Tsumami Kanzashi Flower Hair Clip




About: My name's Abby, and I make things. Lots of things. Sewing is my favorite activity, and any project that involves fabric is like a drug to me. I make lots of pretty things, you should check out my online shop...

I have recently discovered these beautiful folded flowers, and I absolutely cannot stop making them. Tsumami Kanzashi are traditional Japanese folded flowers, made from small squares of silk, that are typically worn by women as hair ornaments in traditional hairstyles.

They seem really complicated and intricate, and they can certainly be that if you really want; but it completely doesn't need to be! I love to make them out of cotton prints that are fun and bright, in addition to scraps of silk and other light fabrics.

These can be used in countless applications. In this tutorial, I'm making one attached to a hair clip, but you could add them onto headbands, combs, brooches, necklaces... the list could go on.

There are a few tutorials out there on the internet, but to find a good variety in petal shapes can certainly be difficult, you just have to keep looking, and just grab a square of fabric and just test stuff out. I am by no means an expert, I can guarantee that, but I have spent more than a few hours testing out different shapes and ways to fold, and this instructable is for a more pointed petal shape.

Step 1: Supplies

  • Fabric (in this case, an ivory silk dupioni)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors/Rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Needle & Thread
  • Fray Check
  • E-6000 adhesive (you could, I suppose, use hot glue, but it's a pain to use, I think, and it doesn't dry clear. And it isn't nearly as sturdy)
  • Button (I used a covered button, but funky vintage buttons are great, too)
  • Alligator Hair Clip
  • Beads and other pretties to decorate with (if you so choose)

Step 2: Cut Your Squares

The first step is to cut your squares. The size and number of these is entirely dependent on how big you want your flower to be. For this flower, I am using 3 1/2" squares, and I am using 14. Obviously, the smaller the square, the smaller the flower, and vice versa. This flower, when finished, measures about 4" across. And the number of squares you cut are how many petals your flower will eventually have, so that's up to you as well. You could go with as few 5 or 6 petals, or 20 plus... it all depends on how compact you want it to look.

To cut the squares, use a straight edge and measure and mark carefully. These must be square with right angles, or this won't work.

Step 3: And Then We Begin the Folding.

This really isn't hard at all, so don't freak out. It's a bit repetitive, I'm not going to lie. But it's not hard. Just go slow until you get the hang of it, and make your folds as precisely as possible.

Start with your iron - make sure that your square is nice and pressed. If your fabric is a bit wimpy, this would be a good time to starch it if you feel it needs it. I also like to iron this first crease in, just because I like how it looks. But that's just me.

The first fold is simply to fold your square in half, forming a triangle. Press this flat.

Step 4: Fold 2!

Take one corner of the triangle and bring it down to the other, forming a smaller triangle. Finger press this flat.

Step 5: Fold 3!

Pick up your triangle, and fold it in half again. Finger press the crease. See, I told you it was easy!

Step 6: Fold 4!

Hold the top of the triangle in your fingers, with the corner with the ends facing up. Fold each side down, to form the final petal shape. Play around with the angle in which you fold these down, as this will decide the final shape of your petal. I messed around with it a bit until I had a long, skinnier petal.

Step 7: And... Repeat. a Bunch of Times.

Pin your petal to keep your folds in place. Make sure you get through all of the layers of fabric so that it doesn't loose it's shape.

Fold up all of your squares the same way, trying your best to keep your shapes crisp and consistent.

Step 8: Trim Your Petals

Once you get all of your petals made, you need to trim the bottoms off. If you don't trim it, you'll have way to much access fabric at the center of your flower and you will have trouble making the right shape when joining them together.

Step 9: Sew Them Together

With a needle and thread, sew them all together. Leave a long tail on either side with your thread, and make sure that all of your petals are facing the same direction. When you get them all strung together, tie the ends together with a surgeon's knot, and pull it tight. Keep pulling it tight until it forms a circular flower shape. Once you get it pulled in enough, double knot it and trim your thread.

