In Japan, the year is punctuated with festivities called matsuri , very often linked to the passing of the seasons or to ancestral traditions specific to each region. Traditionally called momo no sekku (or peach festival), Hina Matsuri is a festival that honors little girls. During this day celebrated on March 3 (i.e. the 3rd day of the 3rd month), luxurious dolls, ohina , are generally displayed in homes.
Placed on a tiered display, they represent the imperial family and members of the court in the Heian period (794-1185). These dolls are said to absorb bad luck and bring happiness and health to the little girls in the house.
As this holiday approaches, I wanted to offer you an adorable tutorial for making two Japanese paper dolls representing the emperor, obina and the empress, mebina . This DIY is accessible to children and will be perfect to occupy an afternoon during this last week of vacation!
Using pockets of seven sheets of colored Japanese paper , I imagined different associations for the dolls' kimonos. You are free, if you wish, to combine the papers in another way according to your colorful desires of the moment!
To make these little dolls, we have prepared a template for you to download and print. We advise you to use paper of at least 180g/m² so that the dolls have a good hold.
If you do not have a cutting ruler , we have prepared two templates for cutting the different sides of your kimono. For a doll, you will need to cut out 1 square of 12 x 12cm and 3 squares of 7 x 7cm from the papers of your choice.
Don’t hesitate to rummage through your scraps of Japanese paper to imagine your own colorful associations! For this tutorial, it is not necessary to have large pieces of paper.
If you want to combine plain papers with your patterned papers, you can use this multi-colored set of 7.5 x 7.5cm origami paper squares from the TOYO brand in vibrant colors.
To make these little Hina Matsuri dolls, you will need:
- doll and square templates to download HERE
- thick paper, from 180g/ m² and up to 250g/m² , for printing dolls
- 2 squares of 12 x 12cm of Japanese paper, 1 square per doll
- 6 squares of 7 x 7cm of Japanese paper, 3 squares per doll
- First, gather your different squares of Japanese paper to make your dolls' kimonos. The largest square will be on the outside of the kimono and the three smaller ones on the inside.
- Print the dolls template on your sheet of thick paper. Then cut out the two dolls and their accessories.
- Take a range of papers and fold the large square and the two small squares into a triangle to mark the diagonal.
- Overlap the papers, making those on top overhang by about 5mm each time. Apply dots of glue between the papers to hold them in place, as shown in the photo.
- Place the base of the doll on the triangles with only the head sticking out. Fold the left part of the kimono collar (the two small triangles) so as to reach the edge of the top triangle on the opposite side.
- Fold the other side of the kimono collar. Place a dot of glue to hold everything together.
- Fold the large section of the doll's kimono so that it reaches the opposite edge of the triangle.
- Fold the other side of the kimono over the previous one. Place a dot of glue to hold everything together.
- Partially fold the bottom triangle and slip the tip into the kimono jacket.
- Take the last small square in the range and fold it in half, into a triangle, to mark one of the diagonals.
- Take your paper triangle and slip it inside the kimono jacket without forcing it.
- Let the part that doesn't fit stick out.
- Turn the figure over and fold the bottom corners as shown.
- Slip the corners from the previous step inside the kimono. Secure everything using a dot of glue.
- Turn the figure over and add, using a dot of glue, the doll's accessory.
TADA! Your dolls are ready!
And to make the empress's little Japanese paper fan, you will need:
- 1 square of 7.5cm by 7.5cm of Japanese paper
- a little gold thread
- Grab your square of Japanese paper, colored side towards you. Mark the horizontal median. Fold the bottom part of your square in half.
- You get this.
- Fold your face, vertically, like an accordion.
- Gather the bottom of your fold using a small golden tie to form your little fan.
TADA! Your little Japanese paper fan is ready!
All you have to do is stick it on your doll.
Once your dolls are made, why not put them in a frame with a colored background or mount them in a garland to create a Japanese-style decoration? Let your imagination be free.
Find, in store and on the e-shop, our card of 6 silhouettes of kokeshi and of samurai to cut out to make other little dolls!
Also discover our kits designed in our workshops bringing together all the necessary materials and step-by-step instructions for our other Japanese dolls:
- the Kokeshi - Yellow, Pink, Green and Sky Blue,
- Kokeshi - Pink, Mauve and Sky Blue
- Kokeshi - Sea Green, Mint and Pale Pink
- the Samurai - Red, Dark Blue, Water Green and Gold
I hope you enjoy this new tutorial. I'll see you very soon for new articles around spring!
Until then, take good care of yourself.