Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pretty, pretty flowers...

I enjoy arts and crafts. I like scrapbooking, jewelry-making, cross-stitching, and especially origami. I started learning origami from my Nai-nai (my paternal grandmother) and then from lots of books. I've missed crafting since being in NYC. Our little studio apartment doesn't leave much room for lots of crafts.

As we've been planning this wedding, I've been trying to think of ways to personalize the event and incorporate origami. My Nai-nai, who is a ripe old 90, also wanted to help out. Which means finding something cool with origami.

I was surfing the web (as I do) and came across a link to a tutorial on how to make Kusudama Balls - Japanese flower balls. It looked relatively easy (Part I and Part II) so I decided to try it out.

I used some random 3 inch origami paper that I had purchased in Chinatown a couple years ago and sorted out a bunch of colors. You have to make each petal separately and then glue each petal together and then glue 5 petals to make 1 flower. Then you glue 12 flowers together to make one ball. Turns out it was pretty easy, it just takes a while.

I started out by folding 5 petals at a time.

Then I glued each one together. I would put glue on one side, roll it together, and pinch it tight as I counted "one Mississippi, two Mississippi..."

Then I would let the petals dry as I folded the next 5 petals.

Then I would have an assembly line started. Fold 5. Glue 5 petals together. Glue 1 flower together. I got into a pretty good rhythm and it was something to do as I watched through a week's worth of the Daily Show and Colbert Report.

After finishing all 12 flowers, I glued 6 together to make the 2 halves. I tried to figure out a way to organize it so none of the same colored flowers touched each other. I don't think my visualization skills were advanced enough.

Look how pretty it is! To finish it off, I would glue a loop of ribbon to one half and then glue them together.

I showed the kusudama ball to my mom over Thanksgiving and she thought they were beautiful and would be something my Nai-nai could help with. Over Christmas, I showed my Nai-nai the ball and how to fold the petals. (We used napkins to practice.) She was very excited about helping out and talked about how she'd be able to fold all of the flowers. She even thought about asking her senior citizen center friends to help but decided against it because "they wouldn't be neat enough." :P

I found some jumbo value pack wrapping paper that should work pretty well. We'll use the balls as aisle decorations for the ceremony (hang them on the chairs right next to the aisle on every other row) and then for the reception (move them to the cocktail tables, place card table, gift table, etc.).


L2 said...

They're so pretty. Good luck folding them all! Or rather, good luck to your grandma :-).

L2 said...

Although, isn't this technically NOT origami since it involves the use of glue?

Junage said...

That's true, technically. Maybe I'll just think of it as lots of little origami petals that we crafted together.