Thursday, 19 March 2015

Flower Power!

I spent last Saturday at Dereham Baptist Church for a “Craft and Creativity Day”. I certainly enjoyed myself – I hope everyone else did. In the morning, I’d been asked to speak about Writing My Blog – which generated some fascinating conversations throughout the day – and after lunch we broke up into groups to do some crafting, then I gave a second talk about “Creator, Creative, Re-created”


My sis-in-law Marion’s table made cute pompoms, some as ‘gift embellishments’ and other tiny ones [produced on the tines of a fork] were strung on cords with beads to make bookmarks. P1000849Mike’s table sewed Japanese hanging decorations. I decided to teach my table to make Japanese Kusudama Flowers.

I practised [lots] beforehand to be sure I was confident to teach.

You need some twigs for stems, some squares of paper, and some glue. Also paperclips to hold the petals while the glue dries, and yarn to tie your finished blooms together. I cut up an old paperback – which had gone yellow, and the binding had disintegrated so all the pages were adrift. I cut it up into 9cm squares [that got me 2 per page] and used PVA applied with cocktail sticks. The women didn’t believe me when I said we were all going to make lovely flowers like these from an old paperback!


Here’s my tray of materials. I should say that an evening with a paper trimmer produces a huge stack of squares quickly and neatly. I also drafted an instruction sheet.


I was really impressed with the way people learned the skill so quickly. Once you can make one conical petal, you soon make four more, then stick them together to make a flower – and add a stem. Leaving five petals with paperclips on to dry [look at the ones on the striped tray above] and then getting on with set two, and then returning to the original 5 to assemble into a flower, works best [it gives the PVA on the petals a chance to dry] Then at the very end, put the stems in.


Jane had never done anything like this before, and was really pleased with her bouquets of 3 tied with green garden string. Women helped one another round the table, and laughed and chatted. Someone said she’d seen these on sale in Holt, and thought they were charging £10 for 5. I reckon I can make 10 in an hour now, and as the cost of materials is minimal, that’s a good bit of profit!


You can use old books, wrapping paper, wall paper, origami squares…
Here’s my tutorial sheet. [note; step three, you need to fold the edges of the long central folds out, to line up with the lower edges of the diamond. Step four, put your finger inside that fold and open it so the crease runs down the centre. Easier to do than to explain!]


Kusudama is made from a number of identical origami shapes that are glued or sewn together to form a ball. The word comes from a combination of two Japanese words kusuri meaning medicine and tama meaning ball. We just joined five petals to make a flower- but a dozen flowers could be glued together into a ball.These decorative balls were used on festive occasions and perfumed with incense and herbs, and believed to ward off illness.

Go on, have a go yourself, it’s great fun!


  1. These are lovely. I wonder what they would be like made from fabric..

    1. I have thought about this - but not experimented yet. I think felt might prove too thick - but maybe a polycotton - or a very fine fabric, backed with lightweight iron on interfacing - would work.

  2. They look lovely! Surely Miss Du Maurier would be impressed with her recycled words too>

  3. Hi Angela

    What a lovely post. I have seen decorations made like this before but had no idea that they were a form of origami. They are on my to do list for Christmas particularly the flower balls as they are ideal as an alternative Christmas "pom pom" decorated with spray paint (just lightly) and hung off garlands, dressers etc. I am definitely going to have a go now.

    Hope you had a good time - it looked as if you had everyone absorbed.

    Take care



  4. They are lovely! I may try creating some as an alternative to real flowers & give them to people as part of 40Acts!

    1. Now that's an excellent idea. I may make some more, and take a bouquet to the person who has invited me round for lunch tomorrow!!

  5. Thanks for sharing that - we had some origami flowers at our Mothering Sunday activity afternoon but they were not in your league. I shall store this away for our next activity session and practice in the meantime! I do have lots of old books I could have a go with! Thank you, and it sounds like you all had a lovely day xx

    1. My novices took [on average] about an hour to make three - although more competent ladies managed five. Jane, pictured above, joined the group late, but picked it up really fast. I'm not sure if I'd attempt it with children aged below yr 5 or 6. And I'd probably use slightly larger squares [12 or 15cm], and apply glue with proper spreaders or brushes.

  6. I do like the look of those and could quite believe they would go for that price in a store.

  7. Oooh! my kind of day! Would love to experiment with these with some colour. It would be good to be able to make them in fabric, you know I have a bit of a fabric stash.........

  8. Jolly Good! Wish I hadn't just got cross at myself at the mess in myself and chucked aaway a load of music scores!x

    1. Hard luck, Kezzie! Music-y ones would be a great gift for a musical friend!


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