Making an Origami Kusudama Flower

Origami kusudama flower ball
Warayoo / Getty Images
Overview
  • Skill Level: Kid-friendly

When learning how to fold origami flowers, you'll definitely want to add the kusudama flower to your list of projects. This pretty flower is relatively simple to fold but sure to impress all of your friends. Kusudama origami is made of several identically folded units that are glued together or sewn together to make a spherical shape. Kusudama is often considered a precursor to the modern genre of modular origami.

To make the kusudama flower, you can use origami paper, scrapbook paper, or calendar papers cut to the size you wish. Bigger paper results in bigger petals, which gives you a more dramatic looking flower. Mix and match patterns for an artistic effect or make all of the petals the same solid color if you want your flower to look as realistic as possible.

Children ages 6 and up should be able to fold the kusudama petal with a bit of practice, but will likely require adult assistance to make the completed flower. If you're folding this model with a child, use large 6-inch by 6-inch squares to make the project easiest for tiny hands to work with. You can also make a kusudama flower with money.

Fun Fact

The Japanese word "kusudama" doesn't refer to a flower at all—it translates to "medicine ball."

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Paper clips (optional)

Materials

  • 6 sheets square paper
  • Glue

Instructions

  1. Form a Triangle

    Place the paper in front of you with the back side facing up. Fold it diagonally to make a triangle. In origami, this is sometimes called a shawl fold, diaper fold, or triangle fold. It is a simple base that is used to develop many different types of projects.

    kusudama flower
    Dana Hinders
  2. Make a Square

    Fold the left and right corners up to the middle to make a square. In origami, this shape is called a helmet base.

    Tip

    Remember to make crisp folds to ensure the nicest-looking origami kusudama flower.

    kusudama flower
    Dana Hinders
  3. Fold the Corners Down

    Fold the left and right corners down to meet the edge of the paper.

    kusudama flower
    Dana Hinders
  4. Flatten the Flaps

    Flatten the flaps you created in the previous step. In origami, this is called a squash fold. Flattening without wrinkling the paper takes a bit of practice; however, the squash fold is one of the most important origami folds to know, as it is used in everything from origami flowers to origami cards. Fold the top triangles down.

    kusudama flower
     Dana Hinders
  5. Create Your Kusudama Flower Petals

    Fold the left corner in, so it meets the first side crease. Repeat with the right corner. Carefully glue your flower petal together. Repeat until you have a total of six flower petals. Compare the flower petals when you are finished to make sure they are all exactly the same size and shape.

    kusudama flower
    Dana Hinders
  6. Complete Your Origami Kusudama Flower

    Glue the petals together to form your kusudama origami flower. For best results, use a glue stick or liquid craft glue and let each connection dry before continuing. If you're having trouble, use paper clips on the middle of the petals to hold the flower together until all the glue is dry.

    Tip

    If you'd like to add a little extra embellishment to your kusudama flower, consider attaching a button, scrapbook brad, or rhinestone to the center. If you make a wire loop and thread your button through, you can use the excess wire to attach your flower to the bow on a beautifully wrapped package.

    kusudama flower
    Dana Hinders

Creating a Kusudama Ball

Purple and yellow origami kusudama flower
Warayoo / Getty Images

If desired, you can fold 12 of the flowers and glue them together to make one large origami kusudama ​ball.

Making an Origami Bouquet

Beautiful paper flowers. Nice paper decoration, Handmade flowers
Tutye / Getty Images

A single origami kusudama flower is pretty on its own, but kusudama flowers can also be added to origami bouquets to create pretty flower arrangements for weddings and other special occasions.