Tag Archive for 'origami'

2016 Kusudama Ornament

And the finished result #robayrekusudama made from #gelliarts printed paper #gelliprinting I'll post more to the blog shortly.

Every year since 2008, Matt and I make a Kusudama ornament. I always reminisce about how the first year I thought we’d make enough to decorate the whole Christmas tree. Two hours later (racing each other the whole time to make as many petals as possible) we had ONE ornament finished and it was the size of a soccer ball. Now, we finally make them ornament sized and only aim to make one a year. We are up to 9, though only 6 of them are small enough to hang from the tree (it took us a while to get the size right).

Making messes

This year, like every year, I wondered “what are we going to make the ornament out of?” The first few years we used old catalogs and magazines. Then for a few years we used origami paper, then wrapping paper and finally last year an old page-a-day calendar. This year it occurred to me that I could MAKE my own paper. I looked at my Color Inspiration board on pinterest and was instantly taken with this picture of a pillow on a chair. So, pinks and rust as a base with pops and accents of color and pattern.

Trimmed down, hand printed papers for our annual kusudama ornament

I printed, double sided, on the paper using my gelli arts plate and hand cut paper stencils, and trimmed down the paper to 3″x3″. It actually worked better than a lot of the other papers we’ve used because with the additional layers of paint, it was that much more sturdy. The origami paper ornaments have a tendency to get banged up corners because the paper is so thin and fragile.

See previous Kusadama ornament posts here

We follow this 2 step tutorial each year.

Annual Kusadama 2013 edition

Happy New Year!

Our annual #kusudama ornament. We've made one every year, starting in 2008. Our first one was an oops and ended up being about 10" in diameter, too big and heavy for the tree. #robayrekusudama

I wanted to drop in and share our new kusudama ornament we made for 2013, above. We used a black and white patterned origami paper I picked up from Michael’s. Below is 2012′s ornament that never got shared on the blog.

Kusadama from 2012 (but made in 2013)

We didn’t get around to making it in time for Christmas 2012, so we went with all red colors for Valentine’s day instead.

When we made the first one in 2008 I had a vision of having a tree decorated entirely with these, but then we realized how labor intensive it is, so we just made the one, but now we have 6! Only 4 of them are small enough to actually fit on the tree, but still, it is cool to see the collection grow each year. I love this holiday tradition.

  2010 kusudama ornament cropped
2009 Kusudama ornament  recycled ornament

You can click on each picture above to read that year’s post.

Just some facts about the ornaments if you are interested in making one for yourself:

Paper squres (64 pieces) should be no bigger than 3″ square for a resulting 4.5″ ornament. Trust me, our first “ornament” is about 12 inches in diameter!

The instructions (if I remember correctly) say to use glue. There is no way you’d ever get this done if you were waiting for each piece of paper to glue together. The first year or two we used an adhesive tape, but that started acting funky over the years, so we have switched to glue gun and it speeds up the whole process and the pieces hold together SOLIDLY!

We follow this 2 step tutorial each year.

12 hour Craft Extravaganza and Fall Leaf Garland

This weekend was the 12 Hour Craft Extravaganza that my sister’s church organizes. It was my second year attending. Some may think “12 hours of crafting!? How can you stand to sit and craft for that long” but really, it goes by soooo fast. Both years I have brought so much stuff, thinking I’d accomplish so much, and in the end realize you would need several more 12 hours to finish it all.
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I’ve been working on this origami project where I will need about 150 origami lilies. I worked on it for 2 hours that day and I think I only finished about 10 lilies. I timed myself and if I’m focused and work straight through it takes between 6 to 7 minutes to fold one lily, not including curling the leaves. This means there was a lot of breaks and chatting while working. I had gone in thinking I might be able to finish all of the pieces, yeah right.
photo.JPG Paper flag bunting tutorial
Next I worked on some bunting. I had been wanting to make some washi tape bunting for a while, so I did that. It wasn’t as quick and easy as I had imagined. I also made some of my regular itty bitty bunting for my etsy orders.

This happened today

My big project were these leaves above. They were inspired by a post on Alisa Burke’s blog where she painted right on leaves and made a garland. I can not remember the original source, maybe craft magazine or craft gawker? There was the Martha Stewart DIY about dipping leaves in wax to prolong their colors. It makes me think of ironing leaves in wax paper during elementary school, but with dipping you get the beautiful and dimensional leaves alone, not stuck together, hidden between papers.

  
Alisa’s leaves on the left, Martha’s leaves on the right.

The leaves have been falling and I remembered these crafts that I had pinned…

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so I gathered as many different colored and shaped leaves as I could find.

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A fellow crafter at the event told me about a tool she had and then ran home real quick to bring it back to me. It’s called the Micrfluer and allows you to press and dry leaves in the microwave in about 45 seconds. Not only is it speedy, but it also retains the color much more than pressing the leaves in a book. In the picture above you can see the two green leaves. The one on the left is pressed and dry, while the one on the right is still curled and wet. As it turns out my sister also has one of these tools so she lent it to me.

