11 June 2014

Tutorial: Bonten kanzashi

Bonten is a type of kanzashi that maiko only wear at the Gion Matsuri in July. It's silver and pink, and a pair of them are worn at either side of a roll of hair at the back of the maiko's head.

Here's how to make a bonten!

1. Cut 12 lengths of silver elastic, each about 6 inches long.

2. Using a glue gun, carefully apply a small amount of glue to 1cm at the end of a piece of elastic, and hold the other end to this to make a ring. It should look like a silver hair tie (in fact, if you can find silver hair ties, you could use these instead!). Glue all the elastic pieces in the same way.

3. Glue six of the elastic pieces to a small circles of felt, making sure they stand up at an angle, and each one overlaps the last one.

4. Make another layer on top of this with the other six pieces. I also made a few stitches to ensure each piece was firmly attached to the felt. Make sure to leave a small area at the centre free of glue. Things could look quite messy at this stage, but it will all be covered.

5. Cut two circles of pink felt.

6. Make small snips around the edge of each felt circle.

7. Use a brad through the middle of the pink circles, and use this to attach them to the middle of the base felt circle.
8. Glue or sew a hair clip of your choice to the back. I think a good way would be to sew the clip to another circle of felt and glue it on.

This makes a really unusual and eye-catching kanzashi, and I could imagine wearing it as a fascinator to a wedding!

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