Some people have had trouble finding tutorials for making tsumami kanzashi on the web, so here is my kanzashi making method, I hope it helps!


  1. Habotai Silk / China Silk (I've found for this to work, it really needs to be silk)
  2. Sharp pointed tweezers (they really do need to be nice, sharp and pointy. Eyebrow tweezers etc won't work very well)
  3. Rice Starch Glue (http://www.imcclains.com/catalog/ink/nori.html)
  4. Piece of Wood
  5. Stiff cardboard
  6. 26 gauge Florist Wire
  7. Scissors

Getting started:

    • Before folding your petals, you will need to starch your silk, a simple spray starch for this available in most grocery stores works wonders!
    • Next spread a thick layer of glue onto your board, about 1/8 of an inch think (it helps to let this sit a little before you start to firm up a bit). This is to hold the petals you have folded once they are done.
    • All done? Now you’re ready to go!


There are 2 main types of "petal" used in kanzashi making, here is a little bit on the round and pointed petals you'll be using a lot!

round petal

Rounded petals:

  1. Fold square of Silk in half to form a triangle
  2. Place tweezers along center of triangle
  3. remove tweezers, and place them along the spine of new triangle
  4. Fold the sides up around the tweezers
  5. Holding the pieces in place, slide tweezers out and move them around to hold the petal shape in place
  6. Cut excess silk away (keep a 90 degree angle between the cut and the back of the petal.

pointed petal

Pointed petals:

  1. Fold square in half
  2. Fold in half again
  3. Fold in half once more (Not shown here, but I do this by holding onto the tip of the triangle with my tweezers, and pulling the sides down together)
  4. grip petal in tweezers as with the round petal, and cut to size leaving 90 degree angle between the cut and the back of the petal
  5. Place in Glue on Board

Note: Japanese kanzashi maker fold their petals this way all on the tweezers, it might seem fiddly at first, but it will help you keep a nice crisp petal, and keep some of the oil off your hands from dirtying the silk.

cherry blossom

Bonus petal!:

More than anything else I get asked about cherry blossom petals, here is a quick guide to making cherry blossom petals.

Once you have a dried and completed round petal flower, to turn it into a cherry blossom simply add a small dab of rice glue to the outside of the petal in the middle, and squeeze for a few seconds with your tweezers. When you let go you'll have that recognizable cherry blossom dimple! Repeat on all 5 petals for a sweet cherry blossom flower! (bellflower petals are made the save way, just pinching the petal outwards instead of inwards.)

kanzashi base


Now you have your petals, you'll need a base to mount them onto!

  1. Cut or punch a card circle a little smaller in circumference than your intended flower,
  2. Pierce a hole in the center and add your fine florist wire stem
  3. You can add a little foam board punch out to the center here if you want your petals to sit flat on the finished flower

Assembling a flower:

kanzashi flower

  1. Add a little glue to your base
  2. With your tweezers lift a petal from the glue board, gently smooth glued edges together
  3. place as many petals as desired onto the base evenly
  4. Gently shape petals on the base by softy taping the end to spread and open the petal.
  5. Leave to dry

Assembling your kanzashi

kanzashi making

  1. Once the flowers are dry gather the wire stems together like a little bouquet binding them together with an attractive thread. You can include small silk leaves, buds and other decorations to add a little character to your kanzashi!
  2. Now you have your “bouquet” of little flowers you need to gather all your elements, flowers, and if you are using them bira bira, tassels etc as well as your pin back (I use a thick florist wires bent in half and shaped. you can dip the ends in a quick dry resin of tool dip for a nice soft rounded end)
  3. Once you have these elements together bind them in the same way with your attractive thread, tie and glue the ends to secure your kanzashi.

You now have your very own tsumami kanzashi!



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