It's just about that time. When trees burst into bloom and cherry blossoms abound.
This year, why don't you try some kirigami and create your own sakura, or cherry blossoms? All you need is some thin paper (we think Toyo 50 Colour Origami Paper is perfect - in 15cm or 7.5cm sizes) and a sharp pair of scissors.
Kirigami is the art of cutting paper - derived from the old Japanese art of monkiri, cutting of paper crests.
The first step is to master the fold required to make a 5 petal cherry blossom (sure, you can make a kirigami flower with 4 or 6 or 8 petals, but the classic sakura shape calls for 5). Jessica Jones of How About Orange has a wonderful step by step guide to 5-point folding. Find it here.
Once your paper is folded, it should look something like this:
(The top flap is sticking up a little in the picture.)
Once you have completed the fold, the next step is to get cutting! Here's the basic shape of the sakura cut:
Here's what a 5-point sakura looks like after cutting is complete, in comparison to original folded paper:
Of course, there's no need to limit yourself to the sakura form. Here's what a flower with a double row of petals looks like after cutting:
Next, you'll want to carefully unfold those blossoms. The 5-point fold is a bit complicated and the paper thin - you don't want to rip them!
Once unfolded, your blossoms will look something like this:
Folded up, crumply looking flowers are no one's friend. You should press the flowers with an iron on the lowest setting, no steam.
Here's what my final blossoms look like.
Sakura kirigami (first example shown):
Double petal blossom (second example shown):
It may take a few tries to get your cherry blossoms looking just how you want them, but really the fun with these is experimenting and unfolding all sorts of different flowers!
I think I'll layer a whole bunch into a frame for a quick burst of springtime colour! (Almost) instant art!
Happy creating! If you do make sakura kirigami of your own, tell us about it. Post a picture on our Facebook page, tell us in a tweet or post a link in the comments.
Need paper? We've got it!