Sequin Shapes Video Series – Almond Shapes

At the beginning of the year I placed my usual restock order with Cartwright’s. Along with the usual stuff I got some sequin shapes that I’ve never used before. The next several videos I do will be part of my “Sequin Shapes Series”. These will include geometric type shapes and will not include flower, leaf or shell shapes.

Today’s shape is the Hologram Beveled Almond in Silver.

Simple Four Crosses Sequined Kimekomi Easter Egg

I call this “Simple Four Crosses” because I use a simple 4 division and the ribbon and sequin pattern create 4 crosses on each side of the egg. This design is very versatile. I’ve made several Easter Eggs using this same basic design.

I call this “Simple Four Crosses” because I use a simple 4 division and the ribbon and sequin pattern create 4 crosses on each side of the egg.

Materials & Tools Needed:

  • ball point pen
  • tape measure
  • craft knife
  • tucking tool (I use a straight upholstery needle)
  • smooth foam egg, about the size of a standard chicken egg
  • blue floral cotton fabric
  • dark blue 5mm slightly cupped sequins*
  • 1/4 inch silver sequin pins*
  • 3/4 inch silver sequin pins*
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*
  • 2 blue pearl topped corsage pins
  • six 1cm silver hologram sequins
  • six 5mm blue hologram flower sequins
  • light blue satin ribbon
  • craft glue

*Purchased from Cartwright’s

Instructions:

  1. Divide your egg into 4 equal sections.
  2. First trace along the mold line using your tape measure as a straight edge. Then measure the height of your egg from the north pole to the south pole. Divided the height by 2 to find the midpoint. Mark the midpoint on both sides of the mold line. Next measure the distance horizontally between the mold line midpoints. Divide that number by 2 to find the center. Mark the center clearly on both sides of the egg. Draw a horizontal line connecting the the points on the mold line and the center points you just marked all the way around the egg. This creates an equator line. Next connect the north pole, center equator point and the south pole on both sides of the egg to finish your simple 4 division.

  3. Cut foam along all lines.
  4. Lay the cotton fabric over the top of each cut section and tuck in the edges.
  5. Pin the satin ribbon around the egg covering all seams using the 3/4 inch pins.
  6. Using the 1/4 inch pins, in sequins along both sides of the ribbon.
  7. Thread a seed bead onto the pin first, then a sequin, dip the end in craft glue and then pin to the egg.

  8. At each ribbon intersection along the equator, pin a small blue flower and large silver sequin.
  9. Thread a seed bead onto a 3/4 inch pin, then a small blue flower, then the 1cm silver sequin. Dip in glue and pin to the ribbon.

  10. At the bottom of the egg, thread a small blue flower sequin onto a pearl headed pin, and then a large silver sequin. Dip in glue and pin to the bottom ribbon intersection.
  11. Top off your egg with a hanging ribbon and bow.
  12. First thread a blue flower, then a large silver sequin to a pearl headed pin. Next tread on the hanging ribbon and last the bow. Your bow should have 4 loops. Adjust the size to you like. Dip the pin in glue and pin to the top of your egg.

This design is very versatile. Here are several more ornaments made using the same basic design.

Easter Egg Sagemon

Hey everyone! I know it’s been several weeks since my last post. I just started a new part-time job teaching English to kindergarten kids and have been busy with training and my first lessons. We’ve also been experiencing strong aftershocks here in Japan. We had a 5 + as I was writing this post. Life is still a little weird and it’s been difficult getting back into my old routine. Anyway, enough excuses.

Introducing Japanese Sagemon!


In the time of the Samurai, in castles and wealthy households, nannies made sagemon for the children in their care to enjoy. Sagemon literally means “hanging stuff” in Japanese. They are mobiles made of traditional Japanese toys and may included temari, kimekomi balls and little fabric dolls of popular insects, birds, fish, etc. A mobile with 50 hanging toys was made for a child in hope that he or she would live 50 years, which during the Edo period was full life expectancy. Each ornament and doll had a meaning of some kind. For example, a cicada has a relatively long life for an insect, living 7 years underground, and when they emerge from the ground their noisy singing means they are strong and healthy. Just as the strong cries of a baby at birth is a sign of good health. There is even a specific order the different items should be hung in. Birds and flying things should be hung at the top, and so on. (Info translated from http://sagemon.net/sandai/)

Nowadays they are typically hung for Hina Matsuri, aka Doll Festival or Girls Festival and the traditional meanings behind this ancient craft have been lost within the general population. However, they are still a popular craft and the craft stores carry kits for simple sagemon, as well as individual kits for the little cloth animals, simple temari, and kimekomi balls.

I’m not so interested in the little fabric dolls. They are cute but not really my thing. I did however like the idea of hanging ornaments in a mobile. Why just hang ornaments on a tree or put them in a basket? Let’s think outside the basket!

Since it’s April, I decided to make an Easter Egg Sagemon. Luckily the small foam eggs I use already have holes in them.

