Hina matsuri, which literally means "girls' party" or "doll party", is a party that takes place in Japan every year on March 3. It is traditional to display decorative dolls during this holiday. You can make dolls for this holiday yourself using materials such as heavy paper and decorative cardboard.
Method 1 of 2: Make a paper doll
Step 1. Cut out the head and body from heavy card stock
Use sharp scissors to cut out a small head and a small body from a sheet of white or off-white card stock.
- The head should have a diameter of 2 cm. Use a 10 euro cent coin if you need help with trimming.
- The body should be 3-4mm wide and about 5cm long.
Step 2. Cut out the paper for the collar
Take a 1.5cm wide strip of chiyogami paper and use your scissors to cut a 2.5cm long strip.
- This strip of paper will serve as the collar for the doll.
- Note that you will need the same type of paper to create the doll's obi later.
- This paper should also match the other two pieces of chiyogami paper you are going to use, but the pattern should not be exactly the same.
Step 3. Fold the paper collar around the body
Place the collar band behind the body band. Fold the ends of the collar over the front of the body so that they go down diagonally.
- Fold the collar band in half before folding it around the body.
- The body and the collar should be perpendicular when placing the collar behind the body.
- For accuracy, fold the collar so that the left end is under the right one. The opposite folding is only used for the deceased.
- Use glue or duct tape to hold the collar in place.
Step 4. Create a raised edge on the main chiyogami paper
Take a 5.5 x 12.5 cm strip of chiyogami paper and fold one end twice to form an edge.
- This strip of paper will form the kimono and the ridge will match the collar of the kimono.
- Lay the paper with the wrong side up. Fold one end back 1 cm. If the pattern on the paper has a top and a bottom, fold the top of the strip.
- Turn the paper over so that the right side is facing up. Fold the paper over to the right side, 0.5 cm from the previous fold, so that you have a raised edge.
Step 5. Attach the body to the kimono
Center the body band on the kimono paper. Secure them together with glue or tape.
- Lay the kimono paper with the wrong side up.
- Lay the body in the middle of the raised edge of the kimono.
- Position the body so that its collar protrudes just above the collar of the kimono.
Step 6. Fold down the left corner
Lower the left corner of the kimono diagonally, folding it over the inside collar and body.
Mark only the fold of the kimono paper on the raised edge and just below it. Do not mark the fold along its entire length
Step 7. Fold the rest of the left side
Fold the rest of the left edge of the kimono towards the middle, over the body paper. Mark the crease along the entire length of the left side.
- The left side of the kimono should be folded vertically so as to create a straight body.
- If a corner of the kimono collar protrudes from the edge of the paper, cut it with scissors.
Step 8. Repeat the process on the right side
Fold the right angle of the kimono diagonally over the front of the doll. Fold the entire right edge toward the middle over the front of the doll.
- When you fold the right angle, mark only the crease on the top of the raised edge.
- Fold the right side vertically so that the body is perfectly straight. If any part of the kimono collar protrudes from this fold, cut it off.
- Make sure that the folds at the right and left angles are even and symmetrical.
- The right side should not completely cover the left side. Leave 3-4mm of paper visible on the left side.
- Secure the right edge to the body with glue or duct tape to hold the kimono in place.
Step 9. Cut out a piece of paper for the obi
Take your 1.5cm wide chiyogami paper and cut a strip about 4cm long.
- This strip of paper will be used to make the obi.
- The paper used for this strip is the same as the one you made the inside collar.
Step 10. Fold the obi around the kimono
Put the band of the obi on the front of the kimono. Fold the ends so that they overlap at the back of the kimono and secure them in place with glue or tape.
- The obi should be perpendicular to the body when you place it on it.
- The top edge of the obi should fit right over the angles you made at the top of the kimono when you folded its sides toward the middle.
- Cut off any excess paper protruding from the obi at the back of the doll before securing it in place.
Step 11. Cut out a piece of paper for the obijime
Cut a 4 x 1 cm strip of chiyogami paper.
- This paper will form the obiim which is placed over the obi.
- For this strip, choose a matching, but different, pattern.
Step 12. Put the obijime on top of the obi
Center the obijime on the obi. Fold the ends so that they meet at the back of the doll and secure them in place with glue or tape.
- Fold the obi around the body the same way you did with the obi.
- The obijime must be centered on the obi.
Step 13. Attach the head to the body
Use glue or duct tape to attach one side of the card stock header to the visible end at the top of the body tape.
Only a very small section of the body tape should be visible when you are done. This small section corresponds to the neck of the doll
Step 14. Make hair out of black card stock
Cut out a fringe from this card stock. Cut out another piece of black card stock to make the back of the hairstyle.
You can create the hairstyle in any style you want. Remember that the bangs and the back of the hairstyle should both be slightly wider than the head
Step 15. Secure the hair to the head
Place the bangs on the top of the head and secure it with glue or tape. Place the back part of the hairstyle on the back of the head and secure it in the same way.
The back of the hairstyle should also go down behind the doll's kimono
Step 16. Take a step back and admire your work
Your paper hina matsuri doll is now complete.
Method 2 of 2: Make a wooden clothespin doll
Step 1. Paint the surface of a styrofoam ball
Cover a small polystyrene ball with an even coat of white paint.
- The ball should have a diameter of about 4 cm or slightly less than half the length of the clothespin you are going to use for the doll's body.
- Let the paint dry before continuing after this step.
- If you don't want to paint the ball, you can wrap it in white organza or muslin.
Step 2. Put the ball on a skewer
Stick the tip of a wooden skewer into the ball.
- Choose a skewer that will fit firmly in the slot of the clothespin you are going to use.
- Pierce only half of the ball. Do not pull the skewer out on the other side.
