Kusudama origami, a precursor to the modern genre of modular origami, is origami made of several identically folded units. Traditionally, the folded units are used to make individual flowers that are joined together in a large decorative ball. However, many people enjoy folding individual flowers to use as decorations for parties or special celebrations. Kusudama flowers are becoming very popular as thrifty wedding decorations.
The flower in this tutorial is a variation of the traditional origami kusudama flower. I designed this flower using a similar folding technique, but my method results in a more angular and abstract bloom.
The flower is made using six sheets of square colored notepaper measuring 3 1/2 inches x 3 1/2 inches. The paper needs to be the same color on both sides, so it is best not to use traditional origami paper for this project.
This abstract kusudama flower, like the traditional origami kusudama flower, is appropriate for children ages six and up. However, some children may require assistance holding the individual petals in order to glue them together in the completed flower form.
1. Make a Triangle
Fold the paper in half along one of the diagonals to make a triangle. Fold the top point of the paper down to form a smaller triangle as shown in the photo to the left.
2. Fold the Points
Fold each corner of the paper up to meet the top point as shown in the photo to the left.
3. Fold the Corners
Fold the corners back to meet the left and right edges of the paper as shown in the photo to the left.
4. Complete Your Flower Petals
Step 4A: Glue the small flaps on the outside of the paper together so you have a shape that looks like the photo to the left. This will be your first flower petal.
Step 4B: Repeat Step 1 though Step 4A to make a total of six flower petals.
5. Start Assembling Your Flower
After the glue on all of the flower petals is dry, it is time to start assembling your flower. Join the petals as shown in the photo to the left.
6. Finish Your Flower
Keep adding petals until your flower is complete.
If you are having a hard time getting your flower to stay together, glue the petals together in two groups of three petals each. Wait for the glue to dry, then join these sections together.
If desired, you can add a sticker or button into the center of the flower for a decorative finishing touch.
7. Start Your Flower Stem
Although these flowers look pretty on their own, it is easier to display them on a folded origami stem. To make a stem, use a 6 inch x 6 inch sheet of paper. Fold the paper into a kite base like the one in the photo to the left. See our Types of Origami Bases article if you need instructions on how to make a kite base.
8. Fold into the Center Crease
Fold the two top corners in to meet the center crease. Repeat once more so you have a shape that looks like the photo to the left.
Flip the paper over. Fold the long narrow point at the bottom down as shown in the photo to the left.
10. Finish Your Origami Flower Stem
Fold the paper in half. Adjust the smaller point as needed to make the stem stand properly. Add your abstract origami kusudama flower to the stem. There should be a small hole in the bottom of your flower that the stem will slip right through, so no glue is necessary.
If you like this simple origami flower stem, remember that it can be used with several different types of origami flowers. Feel free to experiment with different sizes of paper and origami flower models to see what sort of creative display you can come up with.