Balls… But Pretty Ones!

This week Crafty Debbie and I have been working on Japanese Kusudama. This is a ball made from multiple origami shapes glued together. Traditionally used to hold herbs and spices (like an early air freshener!), now they are mostly decorative. The ones we made are from kits I got at the end of last year from The Festival of Japan (, and we made one in bold rainbow colours, and one in small flowered papers.

Here’s the method and pictures – hope you like it!

Donna x

Japanese Kusudama Balls

Tools Needed: PVA Glue (Fast-Drying if possible)

Materials Needed 60 sheets of origami paper, cord for hanging, several beads.


Part 1 – Make your petals

  1. Take a single sheet of origami paper and fold in half. (eg yellow and blue. If you want your main flower to be blue, place the blue side down – this will be a blue flower with yellow inserts) (see petals step 1)
  2. Fold the right point of the triangle up to the top, being as exact as possible. Repeat on the other side. This will form a square. (see petals step 2)
  3. Put your finger inside the top flap (see arrow, fig 2). Flatten this pocket down to form a kite shape. Repeat on both sides. (see petals step 3)
  4. Fold in the triangle shape (see arrows, fig 3). Once folded they should be in line with the edge. Now do the other side. (see petals step 4)
  5. Finally, for this part, fold the triangle in half and repeat on the other side. You should now have a square again. (see petals step 5)
  6. Use your PVA glue to put a line of glue as shown (Fig 5). Stick A to B neatly, keeping paper cylindrical, not squashing it flat. And you’ve finished your first petal!! (see petals step 6) Only 59 left to make….

Part 2 – Make Your Flowers

  1. Choose 5 petals, mixing and matching the colours. Place a line of glue down the side of your first petal and add a second, keeping the points together for a neat flower (see Fig 6).  Add glue, then another petal.
  2. Repeat to make up all four, and on the fifth and last petal add glue to two sides of your petal and slot in to the other four (Fig 7). Now make up the other 11 flowers.

Part 3 – Make Up Ball

  1. Look at Fig 8 and notice where the flowers are joined together. Apply plenty of glue (it won’t be visible when dry), then hold together with paperclips while drying. Continue to stick flowers until you have 5 forming a circle, making sure they all sit flat underneath and that the pointed edges touch.
  2. Fold the bead string in half and tie in a knot. With the knot held in the middle of the side of the thread, carefully thread through all beads, ensuring they don’t fall off the end. Once they’re all on, tie a knot in the bottom of the string to hold the beads in place. (Fig 10)
  3. Use plenty of glue to sandwich the two layers of flowers together. Thread the bead string through the middle of both layers. Hold in place with paperclips while sets and leave to dry. (Fig 9)
  4. Put the remaining two flowers in the gaps of the two layers (top and bottom), gluing them first, and threading the bead string through the gaps first. Hold in place with paperclips and leave to dry. (Fig 11)
  5. If you want, you can further decorate the balls by adding glitter, punching the edge of petals, spraying with lacquer etc.

And your balls are complete!!

As usual, pictures to illustrate. Not the greatest ones from the instruction sheet, but done my best!

Donna x

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