Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Introducing Nimo, my eighth Christmas tree decoration. She is part of my pinecone craft series in Japanese style. Of which, I’d share basic techniques of Chirimen Zaiku (ちりめん細工/Crepe Handicrafts) that I am learning from books. Okay, here is how I make my chirimen pinecone goldfish. Step by step, here we go!
My pinecones were baked before I used them for crafts. Here is how I baked my pinecones. I wanted the colors to be vibrant in this project, so I used yellow acrylic as a base paint. Once it was completely dry, I added red acrylic. Since I was going to cover up the base of the pinecone, I left it unpainted.
While waiting for the acrylic paint on the pinecone to dry completely, I started to work on my goldfish’s eyes. (1) I used two small round cardboards and white chirimen scrapes (later cut into circular shapes).(2) I glued a small amount of batting onto the round cardboard. Then, I placed the side with batting to face the wrong side of the crepe fabric. I glued the fabric onto the back of the cardboard. This would give me a rounded cushioned white part of the eyes. I repeat the steps for the other eye.
(3) I cut two not-too-perfect (:P) circles with black felt fabric, and glued it onto the white parts. (4) I actually made a mistake here in part four. I intended to have bulging eyes for Nimo. However, I cut the fabric too small so the eyes was almost the same size as the bulging part. BAD ESTIMATION! So, Nimo became a Bubble Eye Goldfish instead. LOL!
(1) Now that the pinecone is colored and dried, I wrapped the base with my leftover Christmasy felt fabric (9 x 9 cm), with a few layers of battings in between to give it a rounded look. (2) I drew a pattern like this for the tail on a 12 x 8 cm chirimen Fabric. (3) Then I folded the fabric into halves and cut the pattern out accordingly. (4) Then, I place the right sides of fabric touching each other, and sewed along the seam line on the wrong side. (5) I inverted it right side out, through the opening. I added another stitching line (see picture) and gave it a light pull to give the tail a little curling effect. (6) I tied a few of the top scales together in order to fit and glue the tail onto the pinecone.
1. I used a 3 x 7 cm fabric for the mouth. I folded it into halves. (2) I joined the ends of the fabric into a ring, and I sewed the raw edges with a running stitch. At the end, I gave the thread a pull and the raw edges gathered together. (3) Then, I added glue it onto the the pinecone.
For the fins, I used a pentagon pattern. It doesn’t have to be perfect or accurate. I folded it into halves, and sew along the wrong sides. Then, I inverted them right side out and gluee them onto the pinecone.
I added a string and a bell.And to complete it, I added stripes of 5-cm gold-glittering ribbons and glued them in between the pinecone scales (only top of the fish and not on the belly). DONE!