How to make Japanese patchwork juggling bags (otedama). They’re made from strips of fabric just 1 3/4″ x 3 1/2″. For the less coordinated among us who don’t have a hope of learning to juggle, these would also make super cute pattern weights.
The natural diagonal design that the strips create is brilliant! This is a great gift idea for those older children who are sometimes harder to sew for.
The fun part about this project is that you can cut many same size fabrics as pictured below, and come up with different combinations of otedama. It is the perfect project to use scraps! People used to use scraps of kimono fabrics but of course you can use 100% cotton.
Are you ready?
You will need
1 3/4″ X 3 1/2″ fabric strips(to make one, you will need 4 strips)
Needle & Thread
Small beans or rice
1. Cut lots of 1 3/4″ X 3 1/2″ strips, and lay them out. That way it is easier for you to coordinate and match the fabrics.
2. To make one otedama, you will need 2 sets of fabric strips. Mark in the middle.
3. Lay the fabric strips as the picture shows.
4. Start sewing. I recommend hand stitching; because it is so small, and the corner is very tricky to do by machine (it is perfect as a take along project). Make sure to secure the stiches at the start and finish so they won’t come undone.
5. Make sure to match all the ends and corners, it will make a difference. Please use the pictures as a guide.
Sew from point 1 down to point 2 then over to point 3…
Then sew from point 3 up to point 4…
When you saw all three sides, it would look like this…
Make two of the same parts to make one otedama.
6. Put right sides together on these two parts and sew together. Make sure that the corners match.
7. Turn, and stuff with small beans. Use slip stitch to close.
It was so fun to come up with different combinations. I also made some drawstring bags for my nieces to put the juggling bags in. (with their names on them :) )
Do you want to see my juggler at practice?