Kanzashi Tutorial

Have you wondered how I make my kanzashi?  Do you want to learn the basics?

Well there are two basic petal folds that I use in all of my kanzashi.

  • Pointed petal
  • Round petal

Now I could take lots and lots of photos on folding these petals but it is fair easier to just show you a video.  This way you can see how I hold the tweezer and how I position my fingers to fold the fabric precisely which is important when you are making them.

I have been planning to make a tutorial for a long time but I hit one big stumbling block.  How to I shoot good overhead video?  I could get a tripod but the legs would get into shot and I still need to buy some sort of screen to filter the sunlight that streams through my window.  Yes a lot of head scratching but then I stumbled upon Modahaus!  They had the perfect solution to my problem in the shape of the Steady Stands.

Not only it solves the two problems I had above, it is also flat pack so great for storage i.e I leave it leaning on the side of my wardrobe.  I decided to get the Steady Stand SS300 because I needed the space to move my hands freely in all directions.

Yes it is my new photographing toy and I am very tempted to get the Table Top Studio one day.

Okay back to kanzashi making and for your information, I used the following.

  • Tweezer - I use the SHESTO Model Craft Collection : No 3 Precision tweezers
  • 1 1/2 inch square of starched polyester habutae fabric.

I recommend you starch the fabric before you cut it into your squares because this makes it easier to cut into  neat little squares.  You want to starch the fabric until it has a paper quality to it.

AND to use a rotary cutter and board but you can use a pair of scissors as well if you like.  I use a lot of squares so a rotary cutter is more efficient for me.

How to fold the pointed petal

I use these petals to make kanzashi like the one below!


This type of kanzashi is called a kusudama or a flower ball.

How to fold the round petal

Round petals are very pretty and I use these very often especially on kanzashi sets which are based on kanzashi worn by maiko.

But don't feel you can't combine the two styles together.  Here is one of my pieces where you see the two styles of petals being used.


Now you need to practice!  There is no shortcut to this method and practice is key to getting use to manipulating the fabric with tweezers.  

Once you are confident with folding the petal you can then apply some glue along the raw edge of the petal.  Traditionally this is done by placing the petals on a board with rice glue like below and then transferring them onto a base.

But you can apply glue (like hot glue) on the raw edge, wait for the glue to dry and then glue them onto bases.

How you do it is up to you.  I have my own tried and tested method which I found gives me excellent results each time come rain or shine and is my kanzashi secret which I only mention to my close friends ;).


sadie tahitahi said...


Rebecca said...

Thanks for posting this! I live in small town Canada and wanted to try some kanzashi, but my resources here are a bit limited. I'm waiting on delivery of a couple of books on kanzashi and other Japanese crafts, but I know the videos will be a huge help too. I have a particular interest in trying cranes and pinwheels, but I think practicing with flowers is the best way to start.

designercottage said...

very nice tutorials

Lucka said...

I try kanzashi too, your tutorials are very nice! Thnx!

Kitty Kanzashi said...

Thank you for your lovely comments.

Natalya Bordzhakova said...

Tried many times to make rice glue. Does not work. How do you do it? What can replace rice glue?
Great, thank you.

Kitty Kanzashi said...

Rice glue can be very tricky to use as you have to leave it to dry until it is extremely tacky and this drying time all depends on weather and humidity.

You can use other glues to make kanzashi which dry faster but each one has a different end result.

Hot glue for example is very quick but you have to work fast. In addition, if you use too much of it the final flowers looks a little messy.

Then there is the range of water based glue like PVA which have a slower drying time but then you need to hold the petal while it dries.

Every kanzashi maker has their preferred gluing method so it is all about trial and error.

Gaia Soteria said...

Hi..sory but do you have some tutorial how to make the petal for poinsettia felt kanzashi?? thanks.

Kitty Kanzashi said...

Not at the moment, I'm afraid. I'm still experiment with this petal with other fabrics.

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