Colourful "transparent paper" crafts becoming popular decor choice in Japan

Colourful "transparent paper" crafts becoming popular decor choice in Japan
Decorations made from transparent paper in a variety of colors are striking when hung by windows.

"Transparent paper" is becoming a popular choice for room decor, offering people the chance to add splashes of colour to their homes by folding the paper into such shapes as flowers and stars.

Like origami paper folding, the translucent coloured sheets can easily be made into decorations that can be pasted on window glass and hung from the ceiling.

According to Omochabako, a toy importer in Tokyo, "transparent paper" craft is traditionally popular in Scandinavia.

Unlike Japanese origami, which uses a single sheet of paper for each piece, more than two sheets are folded into flower petals, for example, and glued together to form the final piece.

In Scandinavia, these works are typically displayed by windows in winter during days of weaker sunlight so people can enjoy colorful light in their living rooms.

The layers of translucent paper at folded parts create colour gradations, meaning combinations of various colors will lead to spectacular views.

In Japan, "transparent paper" can be purchased at imported goods stores and through online retailers. About 100 sheets measuring 16 by 16 centimeters each sell for about ¥700 (S$8).

Simple designs can be finished in about 20 minutes, according to Megumi Suzuki, who gives crafting classes in Tokyo. Suzuki has taught paper craft using the colorful "transparent paper" for four years.

A 40-year-old homemaker in Kanagawa Prefecture provides various ways to fold the paper on her website Nakamuraya. She also provides free manuals containing folding and glue instructions with accompanying photos.

"In winter, the condensation that builds up on window glass can make the paper ornaments wet. I recommend you hang them from the ceiling instead," advised the homemaker.

"Single colors are pretty enough on their own, but try using a combination for beautiful results."

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