How To's

Kusudama Origami 101

January 7, 2013

In my teenage years, *cough* made me feel old, but I’m a young adult now *cough* I used to make lots of handwritten letters and handmade gifts. Even if I had to stay up late, it didn’t stop me to work on each piece. Stumbling on crafts while doing syndication tasks made me interested to unleash whatever creativity again. Let’s start with something easy – origami.

Source: Wikipedia


Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding with the goal of producing a finished sculpture without the use of cuts or glue. The most popular origami is the crane (which is a sacred bird in Japan).

Etymology: ori means “folding” and kami means “paper”


I made a Kusudama, which translates to medicine ball (kusuri + tama respectively). Used for incense and potpourri, today it is typically used as decoration or gifts.

It was fairly easy to do, but is time consuming since every piece you make is just a petal of the whole flower. I don’t have origami paper so I used four square cuts of paper, in this case a pink one, for practice. The first one I made is the one on the lower right. Look clockwise from there and see my progress 😛


The tutorial I was reading on StumbleUpon got me confused with one of the steps. So I looked for one with images that has arrows pointing in what direction should I fold the paper. Good thing I found Origami Instructions website and you can use that as a reference. The tutorials usually use glue to keep them together, but I used double-sided tape on mine.

If you’d rather watch a video, here’s a good tutorial:

Credits to MandyKStar, she used paper with a cute design! Your finished product can look as simple as the one below or more complex in terms of number of flowers or color variation to name a few. It depends on your imagination (and patience, I guess :P).

Credits: Flickriver: Archangeli

Do you also know to make origami? What can you make in particular? Were the links useful? Share your thoughts in the comments below! ♥

  1. Nice project. i think my daughter will want to try this. she has been following origami and other craft videos before. will suggest this to her. thanks.

  2. Know what? I tried doing these origami flower arts when I was prepping up for our wedding.hehehhe. Kaso it didn’t work as it takes too much of my time. But pwede ito sa mga ibang occasions lalo na yung mga girly stuff 🙂

  3. This post Dems reminds me of my childhood years creating paper airplane, frog, and boat. Now it’s only the boat I know, oh not it’s not, it’s paper airplane, the simplest. You have great work here. What a hobby and talent.

    1. Thank you Earl! I only know about the paper airplane from grade school. Never tried doing a frog but my classmate would do that for me and we would all play who can make their frog leap the farthest.

  4. i tried making this before but I was hopeless I cant follow the instructions in the video or somewhat mislead me haha Someone have to teach me inperson haha xx

  5. I’m interested to know how this art form has evolved from being a potpourri art to what it is now. Do people still use scented materials to create new kusudama pieces?

  6. I remember making origami stuff back in high school. So I could definitely relate as to how this piece of art (the Kusudama) can be so tasking yet very fulfilling-exciting all at the same time.

  7. Origami.. whah I got a failing grade on this during my high school days. I am not really good making one. But I love and adorn the finished crafts. Yours is a very nice one.

  8. Great post, I wanna learn these things. I can use this art knowledge when I am bored or share to my students.

  9. My nine-year old son and his little sister just love origami! They would watch video tutorials on Youtube and spend their play time making beautiful paper arts. I’m sure he’d love to try Kusudama!

  10. I can make good origami at my elementary days. Today, I don’t know, haven’t tried it. I might do one if my time allows it. Nevertheless, great artistic skills you got Dems. Nice!

  11. Oh beautiful post. My family and I are big Japanese fans. I would like to learn how to make Kusudama. May I ask is there a specific kind of paper that I should use to make these medicine balls. We have Japanese papers here in the Philippines but I think they are too thin to keep the form these decorations should have.

    P.S. I like your post so I will share it in Special Education Philippines Facebook Fan Page. I hope that kids, parents and teachers will visit your post and add this in their arts and crafts project. 🙂

    1. Hi Ms. Ia! As far as I know, any origami paper is fine. You can actually use different kinds in one batch. Though here I used construction paper 🙂

      Thank you for sharing this post 😀

  12. I remember once when I was at the office. Making paper tanks and paper planes has been my past time during break. I would make dozens of those, arrange them on my desk. Then I would imagine myself as a commander in battle. I love origami since I am a kid and until now, I’m still fascinated with this kind of craft

  13. ooh, i love making origami, my daughter enjoy making it too but the complicated one is really hard to create.

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