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Jul 25, 2014

Kusudama a.k.a. Origami Balloons

I have commented on here before about my somewhat origami-themed wedding, and how we created and handmade a lot of the decoration. Looking back, these are one of my favorite memories from that time, when our family and friends would gather for many evenings of folding papers, sitting together, and talking for hours (and I can't thank them enough for all their love and dedication!). Everything we made looked beautiful, but the biggest hits were these big and colorful origami balloons, which are called Kusudama.

For the party, we hung it from the ceiling using fishing wire. We thought about using ribbons instead, but the transparent wire gave the nice illusion that the balloons were floating in the air. The best thing, though, is that many of my guests asked to keep the balloons after the party, and more than 3 years later I still see it decorating their homes - it makes me so happy! 

We sorted through dozens of designs and online tutorials, and finally settled on two Kusudama styles that were beautiful and intricate, yet easy to fold. It was also important that they scaled well. But honestly, there are so many other fantastic designs, that it came down to just having to make a decision. If you type the word 'kusudama' on YouTube, you will get hundreds of different kinds.

The YouTube video below explains with details how to make the Kusudama Flower. Note that each petal is an origami in itself, and all petals and flowers are joined together with a little bit of glue. It takes 12 full flowers to make the whole Kusudama. For all of our Kusudamas we used regular craft paper.

The following video shows step-by-step how to make the Kusudama Brocade. Each little 'pyramid' is a separate piece, an origami in itself, and they are joined together by inserting flaps into slits - no glue needed. In this design, you can vary the size of the Kusudama either by making bigger or smaller size pieces, or simply by using less pieces. 

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