Intro: Kusudama Wedding Decorations
Your wedding is your wedding. It is all about you, and what (as well as who) you love. The decor should reflect that! Handmade DIY decorations are the perfect way to get things exactly the way you want. I love these kusudama decorations as they allow you to incorporate more or less any theme into your wedding while still retaining an elegant, traditional look.
All you will need is:
- scissors or a paper cutter
- paper glue (I prefer glue sticks)
- clothes pegs or paperclips, to hold flowers together as the glue dries
- fairy lights, string, or dowelling, depending on whether you are making fairy lights, garlands or table centrepieces
You can use any paper of your choice. I used map pages for mine, perfect for a travel themed wedding, or if there is a place with particular significance to the bride and/or groom. Old maps are of limited value - historical archives already have their copies, they are a bit of a curiosity, but other than that, they have no financial value and are of no use to the average person. Many charity shops can barely give them away, but they are interesting and can be very attractive. I love the British Ordnance Survey maps. But there are so many other types of paper you could use - book pages, sheet music, comic books, patterned paper, or just coloured paper to match your wedding theme! So while I am using maps that are 40 years out of date, feel free to use whatever you like :)
Step 1: Source the Paper of Your Choice
You will need to cut your chosen paper into squares. I used 3 inch squares, which gave me flowers of about 2 inches diameter and a table centrepiece approximately 6 inches diameter. You can make your squares bigger or smaller to suit your need, just remember that they all need to be exactly square and the sheets for each flower will need to be exactly the same size. You will need 5 squares per flower. The number of flowers you will need for the garlands and fairy lights really depends on the length you require and the spacing you choose, but each table setting requires 6 flowers, so 30 squares.
Step 2: Folding the Petals
At first, folding the petals might look a little tricky and complicated. But once you have performed the folds a few times, you will be able to make them without even thinking about it. Remember that you will need to fold five petals for each flower.
First, fold you square in half diagonally, patterned side out, so that you have a triangle (Fig 1). Next, fold the points at each end of the long edge up to the third point (Fig 2) - then unfold them again.
Fold one of the points up at the crease you just made, and sqaush it down, so that the two creases line up (Fig 3). Fold the tips of the new flaps down so that they line up with the edge of the sheet (Fig 4).
Next, fold each flap in two (Fig 5). Add some glue to one of the two new surfaces (Fig 6) then twist the paper round so that the two new surfaces meet. Use a clothes peg or paperclip to secure the two together until the glue dries (Fig 7).
Repeat... remember, you will need to do this five times per flower.
Step 3: Forming the Flowers
Once you have your five petals and the glue is dry (Fig 8), remove the clothes pegs and begin to glue the flowers together as shown (Fig 9 and 10). Once all five are glued together, you have a flower! (Fig 11).
If you do find that your petals are a little flat, you can gently squeeze them into shape before gluing (Fig 12). If you are making fairy lights, glue four of the petals together but do not add the fifth just yet!
Step 4: To Make Garlands...
To make garlands, all you need to do is punch small holes into two petals of each flower using a hole punch, then thread through some pretty ribbon, string, or twine. I used butcher's twine for mine. it is up to you what spacing you wish to use - for the photograph I spaced my flowers far closer together than I would if I were draping the garlands around a room.
Step 5: To Make Fairy Lights...
You can make your own strings of lights, but they are so cheap to buy - mine were just £1 for ten LEDs. Do make sure you use LED lights as making this using Christmas-type lights with replaceable bulbs would be a fire risk. To make, simply assemble the flower as before around the stalk of the bulb. This is easiest to do if you glue four of the petals together first, then glue the fifth with the flower in place. You may need to secure the petals in place with clothes pegs or paperclips while the glue dries.
Step 6: To Make Table Centrepieces... and More
You will need six flowers per table centrepiece.
Glue down the spine of two petals on one flower. Glue to the spines of two petals of another flower, so that the tips of each petal align perfectly. Place glue down the spine of three petals of a third flower, and slot this next to the two you have glued. Hold all of the glued parts in place with clothes pegs while they dry. Once they are dry, follow the same process to attach the remaining three flowers.
Once all of the flowers are glued together, you can use it as it is, or make a table number to stand in it. Create a table number flag and glue it to a dowel (or at a push, a pencil). Stand it in the centre of the central flower to complete your centrepiece.
The kusudama flowers are very versatile, and you could use them to create a wedding bouquet and lots of other decorations! I hope this is useful to you when you are planning your big day!