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 Fukuro-chan, my tenth 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 owl. 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 brown as a base paint. Once it was completely dry, I added a bright red acrylic.
(1) For each eye, I cut a circle out of a piece of 5×5 cm white Chirimen fabric (crepe fabric). I did a running stitch around the circle and gave it a firm pull so that the fabric gathered up. (2) I repeat the same steps for a smaller piece of beige Chirimen fabric (4×4 cm). Without cutting the thread, I sew the two “circles” together (at the position X).(3) Then I colored the beige circle with brown crayons to make the eyes more interesting, and sewed on a 6 mm bead to each eyes (with yellow thread).
(1) This is the pattern I made for the head, kinda like Batman’s headgear. LOL! With the right sides touching, I sewed along the seams (see blue dotted lines) and turned it inside out. (2) At the lower part of the head, I used blanket stitch. To give it a glittering effect, I combined 2 strands of gold threads and 3 strands of yellow embroidery thread. (Special Note: Do this slowly since the threads tangles easily, it may be less stressful if you use ready-made shinny embroidery threads instead.)(3) I used a big needle to add the 22-cm red string (and bell) to the top of the head. If you don’t have a huge needle like mine, it will be easier to add them when sewing the top seam. (4) I tied a knot to secure the bell and string, and packed in some wool to the two pointed “ears” (up to about half of the head). (5) I folded a 4×4 cm yellow Chirimen fabric to make the beak (mouth). (6) I sewed the beak to the head. Then, I used the remaining thread to add the eyes to the head as well.(7) I packed in some more wool tightly, to filled up to three-quarter of the head.
This is the pattern I did for the wings. A little mistake here: the opening was too narrow, so it will be better if the pattern shaped like this (see brown dotted lines). I sewed the set of two fabrics together with seams like this (see black dotted lines), turned in inside out, and sewed up the opening.To put them together, I first positioned and glued the wings to the pinecone. Next, I applied plenty of craft glue on the wool stuffings and felt fabric (inside the head) and attached it to the pinecone. After waiting for it to dry completely, my cute Christmas tree decor is now ready to hang.