Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Fold a Paper Kusudama Ball Tutorial

A kusudama ball is a paper ball made from individual origami flowers. They are quite beautiful. Here's what my completed one looks like (ok, it's only half of the ball, but you get the idea):

I used several copies of an outdated flyer for some concert I'd picked up downtown to make it, but it works great with origami paper, too.

The kusudama ball is especially pretty if you use paper with different colors on each side. The inside of the flowers will be a different color than the outside.

Here are the instructions:

60 squares of origami paper or other paper, any size (I used 3"x3")

Step 1:
Put a paper square on a table in front of you so it looks like a diamond shape. Fold the bottom corner to the top and crease the fold to form a triangle with the long side at the bottom.

Step 2:
Fold both the left and right corners to the top and crease. Now you have a diamond shape bisected by the line where the two side flaps meet in the middle.

Step 3:
Fold the two flaps down again, aligning the edges that were in the middle in Step 2 with the bottom edges of the diamond. Crease well. Now you have a shape that looks somewhat like a fleur-de-lis with a point in the middle and two wings on the sides.

Step 4:
Stand the flaps up so they're perpendicular to the table. Open the flaps and press down on the center creases, which now line up with the right edge of the diamond from Step 1. When you press these creases down, they naturally indicate where the flaps can be flattened. Now your fleur-de-lis shape has wider wings with a crease slanting down the middle of each wing.

Step 5:

Fold the top of each wing toward the bottom, forming a small triangle. The edges of the triangle line up with the edges of the original diamond shape from Step 1.

Step 6:
Fold the bottom of the flaps toward the middle along the creases, folding them in half. The triangles formed in Step 5 are now inside these flaps. Now you have a diamond shape with two side flaps folded toward the middle.

Step 7:
Curve the paper around and glue the surfaces of the two flaps together inside. Now you have a 3D oval which is one petal of a paper flower. Inside, the flaps form three pistils/stamens. If you are using paper with different colors on each side, make sure the color you want on the inside of the flowers ends up on the inside of the petal.

Step 8:
Repeat Steps 1-7 for each square of paper to make 60 petals.

Step 9:
Glue six petals together in a circle to make one flower. The pistils/stamens now radiate from the middle. Glue the rest of the petals together in groups of six to make 12 flowers total.

Step 10:
Now put glue in a line all the way down the the outside of two petals of one flower. Press two petals of a second flower to the glued petals to begin making the kusudama ball. Continue adding flowers and gluing the petals that touch other flowers until you use six flowers. Now you have half a sphere. Repeat with the other six flowers to create the other half of the sphere.

Step 11:
Glue the two halves together by placing glue on the petals that will touch other petals to create the whole kusudama ball. You're done!

I found that the half-balls are better suited to staying in place if you want to set the kusudama ball on a shelf. If you want to hang them or perch them atop a vase, a whole ball is better.

Leave me a comment if you try this and let me know how it turns out. Have fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quilled Peacock in Brown and Gold Tones

I freehanded this peacock for a friend of mine last summer. It's about 12 inches (30 cm) high. I glued the pieces to some clear plastic for stability.

I like the brown, yellow, gold and tan motif because it matches her entrance hallway perfectly, which is where she hung it.

Now she wants another for the other side of her mirror!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quilled Orchids and More

Here is a series of quilling project I've done over the course of the last few months. My latest piece de la resistance is a pot of orchids I made for a friend's Easter gift. I eagerly used the pattern and ideas of Alli Bartkowski in her new book Quilled Flowers: A Garden of 35 Paper Projects. And I tweaked it a little, too. The coffee mug in the photo is for scale.

Detail of the flowers:

Here's a posey I made with Alli's original pattern for the orchid bloom:

In keeping with the Easter theme, here's a bunny:

and what I call the GoonyBird (based on a card I saw on Stephanie's Designs blog by someone named Anita):

I started to make a 3D snowflake out of 3/8" paper, but it began to droop terribly. I stopped with only this much, but the droop turned into a pleasing effect:

A little angel based on something I saw at Aquamarine Crafts blog:

A very dark blue snowflake that looks black based on a design by Stephanie Sanchez - I saw the pattern on Ann Martin's allthingspaper blog:

A colorful butterfly emulating one by Celia Louie of Crafting Creatures:

Dragonfly like ones I saw at Quilled Inspirations:

Here is a string of fish I made for some friends who own a restaurant in Germany well known for its local catches. I based the designs on those of my quilling guru Ann Martin of the All Things Paper blog:

A flower thingy based on something I saw by Charlotte Canup on The Art of Quilling blog:

A bunch of grapes based on some I saw at Elizabeth's Creations Studio - these make great gifties for wine lovers:

I love the way this Monarch turned out. It's based on one I saw on Inna's Creations blog. I will probably never make another. It was so detailed and had so many teeny, tiny parts. I added a tail of folded roses to bring attention to it.

I made this as a Mother's Day gift. The recipient used it for a corsage for the afternoon!

I dig this peacock based on a card I saw on Inna's Creations blog:

Another design I borrowed from Ann Martin. She designed this pear tree for a holiday card:


A weird scrolly thing:

Please note that I troll Internet images for ideas and designs to use. I try to attribute the source where I can, but I don't always remember where I got them. I thank the makers nonetheless! There are so many talented quillers out there. Do your own image search just for a pleasant pasttime the next time you have a few minutes. I hope you've enjoyed my creations!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quilled Bentwood Jewelry Box

I made this for a close friend's birthday. It's based on a design in "The Book of Paper Quilling" by Malinda Johnston.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Original Quilled Birthday Card and DipQuills

I made this quilled card for my German teacher's birthday out of some leftover pieces I had tucked away from doing a jewelry box a few months earlier. It's an original design, something I've been trying to do more of instead of using patterns or emulating work by other artists. I'm still not totally comfortable with it, but I'm getting there!


From time to time I do a bulk order to send to my friend Lauren who came up with a fabulously clever idea of dipping them in liquid acrylic. When they harden, she makes earrings and pendants out of them. Here's a shipment I did just before Easter. I totally DIG the bunnies! And didja notice the cute little snails in the middle?

Here is an example of a pair of DipQuill earrings we did for Valentine's Day:

I did these placecards for my landlady's 85th birthday party. All this and a free lunch, too! My fondest memory of the event was the fact that the old man at our table who had advanced-stage Alzheimers was happy (over and over again) when he was told he could take his home.

 Here is a gilded snowflake I made that Lauren dipped - we gave it to her mother for a Christmas present. Her mother, Miss Ella, keeps a half-Christmas tree mounted on the wall year round and changes the ornaments for each season of the year. I hear this snowflake stays for every season!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quilled Nativity Scene and Birthday Card

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism. And many artists have learned volumes trying to replicate the art of the masters. So, at the risk of seeming hugely derivative and a questionably borderline copycat, here are a couple of quilled items I did near Christmas 2010. The first is a birthday card for a friend based on the card I saw by Stefani Tadio of And Another Thing blog:

The second is a blatant, though obsequious, imitation of a beautiful Nativity scene by Cheryl Scanks sold in her Cards by Cheryl Etsy shop: 

I am grateful and happy to give credit where credit is due for the inspirations of my quilling projects. I am currently branching out and doing my own designs. However, because of these wonderful quilling artists who are willing to post photos of their work on the 'Web, I have quality works to imitate and from which to learn loads. Thanks all of you!