- Make sure the pick enters the ball at a right angle.
- The peak section protruding from the ball should be about as long as the slot in the clothespin. If necessary, trim the pick with very sturdy scissors or a small saw.
Step 3. Insert the skewer into the slot of the clothespin
Press the exposed portion of the pick into the slot in the clothespin.
- Leave a 5mm skewer section visible between the top of the clothespin and the head to make the neck.
- Ideally, there should be enough pressure to hold the pick in place. If it still moves in the slot, you can fix it with a dot of glue. Let the glue dry before continuing.
Step 4. Cut out some black crepe paper hair
You will need to cut out a piece of paper for the bangs and another for the back of the hair.
- The bangs should be wide enough to wrap around half of the ball. It should be high enough to go from the top of the head to the middle of the face.
- The back part of the hairstyle should be wide enough to wrap around half of the ball. It can be as long as you want.
Step 5. Tie the hair back to the head
Completely cover the top half of the head with a thin layer of glue. First put the back of the hairstyle then the bangs.
- The back part should start at the top of the head. Lay the piece of black crepe paper over the glue on the back of the head and press down. It should wrinkle on its own and pull away from the body naturally.
- The bangs should also start at the top of the head. Press it against the glue at the front of the head, letting it overlap the edges of the back part of the hairstyle slightly.
- Let the glue dry before continuing.
Step 6. Place the clothespin in its base
Firmly press the clothespin lower body into a matching pedestal.
This base will allow the doll to stand upright
Step 7. Wrap a strip of cardboard to make a tube
Cut a strip of thin cardboard and wrap it around the clothespin forming the body of the doll. Glue the edges of the cardboard together and let the glue dry before continuing.
- The cardboard strip should be as high as the total height of the clothespin and its base.
- The tube must have a diameter equal to that of the base. You must be able to introduce the body of the doll into the tube by its base.
Step 8. Flatten the top of the cardboard tube
Use your thumb and forefinger to flatten the top of the tube, marking a crease on each side of the clothespin.
- These flattened parts will form the shoulders. They should be below the sides of the head and not below the front and back of the head.
- Only mark the folds 2 or 3 cm from the top. Do not bend the tube over its entire length.
Step 9. Remove a section of cardboard from the front
Carefully cut out a small rectangle of cardboard from the front of the tube.
- The rectangle should go down about as low as the folds you marked.
- The width of the rectangle should be about the same as the top of the clothespin.
- When you have removed this rectangle of cardboard, it will be easier to add a collar to the doll.
Step 10. Make a collar for the doll
Cut out a long strip of washi paper. Add a strip of solid color origami paper to the washi paper strip.
- The washi paper strip should measure approximately 4 x 13 cm.
- The strip of plain origami paper should measure approximately 0.5 x 13 cm.
- Glue the plain origami paper to the top edge of the washi paper. Let the glue dry before continuing.
Step 11. Attach the collar to the doll
Wrap the collar around the skewer so that its two ends overlap at the front of the doll.
- The right end should be folded over over the left end for accuracy.
- Insert the left end into the small rectangular opening you cut on the front of the cardboard tube. This will help keep the collar in place. Leave the right end outside and secure it in place with a dot of glue.
Step 12. Cut two strips of paper for the sleeves
Cut out two rectangles from the same washi paper. They should both be twice as long as the doll's body. The width of the rectangles should be roughly equal to the length of the clothespin.
Fold each rectangle in half crosswise. Mark the folds well. These pieces of double-layered paper will be used to make the sleeves
Step 13. Cut the edges to create a sleeve shape
Round off the inside corner of the bottom and cut a notch in the outside corner of the bottom of the sleeves.
- Position the paper so that the fold is on the right or left.
- Locate the lower corner of the folded edge. Carefully round off this angle with scissors.
- Make a horizontal incision in the opposite edge, where the paper opens, about a third of the way down from the top. This incision should be only 2.5 cm long.
- Cut a line diagonally between the inside end of the incision you just made and the lower corner of the open edge of the paper. Remove and discard the paper triangle that comes off when you join the two incisions.
- Follow this step for both rounds.
Step 14. Tie the sleeves to the body of the doll
Glue the open edge of the sleeve to the middle of the doll's back. The top edge of the cardboard body should line up with the top edge of the washi paper sleeve.
- Position the sleeve paper so that it is under the doll's hair.
- Glue the sleeve to the side and front of the doll so that it meets the collar you attached earlier. Let the rest of the sleeve hang freely over the side.
- Repeat this step for both sleeves.
Step 15. Cut out a piece of paper for the skirt
Cut out another rectangle using the same washi paper. Make sure the rectangle is long enough to wrap around the bottom of the cardboard tube.
The skirt only needs to be long enough to go from the bottom of the collar to the bottom of the doll
Step 16. Tie the skirt to the body
Wrap the skirt paper around the body. Glue the edges in place on the left side of the doll.
- The visible edge will look like the edge of a kimono.
- Don't worry if you still see a strip of cardboard under the washi paper. The obi will cover her.
Step 17. Cut a strip of paper for the obi
Cut a strip of paper about 2 inches wide and long enough to go around the doll's body.
- The obi should be large enough to cover the visible part of the cardboard. If 2 inches is not enough, cut a slightly wider strip.
- Do not use the same washi paper for the obi. You can use solid color origami paper or another piece of washi paper with a different pattern.
Step 18. Glue the obi around the body of the doll
Wrap the band of the obi around the doll's upper body, hiding the visible cardboard. Glue the obi in place and let the glue dry.
The ends of the obi should be hidden on the back of the doll
Step 19. Display the finished doll
Your wooden clothespin hina matsuri doll is now complete and ready to display.