Origami: Bellflowers Ball

IMG_0872 (small)Bellflowers Ball, by Yuri Shumukov

As a gift, I got this new origami book called Origami Kusudama Garden: Delightful Paper Spheres.  But when I looked inside, I was dismayed.  This isn’t modular origami!  The flowers are all glued together, or sewn together.  Call me a traditionalist, but I prefer my origami to just have folding.

Of course, it turns out I was wrong.  Using sewing to make floral balls is in fact an old tradition, and modular origami is the modern innovation.  Well, okay, it’s worth a try, I thought.  I was also briefly tickled by the idea of assembling a dodecahedron using squares.

IMG_0870 (small)

My impression from making this model?  Sewing is hard!  It’s even harder with paper than it is with cloth, because there tends to be hardly any paper/thread friction. I particularly had issues tying a knot at the end.  I want the flowers to be tightly held together, but then the knot needs to be inside that floral ball.  I wish that the authors would have put in some instructions for how to sew properly, because instructions for sewing online are simply not targeted at origamists.

A brief note on the colors.  This floral ball uses what I think of as the “movie poster” color scheme, orange and blue.  It’s actually a lovely color scheme, very color-blind friendly.


  1. Sophy says

    Small glass beads. Very useful when you need to make a knotty situation knottier. I’ve used them when making kusudama to hang up.

  2. inquisitiveraven says

    Consider the tri-cord knotter. I’ve found them very handy for stringing pearls or other beads where you want a knot between every two sequential beads, but I’d think it would help with tying knots inside your floral balls.

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