Saturday, December 06, 2008

Kusudama Ornaments

Each year I make an ornament for the Bake-a-Thon participants, which really means my sister, mother, and nieces. For the first few years, we invited friends to participate, but too many cooks in the kitchen and all that...

I spent an inordinate amount of time folding 180 (I made three ornaments) 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 squares of paper. It was kind of therapeutic in a way. I followed the excellent tutorial on the Folding Trees website. I did choose to make my squares smaller because I like smaller ornaments.

I do have some advice for anyone attempting these ornaments. Since I was doing so many petals at one time, I found it much easier to break it down into steps and do all 180 squares, then move on to the next step.

On the last step with the gluing, I tried to cheat and use small glue dots, don't do that since you'll find out like I did, they aren't strong enough to hold. After that failed attempt, I used Gem Tack, but you could use Aileen's Tacky Glue. I'm sure it would work just as well. I used a toothpick to apply the glue and very small clothespins to hold the petals together until they dried. You could use paperclips, but I found the little clothespins could get down into the spaces better. The tiny clothespins were invaluable when I actually had to start arranging the flowers into a ball.

The most important advice I can give is take your time on the gluing process and make sure the petals are holding together before continuing. It really was fun and I can see myself making some more of these in the future. I wish I would have known about these when I was teaching. My fourth/fifth graders would have loved this.

Last year's ornaments:

Just some rub-ons, microbeads, and glitter. Simple.

Pictures of Bake-a-Thon coming! We made nine different treats this year! I've got to get off the computer and get ready for the Second Annual Cookie Swap in three hours at my house!

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