Step 10: Get It Ready to Glue

Straighten out your petals and make it look pretty. Lay it on your work table face down.

Step 11: Cover the Mess in the Back

To cover up the back, I just cut a small circle of the fabric I used and glue it to the back.

So cut a circle that's big enough to cover the cut edges on the back of your flower, and fray check the edges. Once it's dried a bit (a couple of minutes will do) go about gluing it to the back of your flower.

I use E-6000, which I use for just about everything. It's strong and dries totally clear. You could use anything, really. Go heavy on the glue, but not so much that it seeps out the sides.

Step 12: Glue the Top

Flip your flower over, and fill the hole in the center with glue. Depending on the size of your flower, it could be fairly big. Just fill it up to the top. Take whatever button you are using to decorate the top and put glue on the back of that, too. Glue it down, making sure to cover over any cut edges so it's all concealed. Be careful to not let glue goop out.

Step 13: Glue the Clip

Flip your flower back over and glue on a hair clip. Or whatever else you want to attach it to. Simple as that.

Step 14: All Done!

That's it. Not hard at all. It just looks like it.

Finalist in the
DIY Wedding Contest

Participated in the
Gorilla Glue Make It Stick Contest



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    33 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 11

    Hi.. I am in the process of assembly all pieces to make a headband for my daughter's dance competition. I saw in youtube, a lady used a very thin material (I am not sure if its a fabric or a paper) to cover the backside of the headband.

    Can you please suggest what material she was using? Its shiny abit and see through and can be glued easily.

    Also, in your case do you use felt fabric? Thanks.


    3 years ago

    It looks awesome cute!!best thong to gift for best friend but i have a.doubt whether i can make it coorrectt. :)i hope or wish i could make one for.my bestie.......


    3 years ago

    muy bonita y sencilla para hacer


    4 years ago

    My wife is Japanese. She makes these frequently for sale in my family's shop. She made a beautiful piece for herself for our wedding. She makes everything from flowers to pigs, seahorses, and owls. Once you get it down you can make anything. She uses ribbon (without wire) most of the time. Seems easier to her than cutting the squares.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a great idea! I made one to put on a hat and it turned out really cute! (If I do say so myself...)

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for sharing. I will try this

    oh..this is so lovely! i am going to try this with a different button to add some pizzaz!!!


    8 years ago on Step 14

    Wow... certainly does look easy... would you be able to do these with fleece, or would this not work? I have tons of fleece squares that we cut out the corners for fleece blankets...

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 14

    I'm not sure fleece would be the best, pretty much since it's so thick. But I think that since fleece doesn't fray at all, you could probably cut petal shapes and just slightly gather the base of each petal as you stitch them together. That way you could make a cool flower without all of the bulk caused by folding.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool!!! Careful, it gets addicting... it used to be that I saved most of my fabric scraps, but now it's even worse... even if it's 1" across, I'll save it and fold it into something. :)

    Thanks for posting a pic!!


    8 years ago on Step 14

    I wear hats to church. Don't have to, just love to! This would look so pretty on my hats so I can change them around. thanks for the detailed instructions and pictures. I will make some.

    Edna Forbes.jpg

    This is a great tut!!! :D
    I've been looking for this for a long time!!!

    I found these


    and I want to learn how to make the little daisy looking ones... but i am scared of asking because obviously i don't think she would tell me her technique being that she sells them.....
    do you know where i could find a tut on these or what it's called???
    Thank you!!!

    1 reply

    ha ha ha... I sell them too, and am probably giving away way to many secrets as it is!!

    The rounded flowers are all just a variation of the same basic idea. It's just a different variation of the tsumami kanzashi. You may just want to search that on youtube, that's how I've been able to figure out a lot of this stuff. Granted... most of it was in japanese... but it's pretty easy to see what they're doing!

    Good luck!

    (And if you want to buy some, you can always visit http://www.buttonsoneverything.com )