Thursday, April 1, 2010

SERIES: Unravelling Foreign Craftiness: KIRIGAMI tutorial

Kirigami Window Hanging
When the spring cleaning is done and the windows are nice and shiny again, it is time for spring window hangings. I'll use my recently unravelled kirigami skills for this little project. It only takes about 30 min. plus a little extra for petting the cat if you have one.

1. Fold the paper along the guidelines in the videos of my previous post. Draw the design on your folded piece of paper if you want to. As you can see I used a very basic square folding technique and still the end result is quite nice. If you want to have a window hanging that is pretty from both sides you have to be really careful with pre-drawing on the paper. That's why I didn't do it.

2. If you don't draw the design on the paper, have some style elements in mind. I was thinking vintage floral tapestry for spring, which gave me enough inspiration to cut away. Just start somewhere. Leave some of the folded diagonals standing, otherwise your design will fall apart. You can cut away much more than I did, though. If you don't cut away the upper left corner, you'll get a less-snowflaky and more square design.
My first tip: Don't do sharp u-turns with your scissors, it will leave marks on your pretty paper. Rather move at tight corners from two sides. And always hold together the layers of the paper close to where you're cutting.

3. Now my second tip: Immediately cut away a little outside every shape you cut. You can see in the picture above that I cut about 1,5 mm / 1/9th of an inch around every leaf and blossom. This is a huge help as it will prevent shapes touching, which looks bad. It also keeps the distance between shapes roughly equal which helps you to create a lacy quality in your design. The width of this margin will determine the intricacy of your design.
Some recommend not moving the scissors but only the paper. I never manage to stick to rules and it also didn't work when I got to the inner parts of my design. I held my paper like this, carefully bending away parts to be able to access the others.

Now my future hubbie let in the neighbor's cat and since I'm a complete slave to cats I didn't move anymore and had to shoot pics from where I sat.

What happens when the paper shifts? Try to align the layers again. If you are in a tight spot continue first and correct the mistake somewhere else.

4. Cats always pick the spot that is the center of attention, don't they?! At least it is hiding a huge pile of paper und it.
Time for unfolding, carefully as not to raise the attention of the cat with its potentially devestating claws. Press the folds flat with your fingers. I was too much of a sissy to iron my design.

5. Now for the last step just run the whole thing through the laminating machine and cut around it. You can stick it to the window as I did or punch a hole and hang it. Please don't mind the ugly winter gardens... Nice spring project instead of the ole' snowflake.


Simone said...

Very cool

Rebecca Ednie said...

wow,. this is so intricate! Beautiful Rebecca Ednie/thebragal Swap-Bot

Agnes Sim said...

wow..u are bravo! ;-)
agnes from swap-bot

jozen said...


stop by and say hi when you get a chance
lolasgirl from swapbot

following you!

Grooveycrafts said...

I didn't realise there was a name to this :D. I remember in school making paper snowflakes but we were always encourage to cut randomly anything we wanted. I love the idea of drawing the design first and then cutting as you can do it to a theme. Eventually it might lead to papercutting images

Grooveycrafts said...

forgot to say I'm samash on swapbot

Agnetha said...

That's so cool!

(Agnetha - SwapBot)

Fabi said...

That looks so amazing. I guess I will try it as well.

Fabi (BubbLeGumGirLie for Comments on Craft/Design Blogs)

Maria Isabel said...

-mariaisabel "comments on craft/design blog swap"

Yoshi said...

Very nice tutorial. As someone whose cat always jumps into every picture, I appreciate the fact that this cat (not even yours) had to be the center of attention.

Yoshi (libertunity from Swapbot)

Charlotte said...

Thanks for all your nice comments.

sweetdaisydreams said...

wow very clever glendas sb

Anonymous said...

I am trying this project tonight.

Charlotte said...

Oh cool. @ oneluvelygurl: Thanks soo much for your interest and support.

candyn said...

Oh, this is lovely! I can't wait to try it! Thank you for sharing it. - candyn/swapbot

Lindy said...

I love this... gorgeous... but, it must be said, i love kitty even more... ; )
collagecafe04 swapbot

Hearthandmade said...

i really like that! i dont really have the patience for that kind of cutting :)
Your kitty looks like my kitty!

Ambrosia Jefferson said...

Lovely window hanging. I love the kitty too..looks like our Van Halen.

~LadyAmbrosia Swapbot

Fi said...

Very beautifull. I wouldnt have the patience to make something like this.

fii - swapbot

Jen said...

this is really pretty, I might have a go at one of these myself, I think it'll be really nice on the windows now the weather is getting sunnier

samuraijen - swap bot