Paper Pomanders

by clumsylawyer

I’ve already discussed my intention to have origami flowers at the wedding, and spoke ages ago about the fact that I will have two very cute flower girls.  Now, I’m not sure whether our venue permits petals to be scattered by small children, but in any case that’s not really my style.  Instead, I’ve been inspired by pictures like these to give our flower girls pomanders to hold.

The great thing about pomanders is that they’re designed to be held hanging down.  You can’t expect a two-year-old to hold a bouquet, so they’re a good compromise.  I adore the photos above.  If I could absolutely choreograph my wedding, I’d have flowergirls B and P walk the aisle holding hands like the photo on the right, but it’s unreasonable to expect everything to go to plan, particularly when kids are involved!  However, in the event that I do manage to get them to walk along hand-in-hand, the pomanders will facilitate it in a way throwing petals wouldn’t.

Of course, having origami flowers means that real or silk flower poms would probably look a little daft, so the obvious solution was to make origami poms.  I have already made kusudama flowers as part of my paper-folding adventure, ‘kusudama’ literally translating as ‘medicine ball’.  They’re perfectly designed for turning into pomanders, so you’d think it would be a relatively simple process.  Apparently not.

I decided that I would make the flower girls’ poms with cherry blossom kusudama.  Initially, I followed the linked instructions to the letter and made each flower with four petals.

Personal photo. In case you are interested, the card I used for these kusudama came from the First Edition Dreamcatcher paper pad.

However, when I glued them together (top creases of each petal to another petal), the ball they formed had only six flowers, and was too tight and small.  I took it apart and separated the flowers in order to add another petal to each.

Again, I tried gluing along the petal creases, but I still only formed a ball with seven flowers.  I was starting to feel somewhat frustrated and couldn’t work out why it wouldn’t work.  I was, of course, being pretty thick.  Because of the angle of the petal crease, they were bound to form a very tight ball.  I just hadn’t managed to figure that one out.

So, I took them apart again (and at this point, I’d like to applaud the resiliance of the paper.  The patterns tore off where I removed the (now set) hot glue, but that didn’t effect the outward appearance of the flowers) and tried a different tact.  By attaching each petal to two others and only gluing the very top edges, I formed two hemispheres with six flowers each.

Personal photo. I felt an unreasonable amount of joy when I saw this coming together.

Add some ribbon to one, and glue the two together in the same fashion (i.e. attach each petal to two others, by the top edge only) and a ball is successfully fashioned.

Personal photo.

I’m still not 100% happy with it.  It’s a little on the small side (around 5 inches diameter) and I feel that it could do with having some more flowers.  Also I seemed to manage to glue all of the flowers with ‘opened’ top petals (i.e. the ones with the extra triangle of a different colour on each petal) next to one another, rather than spread out as intended.  However, now I’ve worked out what I’m doing, I think I should be able to fix these problems next time I give it a go.  For now though, I have to order some more hot glue sticks.

Have any of your DIY projects turned out to be more difficult then they first appeared?  Have you had to use much trial and error?