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Tsumami Kanzashi Flower Hair Clip

I have recently discovered these beautiful folded flowers, and I absolutely cannot stop making them. Tsumami Kanzashi are traditional Japanese folded flowers, made from small squares of silk, that are typically worn by women as hair ornaments in traditional hairstyles.

Step 1: Supplies

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  • Fabric (in this case, an ivory silk dupioni)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors/Rotary cutter
  • Pins
  • Needle & Thread
  • Fray Check
  • E-6000 adhesive (you could, I suppose, use hot glue, but it's a pain to use, I think, and it doesn't dry clear. And it isn't nearly as sturdy)
  • Button (I used a covered button, but funky vintage buttons are great, too)
  • Alligator Hair Clip
  • Beads and other pretties to decorate with (if you so choose)

Step 2: Cut your squares

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The first step is to cut your squares. The size and number of these is entirely dependent on how big you want your flower to be. For this flower, I am using 3 1/2" squares, and I am using 14. Obviously, the smaller the square, the smaller the flower, and vice versa. This flower, when finished, measures about 4" across. And the number of squares you cut are how many petals your flower will eventually have, so that's up to you as well. You could go with as few 5 or 6 petals, or 20 plus... it all depends on how compact you want it to look.
To cut the squares, use a straight edge and measure and mark carefully. These must be square with right angles, or this won't work.

Step 3: And then we begin the folding.

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This really isn't hard at all, so don't freak out. It's a bit repetitive, I'm not going to lie. But it's not hard. Just go slow until you get the hang of it, and make your folds as precisely as possible.
Start with your iron - make sure that your square is nice and pressed. If your fabric is a bit wimpy, this would be a good time to starch it if you feel it needs it. I also like to iron this first crease in, just because I like how it looks. But that's just me.
The first fold is simply to fold your square in half, forming a triangle. Press this flat.

Step 4: Fold 2!

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Take one corner of the triangle and bring it down to the other, forming a smaller triangle. Finger press this flat.

Step 5: Fold 3!

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Pick up your triangle, and fold it in half again. Finger press the crease. See, I told you it was easy!

Step 6: Fold 4!

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Hold the top of the triangle in your fingers, with the corner with the ends facing up. Fold each side down, to form the final petal shape. Play around with the angle in which you fold these down, as this will decide the final shape of your petal. I messed around with it a bit until I had a long, skinnier petal.

Step 7: And... repeat. A bunch of times.

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Pin your petal to keep your folds in place. Make sure you get through all of the layers of fabric so that it doesn't loose it's shape.
Fold up all of your squares the same way, trying your best to keep your shapes crisp and consistent.

Step 8: Trim your petals

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Once you get all of your petals made, you need to trim the bottoms off. If you don't trim it, you'll have way to much access fabric at the center of your flower and you will have trouble making the right shape when joining them together.

Step 9: Sew them together

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With a needle and thread, sew them all together. Leave a long tail on either side with your thread, and make sure that all of your petals are facing the same direction. When you get them all strung together, tie the ends together with a surgeon's knot, and pull it tight. Keep pulling it tight until it forms a circular flower shape. Once you get it pulled in enough, double knot it and trim your thread.

Step 10: Get it ready to glue

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Straighten out your petals and make it look pretty. Lay it on your work table face down.

Step 11: Cover the mess in the back

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To cover up the back, I just cut a small circle of the fabric I used and glue it to the back.
So cut a circle that's big enough to cover the cut edges on the back of your flower, and fray check the edges. Once it's dried a bit (a couple of minutes will do) go about gluing it to the back of your flower.
I use E-6000, which I use for just about everything. It's strong and dries totally clear. You could use anything, really. Go heavy on the glue, but not so much that it seeps out the sides.

Step 12: Glue the top

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Flip your flower over, and fill the hole in the center with glue. Depending on the size of your flower, it could be fairly big. Just fill it up to the top. Take whatever button you are using to decorate the top and put glue on the back of that, too. Glue it down, making sure to cover over any cut edges so it's all concealed. Be careful to not let glue goop out.

Step 13: Glue the clip

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Flip your flower back over and glue on a hair clip. Or whatever else you want to attach it to. Simple as that.

Step 14: All done!

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