A couple cool things about the Microfluer: Once you have the tool that is all you need. You don’t need to keep buying replaceable parts that get used up with every pressing. Also, after you dry the leaves they remain fairly  flexible, unlike leaves dried in a book which become brittle and crumble apart. The woman who lent me the contraption even had some leaves she said were 8-10 years old and are still perfectly fine!

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Next I painted bold patterns on my leaves with inexpensive acrylic craft paint. If you didn’t want to press or dry your leaves you could just paint right on newly fallen leaves like Alisa did.

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Then because I’m a craft addict, I just happen to already have a little crock pot devoted to wax, so I just warmed it up and started dipping. I was worried that the paint might come off, but it didn’t. The leaves kind of regained some curl when I pulled them from the wax. I just let the wax drip off and then set it on a plastic sheet when it was mostly cooled and pressed it between pages in a book, and they flattened again quickly.

With the dried leaves, the paint and then wax, I think these leaves will be safe and protected for a long time. As long as I am careful to store them safely each year I should be able use them again and again as a fall decoration.

10.23. leaf garland close up

Originally I wanted to tie the stems with a string, like in the Martha Stewart diy, but hang them across, in a garland like the Alisa Burke post. When I went to attach the string to the first leaf I quickly realized it wasn’t going to work when the leaves would keep turning every which way, not laying flat or parallel to wall, AND THEN while trying to straighten the string on the stem so it would lay properly the stem broke right off. When I returned home I punched two holes in each leaf and fed a string in and out to create the banner as you can see above.

While I was working I thought this would be a great project for my sister in law and 2 year old nephew to do together. He could paint on the leaves and then she could hang them as a fall decoration. He could just paint randomly, as two year olds do, and that would be beautiful. Each year he could do more and have his name and age painted on the backs of the leaves so the garland grows over time.  I also had the idea of either masking letters on each leave while he paints over it then revealing a word or phrase when you peel away the letters and string the leaves together.

We got to play with our crafts, enjoy great conversation and were treated with delicious meals.  It was a great second 12 Hour Craft Extravaganza and time flew by.

Our Annual Christmas Ornament


Yesterday Matt and I made our annual Christmas ornament. I like the idea of using recycled or repurposed papers to make such a beautiful thing. So far we’ve recycled paper 3 years, and purchased origami paper one year. This year I was fortunate enough to pick up some waste paper from a song book we were printing at work and it made for a beautiful ornament. This is the tutorial pattern I follow every year. This was also the first year we used hot glue and it is by far the sturdiest ornament yet. I highly recommend using hot glue. If you don’t have a glue gun you can find them at your typical marts and craft stores for under $10. Also, don’t make the same mistake we made, use small paper! Our first ornament ended up being the size of a soccer ball and will never make it to the tree. Now we use 3″ square and it works perfectly.

12.19 2011 ornament

I like this picture above with all the ornaments we’ve made so far. It’s our first year in our first home and this picture captures so much. It’s like an eye spy. There are four ornaments on our dining room table but can you see the a handmade table cloth that Matt’s great grandmother made? How about a nosey kitty, and a christmas tree, and don’t forget a tired Matt lounging on the couch?

12.20 christmas tree
And since we are on holiday decorations, here is a picture of our first full sized tree. Previously we had a little 3 foot tree that was more of a pain than anything. The cat was constantly trying to eat it and it was always falling over. This new tree was gifted to us by Matt’s parents. Please disregard the lack of a tree skirt. I’m working on it. The tree is covered in white lights (my preference), my handmade gold and silver garland, and a collection of both of our ornaments from since we were babies.

2010 Kusudama Ornament

The other day Matt and I created our third annualKusudama Christmas ornament. This year, I’m proud to say, it’s actually size appropriate to fit on a tree, as an actual ornament.

year three

Here are all three years.

The first year I had a vision of making a bunch of them to cover an entire tree. Even though I reduced the size of the paper, it became obvious rather quickly that this was going to be too big and take too long to hang a bunch from a tree.

The second year, forgetting that I had reduced the paper size the first year, we made the ornament and it turned out GINORMOUS!
This year I used tiny origami paper (probably 3 inches squared?), while in previous years we used cut down old catalogs. Looking at previous years I realize we are getting better at this. The first year it took us 3 hours with both of us racing each other. It still took about an hour to make, but that is still much better than the first year.

If you would like to attempt one of these, the tutorial/pattern we used is here, and I also suggest a tape adhesive, rather than glue, like the tutorial suggests. If we had used a white glue, it would have taken about 6 hours and we would have thrown in the towel much earlier than that.

recycled ornament

recycled ornament, originally uploaded by robayre.

Last night matt and I worked on this ornament. I had visions of covering a tree with these recycled ornaments after seeing them here. But, shortly after starting, I realized it would be a bit of work. Starting with 4 inch square pieces of paper cut from a Toast catalog, this ornament is about 6 inches in diameter, so it is a little big to be hanging from a tree. It also took us about 3 hours to put it together, working non stop in a fast paced, competitive “who can make more pieces” mode. Oh yeah, and it said to use glue, but we cheated and used this double faced gummy tape stuff, which made it go A LOT faster.

Maybe one decoration a year is more feasible.