A couple months ago, when I was contemplating the various options for handmade flowers for my mom's birthday, I checked out this book from the library. Even though I ended up giving her a knitted bouquet, I was so taken with the fabric Kanzashi projects, I kept renewing the book. It's due back for real in a couple of weeks, so I've finally gotten around to making some things from it.
Kanzashi is the Japenese art of folding fabric. As one can imagine, the real thing requires a whole lot of training and skill and patience, but this book simplifies the process. It's like the equivalent of learning to fold a paper airplane while admiring the work of an origami master.
Basically, you take little squares of fabric, fold each one in a specific way to make the petal shape you want, then stitch them together into a circle and glue a button or other adornment in the middle to hold everything together. It's a little fiddly to do, but satisfying when you end up with something pretty, and the possibilities of what you might do with all the finished flowers are pretty much endless. The book has project ideas for headbands and belt buckles and gift toppers, none of which would be particularly useful to me. But it did occur to me recently that kanzashi-style flowers would make some lovely Christmas ornaments, so yesterday evening and this morning, I made four:
Here are two with pointy petals:
Here are two with rounded petals:
I attached each flower to a felt circle I stitched up with a ribbon for hanging:
I had to buy a hot glue gun for this project, which gave me pause. How far down the crafty rabbit hole has one gone when one purchases such a thing? I always associated hot glue guns with kitschy crafts like toilet paper cozies and tacky holiday wreaths, which I know isn't rational but it all kind of goes in the same category in my head. Once I got over my own snobbery, though, I discovered that hot glue guns are dead useful. Up next: adventures with modeling clay, and how the glue gun saved the day!