Kusudama Ornament with tutorial

Remember those medicine balls in gym class? Well, even though Kusudama means the same thing in Japanese, I don't think throwing these at someone when someone is yelling "Good job! Now Twenty more!" is what these balls are all about.  These balls are papercrafted flowers that apparently at one point may have been made of herbs and flowers that helped to heal ailments- hence the translation "medicine ball". I am totally fascinated by the beauty of these paper decorations and decided to try this out myself. Here is how I did it!

 5 Pieces of 8-1/2 by 11 paper
12 beads for inner flowers ( I used faux cranberries, but pearls, or gems would work too.) 
Glue or Hot Glue
9-10 Bobby pins

This is how you make each petal - mine are made with 2-3/4  inch square paper. 

You can click on the image to see it larger. The most confusing part is where you see my hand - What you do there is you open up that part and push it down flat. After you have got your petal to the last stage you attach the two inner petal parts curving the back part not folding it. 

I use a bobby pin slid down the petal to keep the glue together as it dries.

 Once you have all 60 of your petals done you attach 5 petals together along each edge with glue, so that you create a flower.  Once you have finished all 12 of those flowers you can then start to make your ball.  You join the flowers at each petal so that they eventually create a wreath like shape.
 Then you add the top piece in, the petals on the top petal will meet at the juncture of the two petals below it.
 You then repeat this process, to create the bottom and glue the two together.

As there is a hole in the centre of each flower a bead, or pearl or gem looks best when inserted in the hole.  I chose some red faux cranberries, because I thought it made the colours reminiscent of Rudolph and his nose.


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