I think this will be my last kusudama project. I do love the look of them, but it may be time to move on. Every year my wife and I try to find two special ornaments for Christmas. This year we decided to try to make them. I sort of combined all of my other kusudama designs. to make two small kusudama balls with space inside to insert a small Christmas tree bulb if desired.
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Step 1: Cutting to Size
The only real obstacle to this project was folding such small pieces of paper. I cut squares that were able 3/4" by 3/4". This was the smallest I've used to make kusudama balls. However, I've seen it done smaller. I saw one project a few years ago where someone used tweezers to make kusudama ball earrings. That was impressive.
I had to cut enough square for the entire ball. Each square would become one petal, each flower has 5 petals, and each ball has 12 flowers. Thus I needed 60 squares (5 petals by 12 flowers). I actually cut out a few extra, 64 squares, to have a few back up one in case of error.
Step 2: Folding a Petal
Once I had enough squares, I started making the petals but folding each square in half diagonally as in the picture. Once folded hold the square by the fold with the point upwards.
Then fold the points of the triangle out to each side up to the top point to make a diamond shape.
Then take each side flap that you just folded up the tip and fold them in the middle so that the tips pointing up are now facing out to each side.
Once you folded the side tips back out to the sides, unfold them back to the top. This fold was really only to create a crease. Because of the small size, I then used a paperclip to open the side flaps, and press down on the creases you just created as you can see in the pictures.
Now fold down the tips inwardly on the angle of the side of the diamond.
And then fold the side flaps inwardly on the crease to envelope the tips you just folded down.
Afterward, I just put a little bit of Elmers glue on the outside fold of the side flaps.
I then used tiny clothespins to hold each petal shut while the glue dried. I used at least two clothespins per petal. I let them dry overnight to be sure.
Step 10: Forming the Flowers
Once the petal were dried. I cut each one half way up the petal. I then used a paperclip to open and smooth out the individual petals.
I then put glue on the inside base of each petal and put them together in a flower pattern, five petals per flower. I let the glue sit overnight.
Step 12: Shaping the Ball
Once the flowers were made, I started to shape the ball. I started by taking 5 flowers, and gluing the petal tips together as in the pictures.
I repeated this and make a second ring of 5 flowers.
I then glued the two flower rings together. Lastly I put a flower in the open holes at the top and base of the ball.
Once all the glue set, the ball was complete.
Step 16: Hanging the Ornament
I took an extra ornament wire and hung the ornament from the tree. I slipped a light from the string of lights already on the tree inside the ornament for a soft glow.
This is a fun repetitive little project, but it does take some time as so many petal are needed.
Just as a follow up, I also used the lower half of each petal that I cut off to make a smaller solid center kusudama ball ornament.