrong sides facing each other. Finger press to help the fold to stay in place.  You really don't need to be getting your iron out!

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Fold the two corners down to meet the bottom point. Again finger press to help keep in place.

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Flip it over and you will have a plain square of fabric.

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Now fold the corners into the centre. If it helps lightly fold in half first so you know where the centre point is. The points want to just touch in the middle.

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I just stuck a pin in to hold it together as this was not an easy project to photograph!  Unfortunately my fabric has shifted a little. Try and keep yours as neat as possible just like in paper origami

Fold in half along that centre fold, enclosing the folded points*.

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Place a pin in it to hold it together.

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Trim the bottom. (and make sure it is the bottom - the bit where all the pointy raw edges meet.)

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Once you've trimmed one you might want to hold all your other petals next to it so you trim the same amount off of each one.

You have made one petal so you now need to make at least five more. (For some reason the larger the starting square the more petals you need to make to get a good flower shape.)

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Take your needle threaded with quilting thread and run your thread through the petal where the pins are. Take out each pin as you go. Important! Make sure you have all the petals facing the same way.

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Pull them into a tight circle. You want to go around again only this time catch only the folds on the top side of the flower. If it doesn't feel that secure after that, feel free to go around again and then again catching the folds on the back side of the flower.

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Take your time unlike me. You're not writing a tutorial (like me) in a hurry so pull the petals into a nice shape and spread them evenly.

The centre will probably look a bit messy where all the raw edges meet so grab a pretty button or some beads and sew to cover.

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Yours will hopefully be neater because you have taken your time. It may take several attempts to get a flower you are really happy with so don't go using your best fabric first attempt. 

Where you have raw edges on the back glue, or if you haven't any glue you could carefully sew a small disk of felt to cover the back side. You want this to be securely attached. Sew or glue on a brooch back to turn it into a brooch. If you hadn't got a brooch back you could probably use a safety pin.

* experiment by folding down the points as far as they will go and then fold in half so you enclose those points. Pop a pin where it goes through the points and cut off the bottom about 1/8" below the pin at an angle.  You could vary the look of your flower by using different fabric for each petal.

I hope this makes sense and helps someone somewhere. Please feel free to ask questions if anything doesn't make sense.

I'm off to bed now though!

9 comments:

  1. I love it! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait to get started this weekend making lovely little kanzashi flowers. You're a star, Jan :)

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  2. Lol, well done on the speed at which you whipped this up

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  3. Thank you! Looks like fun!! Will have to give it a try. :)

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  4. Oh I pinned some kanzashi flowers ages ago, now I know - thank you x

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  5. Congrats on your first tute Jan! Cute little flower and your pics are excellent- nice and clear

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  6. Great tutorial! I love those flowers, thanks for sharing!

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  7. can't wait to give this a go, thank you!

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  8. Nicely done! I was in a very cute shop today and the employees were all wearing similar flowers. Very cute!

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