Kusudama How-To: Make Kusudama Origami (Japanese Paper Balls)

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The Japanese art of kusudama is the construction of a paper model that is typically (but not always) made by gluing or sewing several

identical folded flowers made from squares of paper together through their points to form a pretty paper ball 🙂 . The art of Kusudama originally came from ancient Japan, when they were used as potpourri and incense–they were originally actual bunches of flowers or herbs. The word itself

actually means “medicine ball”. Kusudama are currently used as gifts and decorations, and today I’m going to show you how to make one very quickly and easily (of course, we’ll be learning the easiest ones to make that will require minimal materials). You can get the necessary origami paper (24 7 x 7 Sheets in 12 colors) there from Amazon for about 5 bucks. I’ve got a very short (2 pages) PDF with diagrams you can use, plus a couple of videos. All of them show you how to make different kinds of Kusudama, have a look:

Morning Dew

Kusudama Morning Dew

Star Sea

Venus

Additional Resources and Further Reading

If you’re really interested in this an excellent book is Kusudama Origami by Tomoko Fuse–I think I have this book in Japanese; couldn’t see enough “look inside” pages to be sure. Even so, Tomoko Fuse is my FAVORITE designer, and if I’m looking at the same book in English, it’s one of her best. These unit and assembly instructions are VERY easy to follow. For weeks after learning the Lantern, I was making them from memory out of restaurant placemats. Also, the best general beginner’s origami book is Easy Origami by John Montroll–it’s clearly illustrated with easy-to-follow instructions that even beginning papercrafters can follow with successful results, and has 32 projects for novice origami hobbyists from an ultra-simple hat, cup and pinwheel to the more challenging figures of a penguin and a piano.

A lovely blog called Folding Trees has got an OUTSTANDING Kusudama tutorial with step-by-step instructions and photos, highly recommended and free as well, by the way.

You should also have a look at an article Wikihow has put together on how to make a simple Kusudama flower.

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