How to Make Your Own Tanabata Decoration


Every year the Tanabata festival is celebrated around the world in commemoration of the stars Orihime (Vega) and Kengyu (Altair), two lovers separated by the Milky Way except for this one night. Originating in China, this romantic story became popular in Japan beginning in the 8th century and is still widely celebrated to this day.

Tanabata means the "7th evening," and is celebrated during the 7th night of the 7th month. Due to the change from the lunar calendar to the Gregorian calendar, it is often celebrated on July 7th, but traditionally it is held in August, when the sky is clear and the two stars are closest in the sky.

The Tanabata festival is often characterized by writing wishes on colorful strips of paper (tanzaku) onto sprigs of bamboo branches , but another popular decoration is the kusudama, the colorful, round decorations with long strips of paper hung during the festivals. Here, you can find directions to create your very own kusudama!

This craft activity was created by Discover Nikkei staff at the Japanese American National Museum for a Tanabata Workshop as part of the Museum's 10th Anniversary of the Pavilion Open House event on June 20, 2009.

Slides in this album 

Gather Materials

You will need:
1.) 15 Sheets of Tissue paper
2.) 1 strip of sturdy paper (Cardstock may be preferable, but regular paper is fine)
3.) 5 pieces of twist ties or wire
4.) 1 sheet of foil paper (cut to make fringe)

Tanabata Kazari How-to: Gather Materials
País: ylkawashima

Making the Flower: Step 6

Hold the twist tie firmly and taking one side of the sheets fan open the sheets so they make a half circle. Flip the edges of the sheets up to make this step easier. Repeat on the other side. You should have what resembles the bottom of a circular container.

Tanabata Kazari How-to: Making the Flowers Step 6
País: ylkawashima

Making the Flowers: Step 7

Carefully take the top sheet of one side and lift up towards the center to cover middle. Alternate sides and repeat for each layer.

Tanabata Kazari How-to: Making the Flowers Step 7
País: ylkawashima

Assembling the Flowers: 1

Take a twist tie and roll it around the top of 1 of the flower’s “stem” 2 times (this will be used to hang your tanabata)

Tanabata Kazari How-to: Assembling the Flowers 2
País: ylkawashima

Putting It All Together 2

1.) Wrap a twist tie around 1 end of the paper.
2.)Then spread it across the diameter of the circle and wrap the opposite end. **try not to squeeze the circle shape

Tanabata Kazari How-to: Putting it All Together 2
País: ylkawashima

Putting It All Together 3

1)Take the foil paper and cut fringes, but remember to leave an uncut strip at the top. **The circle strip of paper should be positioned so the twist tie that spreads across the strip is at the bottom.
2)Wrap the fringe firmly around the circle and stick double-sided tape to …

Tanabata Kazari How-to: Putting it All Together 3
País: ylkawashima

Putting It All Together 4

Twist tie the bottom “stems” to the one in the ring to finish. And now you have your very own tanabata decoration!

Mini Tanabata Kazari
País: ylkawashima

Album Type


ylkawashima — Última actualización Jun 28 2021 1:49 a.m.

Login or register
to contribute to the Nikkei Album

Welcome to the NEW Nikkei Album!

We've launched Nikkei Album in beta, so everyone can now start uploading and creating their own albums. There may be things that don't work quite right yet. Please email us to report any errors.

Browse the Nikkei Album

Reciba novedades

Regístrese para recibir actualizaciones por email

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Colaborar con el proyecto

Descubra a los Nikkei

Discover Nikkei es un espacio para conectarse con otros y compartir experiencias nikkei. Para que siga creciendo este proyecto necesitamos tu ayuda!

Manera de colaborar >>

Proyecto Japanese American National Museum

The Nippon Foundation