Is your Christmas tree lacking that certain something? Would you like to give your friends a lovingly hand-crafted decoration for Christmas? Do you love Japanese crafts?
If your answer to any of those questions is “yes”, read on!
Sometime back in July I stumbled upon Japan Crafts. Japan Crafts is a small, family business based in North Yorkshire (England). Their aim is to spread their knowledge and love of Japanese culture through innovative and informative talks, workshops and craft kits. They visit Japan every year and always bring back new techniques and information to share in the UK.
Back in July, I decided I wanted to try making something, Knowing how rubbish I am at actually getting around to any craft projects, I decided on a Kimekomi Christmas Bauble Kit, which I promised to review in time for Christmas.
As predicted, it took me the last four months or so to even find the time to open the box. I think, partly, I was nervous. What if my crafting skills just weren’t up to the task? But I needn’t have worried.
Making a kimekomi bauble was SO easy. The kit came with detailed, step-by-step instructions, and almost everything you need to make the bauble (a polystyrene ball, cute fabric, wadding, a tool for poking stuff, satin cord, and templates). The only extras you needed were a ballpoint pen, scissors and glue.
First, what is ‘kimekomi’?
‘Kimekomi’ is a technique used in Japan for making dolls. It is believed to have originated over 250 years ago when a craftsman at a shrine in Kyoto made a wooden doll with grooves cut in, then stuck on scraps of fabric and tucked it into the grooves to make it look as though she was wearing a kimono. Since then, dolls have been carved from wood or compressed sawdust and covered with beautiful kimono fabrics to be given as gifts or displayed in the home. (Japan Crafts)
There were five simple steps to creating the kimekomi bauble:
1. Marking out the ball with a ballpoint pen (using the guidelines on the ball)
2. Carving the ball with the tool provided
3. Covering the ball with fabric and an under layer of wadding
4. Wrapping the ball with cord
5. Making a hanger, so you can display your bauble on your Christmas tree
I’m not particularly good with making fiddly things, so I know my bauble is probably not the best in the world, but I was thoroughly chuffed with the results!
If Christmas baubles aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Japan Crafts sell all kinds of other kits, including a Christmas Card Silk Painting Kit which I might have to try next year! And if you’re looking for something beyond Christmas, there are lots of other kits for sale, such as an ambitious Folded Patchwork Bag Kit or a slightly less ambitious Needle Felt Kit.
Japan Crafts’ last posting date for Christmas is 16th December, so hurry – check out their website today!