I received a bunch of emails from some of you asking for a tutorial on the origami kimono I made for Emi’s nursery here. To be honest, I sort of winged this project – I had the idea and just kinda played around with it. So I don’t have a great tutorial for you but I did take pictures along the way so I thought I’d share those in case they helped.
I pretty much followed this tutorial. I made a teeny kimono first following those steps. Then I grabbed a piece of wrapping paper and tried to increase the scale until I got to a size I wanted for my final piece. This took a bit of trial and error to get the proportions right but here you see my original tiny kimono side by side with my final prototype.
I used 2 of these maps which I seamed together with some packing tape to get a piece of paper long enough for my final kimono. I decided to trim off the border so it wouldn’t create a distracting edge to my final piece.
Then it’s just a matter of following the same steps as in the video. It’s helpful to have a bone folder on hand to crease your map as the paper is thicker and harder to work with than standard printing paper, etc. I folded down my collar, then the sides to create the beginnings of the sleeves.
Then the sides of the kimono get folded in. If I had to do this again I would have preplanned where these side flaps would have been relative to the map’s “Boston” label so that would have ended up on the outside. They ended up inside where you can’t see them and that kinda bums me out.
Then you ease your hand up and under the top of the sleeve to flatten out the triangle.
Once you have the sleeves flattened out, flip the whole kimono over.
And fold about a 2.5″ flap down on the shoulders.
Flip the kimono back over to the front side.
And now fold the bottom flaps out. I found it helpful to add a bit of paper glue behind the shoulders at this point because there was a lot of paper and thick folds. The glue helps it lie flat.
There you have it! I embellished the sleeves a bit by gluing on some paper strips just to break up that block of white on the shoulders. I ended up just nailing it right onto the wall but with more time, I would have liked to hang in on a pretty hanger.
I really love the way it turned out and I love how inexpensive and personalized a piece it is for the room.
I hope this inspires you to try a little of your own paper folding. I’m always amazed by what you can make with such a humble medium if you’re willing to try. A few weeks ago I made this adorable dress out of a map of Paris from Paper Source for another little girl’s room! This one I literally just made up as I went along, inspired by some (very expensive) pieces I’d seen online. It came out so cute, I kinda wished I could wear it when it was done.