Kanzashi flowers are intricate hair ornaments, made by folding silk to form petals. Originating in Japan thousands of years ago, the craft went into decline when western hairstyles gained popularity. However, the art of making kanzashi flowers has not been lost. Utterly gorgeous yet simple to construct, they are the perfect project for crafty brides looking for something lovely to wear in their hair.
Being handmade, kanzashi are completely customisable so can be tailored to suit the theme of your big day. For an elegant and glamorous look, opt for pastel petals made out of silk with a bit of bling in the centre. If bright and bold is more your style, blood red kanzashi will look fab at a rockabilly wedding.
There are many different shapes you can create, depending on how you fold the fabric. Here’s a simple tutorial for pointed petals.
You will need:
Something round to use as a template
Clip or comb
Flower for the centre
1. Using your round template, cut eight circles from your chosen fabric.
2. Take one of the circles and fold it in half. Fold it in half again – iron the folds as you go if it’s easier. Go to fold in half for a third time but bring the corners back to the front. This will form a ridge down the middle of the petal.
3. Repeat the process with the other circles, threading each petal as you go. Use strong cotton or double the thread.
4. When all the petals have been made, tie the ends of the thread in a knot, pulling tight to form the kanzashi.
5. Glue the flower in the centre to hide the rough ends. You could also use an ornate button or even a mini kanzashi (make it using the same technique but cut smaller circles for the petals).
6. Turn the kanzashi over and glue a circle of felt to hide the back. Attach the clip or comb (depending on how you want to attach the kanzashi to your hair).
Once you’ve perfected the technique, experiment with different colours, materials and centres. Carry on the theme by making hair clips for your bridesmaids or make a few stunning flowers just for you. For really ambitious brides, craft lots of kanzashi and make them in a bouquet – not only will it look beautiful, the flowers will last forever.