Today we are making beautiful Japanese Kanzashi folded fabric flowers. This is our own interpretation of this artful fabric origami where we choose linen as our primary material.
What is Kanzashi?
Kanzashi flowers are a Japanese art form that are traditionally made with honotai silk to give them a dazzling color and lovely texture. However, many modern versions of these delicate flowers are created with a wide range of fabrics.
Kanzashi are typically worn as decorative hair ornaments in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Brides and geisha participating in tea ceremonies to this day can be seen wearing this elegant accessory. In fact, the style and manner in which kanzashi are worn indicate a geisha’s status.
Some people even collect kanzashi because they possess a unique beauty and are significant to historical Japanese culture.
You can embellish your Kanzashi in whatever style suits your taste. Feel free to experiment with a variety of fabrics to achieve different textures. Coordinate colors to match different occasions or celebrations. Adding a button or decorative jewelry to the center is another way to jazz up your flower.
Now that we know a little bit more about Kanzashi, we can begin our craft! Remember, creating a beautiful Kanzashi flower requires some practice (and patience!). Keep trying and you will get the hang of it in no time.
There are a many different methods to making these flowers. Today, we will cover just one way to make Kanzashi. After you master this method, you can experiment with other petal forms, sizes, and techniques.
- Ten (10) 3″x 3″ squares of IL019 100% linen fabric
- Matching Thread
Begin with a square of 3″ fabric. I recommend starching and ironing your fabric before, as it will be easier to work with and leave you with a neater finished product.
Fold this square in half diagonally. Hold the triangle with the open end pointing up.
Fold the bottom left corner up to the center peak.
Then fold the bottom right corner up to the center.
Flip your fabric over and fold the outer corner in (left and right) so that they meet in the center.
Fold your fabric in half.
The folded corners should be tucked in.
Pinch the folded fabric together. Put a pin through the petal, making sure to go through the smaller triangles, to secure it.
Clean up each petal by trimming off the triangle on the open end, creating a straight edge. This will be the inner side of the flower, where the petals will meet at the center.”
Repeat with all of your 3″ squares.
Now that your petals are clean and ready to go, thread your needle. I like to double up on the amount of thread for more reinforcement.
Pull the threaded needle through the first petal near the base.
Do not knot your thread at the end. Instead, leave about 5 inches to work with later. Thread all the petals in the same spot.
Some extra tips:
- Make a smaller flower to glue on the center of your flower for more dimension. Just cut the squares smaller (for example, 2″ squares this 3″ base).
- Choose a different shades or patterns for even more style.
- Add a button to the center to complete any Kanzashi.
Other Ways to Use Your Kanzashi:
Kanzashi are traditionally worn as hair ornaments, but you can use them in so many other ways.
With a few stitches or some glue you can:
- Attach a flower to a purse for a fashionable vintage look.
- Sew flowers to the bottom of a scarf.
- Stitch a flower onto a knitted hat or to the brim of any hat.
- Attach a flower to a pin and wear it as a brooch.
- Decorate pillows by attaching flowers to them.
- Make a flower arrangement for an adorable centerpiece.
- Sew flowers along a piece of grosgrain ribbon for a unique garland.
- When wrapping gifts, use them instead of bows!
*Have fun making Kanzashi flowers! Remember, they take just a little bit of practice, but you’ll love the results. Let us know how your flowers turn out and what you like to decorate with them. Visit our Facebook page for more crafts, ideas, and more.