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Kanzashi Shamrock Pin


Some of my favorite projects seem to come together quite by accident. Ideas like a pin celebrating an Irish holiday and made using a Japanese technique. I was thinking that I wanted to make a little shamrock, then out of nowhere I spotted some flowers that I knew needed to become my clover pin.

In Japan, they make hair accessories with folded fabric flowers and the technique is commonly called kanashi or tsumami kanzashi. There are tons of ways to make these flowers, and a quick search for "diy japanese fabric flowers" will turn up plenty. I especially like the tutorial from The Thread and Kanzashi in Bloom.

These really are quick to make, and I'm confident that even kids could learn how to do this!

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Here's what you need:

Green fabric
Green felt
Embroidery floss
Pin back
Fabric glue
Scissors
Needle and thread

SHAMROCK PIN PDF TEMPLATE (This is optional, as you could create these pieces without printing an entire page...I'll explain along the way)

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Here's what you do:

Cut out four 2-inch circles from green fabric. This is included in the template, if that's easier. Set aside one of the circles.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin
Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Thread your needle and knot the end. Fold one of the circles in half, then add a line of running stitch along the raw, curved edge. The stitches should be a little smaller than 1/4-inch long, and I found that it helps if they start and stop pretty close to the folded edge.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Pull the thread to gather the piece into one of the shamrock leaves.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin
Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Fold another circle and stitch along the edge. Gather it close to the first leaf, then add a third leaf in the same manner.

By the way, the little "puffs" that each leaf has can be pushed in either direction, so if one is going the wrong way, just poke it out so they are all matching.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

With all three leaves together, bring the needle through at the edge of the first leaf. The secret here is to pull these all together into a sort of circle at the center, without pulling so tight that they want to stay in a straight line.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

When you've gotten them all gathered and spaced nicely, take an extra stitch or two and tie a knot to hold it all in place.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

To make your shamrock to be a happy Wild Olive shamrock (you know you want to!), stitch a face in the center of the circle. Again, this is included in the template, or you can make your own face.

If you don't want a face on your clover, leave the circle blank, or switch this part out for a green button.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Make this circle into a fabric yoyo. To do this, fold down the edge of the circle by a little less than 1/4-inch and and stitch with medium-length running stitch. Pull the thread to gather it tight and secure it with a knot.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin
Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Flatten and shape the yoyo so the gathered part isn't sticking out too much in the back, then use fabric glue to attach it to the center of your three leaves. Press and hold it in place for a minute or so until it's sticking. I love Fabri-Tac for things like this because it dries so very quickly which means a lot less frustration!

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Cut out a backing stem piece from green felt. Mine is a 1-inch circle with a stem coming off of it, and it's included in the template.

Stitch the pin back onto the felt piece. Ideally, you'd probably want matching thread, but I grabbed the black because it was close at hand but still blends in.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Put some fabric glue on the back of the circle of felt, then press it onto the back of your shamrock.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Top o' the mornin' to ya, my shamrock friend!

Oh dear. Clearly I'm far too amused by my crafty creations.

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

I like shamrocks with three leaves because in keeping with the story of St. Patrick, they serve as a great reminder of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

But you can very easily add an extra circle leaf to make this into a lucky four-leaf clover. As you can see, you can also reverse the leaves and it's just as cute! In fact, I can't decide which way I like better...

Kanzashi Shamrock Pin
Kanzashi Shamrock Pin

Whichever way you make one of these, I hope you have a happy, lucky St. Patrick's Day next week!

12 comments:

  1. Mollie, your cuteness knows no bounds.... I <3 these so much!!! :)

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  2. Too cute!!! I have to make one of these (or two)!! :)

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  3. These are both super-cute!!!

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  4. Those a very cute! You can even use them on a headband or hair clips

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  5. I'm generally indifferent to shamrocks and clovers, but these are SO CUTE!

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  6. Just gonna echo the other comments this project is super kawaii and easy enough to do!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing. The result looks so adorable I want to ear it. :D

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  8. These are adorable! I love the patterned fabric for the shamrock, it gives it even more personality! This method could also work really well for making a flower!

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  9. Mollie, this is so super sweet! Is there anything I could do to make it an Easter pin?

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    Replies
    1. Converting this to a flower would be easiest. Just use 5 or 6 petals instead of the 3 or 4 leaves. Then use a contrasting center. But now I'm thinking of other ideas too...hmm...let me work on this!

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