20 April 2012
One of my favourite times of year in Edinburgh is when all the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in the Meadows:
Usually that’s around mid to end April and they were just beginning to show at the end of our holiday. I’m really sad that we missed them, but luckily one of my Japanese friends once showed me how to make paper cherry blossoms, so I’ve been re-creating the cherry blossom look back here in Berlin.
Have you heard of kirigami? It’s a variation of origami, where you typically start with a folded base, just like in origami, but then use scissors to cut (from “kiru” – to cut + “kami” – paper) the final shapes which are most often symmetrical. In fact, if you’ve ever cut paper snowflakes, you’ve already done some kirigami. Here’s how to use the same principle to make cherry blossoms.
- All you will need is a square piece of paper (mine was 15cm), a pair of scissors and a pencil. Origami paper is great, because it’s already square and it’s thinner than regular paper.
- First of all, you need to make your folded base. The cherry blossoms use a five point fold (so you will end up with five petals). Start by laying your origami sheet like this in front of you with the coloured side up.
- Fold the bottom corner up to the top corner and make a crease all the way along so that you have a triangle.
- Now take the bottom left corner of your triangle and fold it over to the bottom right corner, but don’t fold all the way along the edge, just mark the middle point by making a small crease where you’ve folded over.
- Open your triangle out again (I’ve marked this crease and all the following ones with my pencil to show you where they are as they didn’t show up in the photographs, but if you can see the creases you don’t need to mark them).
- Now take the bottom right corner of your triangle and fold it up to the top corner. Again, don’t fold all the way along, just make a small crease to mark the middle point.
- Open your triangle out again.
- Now take the top corner and fold it down to the crease you just made. As before, just make a small crease to mark the middle point.
- Open your triangle out again – you should now have one crease marked along the bottom edge of your triangle, and two marked along the right side of your triangle.
- The next three steps may look more complicated than they are – just follow the pictures. First, take your bottom right corner and fold it up so that the right half of the bottom edge of your triangle aligns with the two creases that you marked out in steps 5 + 9 (this time you are allowed to crease all the way along).
- Next, take your left hand corner and fold it over so that the left half of the bottom edge of your triangle aligns with the opposite side, as shown in the picture.
- Finally, fold the right side back over to the left, again aligning the edges.
- You are now ready to draw on your cherry blossom template. Just copy the one in the picture. Once you are confident about making paper cherry blossoms you can experiment a bit with the template, e.g. by giving it more rounded corners or making the stems in the middle different shapes.
- Cut out your template.
- Carefully fold it out so that nothing catches and tears. Voila! Your very own cherry blossom. Why not make a couple in different colours? I used a selection of shaded of pink and white to decorate my office.