Hanami Kanzashi

2013-Jun-13, Thursday 01:45 pm
chebe: (FlowerInHair)
[personal profile] chebe
One Saturday (the 6th) in April last I went to Anime Dublin (facebook twitter). I'm but a casual anime fan, and this was my first convention. I was blown away by the costumes! Big (some really really big), elaborate, detailed, high quality materials, utterly beautiful. It didn't matter that I didn't recognise most of them, they in themselves were wonderful. And I'm in awe of the dedication wearing most of them required. (I should tell you about how annoying I find wearing my fairy wings one day...) And everyone was so full of energy!

But I was there for a reason. To show people how to make LED flowers. There was a hanami (cherry blossom) theme to the event, so I stocked up on my pink and white fabrics and even acquired a few pink LEDs. I thought I'd do something even more special though, and set about learning kanzashi (folded fabric flowers). I found this tutorial to be really helpful. There are quite a few variations there that I might try out in future, but for this event I stuck with just this one.

In short, get two colours of fabric (polycotton in my case), starch the life out of it, cut into small squares (I think mine were too small, but I've hundreds now so I'm stuck with them), and then start folding. You make each petal individually, then string them together. Which is by far the trickest part. So tricky in fact that after the first couple of people attempted them at Anime Dublin I decided to abandon the design in favour of the basic flower design. ... which it appears I've never talked about here?! It's just this simple LED soft-circuit in a basic felt-flower design (that you can see here), but I should document it at some point. (In case you haven't noticed, I quite like LED flowers.)

For speed and ease on the day I used the conventional plastic battery holders (instead of the elastic holder), but it left the bottom of the design very bulky. Okay if you're wearing it in your hair and can conceal it, but not the most attractive result.

I'm not the worlds greatest lover of pink, but in these cherry blossoms I do think it works quite well. (I wore it in my hair to a wedding later that day, which just happened to have a cherry blossom theme! I was warned the bride might try to steal it :)

At MakerFaire UK I found a lady selling kits on how to make kanzashi. Her's seem to stick up out of the plane where mine were laying flat (which is the bit that gave me so much trouble). So needless to say I snatched up the kit, and hope to learn how to make these better.
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