I made 10 random Easter egg ornaments of varying styles and colors, using designs and techniques I have shown you in previous posts. I then strung them onto 4 pieces of thin cord, along with some beads, and attached them to a hoop using tape.

I used a thicker cord for the top hangers. I measured the diameter of the hoop and cut the thick cord twice as long. I then I sewed the cords together in a cross and taped the ends to the hoop.

I then strung a key ring at the cross point and tied a bow of pink cord around the hanging cords to create a loop.

The hoop I used was originally intended as a handle for a handbag. The clear plastic hoops were much cheaper than embroidery hoops or the hoops being sold specifically for sagemon. It doesn’t really matter what you choose to use because you’re going to cover it up anyway. I used a long piece of wide white ribbon to wrap the hoop. I sewed the end of the ribbon on the inside of the hoop with white thread.

Then I remembered I had this green beaded fringe from a project I did years ago. I sewed the fringe to the ribbon on the outside of the hoop.

That’s pretty much it! Add some silk flowers or stuffed bunny’s and chicks if you wish. Hang a large egg in the center. There are so many possibilities. Be creative and have fun.

May I also suggest you do a Google image search for “sagemon” or “さげもん”. You might be able to copy and paste those Japanese letters into your search bar. There are hundreds of wonderful pictures to gain inspiration from.

Got a question about this or another project? Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Picture Window Easter Egg

White rabbits are a common theme in Japanese art. Apparently, it comes from an ancient Japanese myth about rabbit that lives on the moon and makes mochi (Japanese rice cakes). The Japanese also adopted the Chinese zodiac in ancient times and according to that calender 2011 is the year of the hare. I’ve encountered a lot rabbit motif fabric in my search through the fat quarter bins at my local craft store. I bought some of this fabric earlier this year knowing it would be perfect for Easter.

The little rabbits on the fabric I got were perfect for a small picture window egg. I’ve seen picture window ornaments in various shapes and sizes throughout my kimekomi research. It’s a very common design. I was inspired by what I have seen others do but I came up with the “how-to” totally on my own. You can easily change the measurements to change the size and shape of your window.

Materials & Tools Needed:

  • ball point pen
  • tape measure
  • craft knife
  • tucking tool (I use a straight upholstery needle)
  • liquid whiteout
  • glue stick
  • smooth foam egg
  • cotton fabric, one with a rabbit theme and another complimentary pattern and color
  • 5mm sequins in the complimentary color of your choice
  • 1/4 inch sequin pins*
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*
  • 2 pearl topped corsage pins
  • 2 plum blossom sequins in the complimentary color of your choice

*Purchased from Cartwright’s

Basic Instructions:

  1. Divide your egg into 8 equal sections.
  2. Using your tape measure, measure the height of your egg from the top point to the bottom point. Divided the height by 2 to find the midpoint.
  3. Mark the midpoint on every other line.
  4. Divide your midpoint by 2 to find the quarter point.
  5. Mark the quarter point twice, once measured from the top and once from the bottom, on the lines without midpoint marks.
  6. Using your tape measure as a straight edge, connect the dots. Midpoints to quarter points, creating diamond shapes on 4 sides of the egg.
  7. White out the line in the center of each diamond.
  8. Cut foam along all remaining lines.
  9. Make a cutting pattern for your window fabric with tracing paper or clear vinyl.
  10. Cut out 4 panels of fabric, with your desired image at the center, using the cutting pattern.
  11. Spread glue on the foam, lay the fabric over the top and tuck in the edges. Do this for all 4 windows.
  12. Glue and tuck the second color of fabric onto the remaining exposed foam.
  13. Pin sequins along all the seams except for the seams along the midpoint lines.
  14. Pin a plum blossom sequin at the top and bottom of the egg with a peal topped corsage pin.

Sequin Swirls

It’s been a week since the biggest recorded earthquake in Japan’s history hit. I am extremely lucky to live outside the area that has been directly effected. I never lost power or water, and the only issues have been scheduled blackouts and irregular train service. So far these issues have had little effect on my daily life. Life is starting to feel normal again, aside from the occasional aftershock. So without further ado, here is my latest creation.

This idea came from a doodle pattern I used to draw all over my notebooks when I was in high school.

Materials & Tools Needed:

  • ball point pen
  • tape measure
  • craft knife
  • tucking tool (I use a straight upholstery needle)
  • glue stick
  • 14.5cm tall foam egg
  • navy blue and red cotton fabric
  • 5mm gold and silver hologram sequins*
  • 1/4 inch sequin pins*
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*

*Purchased from Cartwright’s

Basic Instructions:

  1. Draw 2 perpendicular lines circling your egg vertically, dividing it into 4 equal sections.
  2. Cut foam along lines.
  3. Glue and tuck fabric on each panel alternating colors red and blue.
  4. Pin sequins on top of the fabric in a random swirl pattern. I did half in gold swirls and the other half in silver.

If you are new to making kimekomi and sequin ornaments please visit the newbies page for more detail on cutting foam, tucking fabric and pinning sequins.

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