The first year of college has been an adjustment for my oldest, and we’ve been relieving the stress of challenging classes mixed with pandemic restrictions by watching one of her favorite anime series, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba, based on the manga series by Koyoharu Gotouge.
After one particularly hard day, I made her a pair of simple earrings as inspired by the ones worn by character Tanjiro Kamado. They took me less than an hour, but she loved them and wears them all the time.
Since they went over so well, I decided to add a little paper pendant, also inspired by this series. For both of these designs, I used watercolor paper, as it is not only thick enough to work with, but has a nice texture that holds color well.
Tanjiro’s Hanafuda Earrings
Hanafuda (flower cards) is a Japanese style of playing cards, and Tanjiro’s Bright Sun earrings have been passed down to him through generations. One game played with these cards, Koi-Koi, is pretty fun, and something that card game lovers could easily enjoy.
To make Tanjiro’s earrings, cut two rectangle shapes (about 1″ X 2″). Using a marker or paint, make one side of each one black or dark grey, and draw Tanjiro’s “sun” image on the other side as follows:
Poke a small hole in the top, and place a link through it. Finish by adding a French hook, or clip-on piece for the earrings, that can be worn with cosplay or everyday.
Susamaru’s Temari-Ball-Inspired Necklace
The demon Susamaru utilizes colorful temari balls as weapons, as before she was a demon she enjoyed playing handball with them as a child. Now, however, they aren’t something you want to encounter.
I am not constructing temaris in the proper folk art way, but rather as just a paper craft. The actual embroidery process is much cooler. Here’s little history of these beautiful items.
For this paper craft necklace, you won’t have to be nearly as skilled. Instead, use a quarter or similar sized coin and draw and cut out four identical circles.
On both sides of each circle, draw and color a pattern similar to Susamaru’s (or create your own design).
To construct the ball, leave one circle flat, then gently fold two circles in half. Glue the folded circles down the center of each side of the flat circle.
Take the final circle and cut it in half. Glue one half in the center of each folded piece for a small “ball.” Glue a small eye hook in the top of the ball, and hang on a cord or chain.
For both the earrings and necklace, you can gently add some decoupage paste (or mix of school glue and water) over the top once the pattern dries.
One of the neatest things for me watching this series is being able learn, even indirectly, about some of the traditional Japanese games, and how artistically centered they are.
They even look great when fighting the good fight against fictional demons or real life challenges.