21 July 2023
Design and Delight: Personalizing Your Daruma Doll
If you have ever chanced upon a cheery and chubby round doll colored in red and white at a store or a restaurant, you've likely already made the acquaintance of a "Daruma" doll.
For centuries, these unique dolls have been placed in homes, and places of work due to the promise of luck they bring. Its simplicity and unwavering stare offer comforting motivation for those in pursuit of personal goals and achievements.
To spread the joy and excitement these Daruma dolls deliver, this summer we have introduced a new line of adorable Edo Kimekomi Daruma Dolls. In this blog, we present to you a delightful way to become familiar with these intriguing figures and get to know their charm. Some of us from the office gathered together for a hands-on experience of decorating Daruma dolls using glittering and colorful stickers and placing them on assorted stands to showcase their allure.
The final outcome was a delight to behold! From minimal to dazzling, our free-flowing creativity gave the Daruma dolls an unmistakable personal touch.
- An Introduction to Daruma Dolls
- The Kimekomi Look
- A Modern Makeover
- An Experience of Fun and Fortitude
An Introduction to Daruma Dolls
Going back to the Edo period (c.1603-1867), Daruma dolls were originally used as protective charms meant to ward off evil spirits. But now, they have become symbols of personal aspiration, an iconic symbol of luck.
A Daruma doll is truly unique as it's a traditional craft that comes to life in the hands of its beholder. The custom is rather interesting.
A new Daruma doll lacks its prominent eye details. Upon its receipt, one instills a wish or sets a goal, and then draws in the doll's left eye. And after the wish is granted or the goal achieved, the other eye is filled in. This engaging custom makes every Daruma doll a unique and personal expression of one's dreams.
The Kimekomi Look
Our new collection of Daruma dolls are all meticulously handcrafted using the timeless "Kimekomi" technique—an age-old Japanese artistry dating back to the 18th century. This method involves carving out grooves into a wooden base and tucking in fabric into the grooves to beautifully decorate its appearance. Edo Kimekomi Daruma Dolls are especially cherished, as they display an elegant blend of traditional craftsmanship and beauty with their Nishijin Ori Brocade dressing.
A Modern Makeover
The list of things we prepared to customize the Daruma dolls is short and simple.
We gathered up some colorful, sparkling round stickers. All the Daruma dolls come with these purple cushions, but you can also use coasters or any kind of decorative paper. We got out some small pieces of washi paper we had in our drawers.
First we each chose a Daruma doll in our favorite color.
The always stylish Yukawa-san chose the black, the serene and yet daring-at-times Shirata-san chose pink, Umehara-san, the office artist, chose the blue Daruma. As for myself, I opted for the white harboring hopes that the color and graceful patterns would compensate for my lack of artistic sensibility.
Although going freestyle, we all began by choosing stickers for the eyes.
One might presume that simply adding stickers to a doll would be a fleeting task, but surprisingly, as you begin to look closely at the Daruma's expression, you start contemplating its potential thoughts and visualizing ways to accentuate its charm.
Shirata-san's three-sticker combo was quite a unique choice.
After about 15 minutes of sticking this and that, changing colors and adjusting positions, our customized Daruma dolls were complete.
And here are our "masterpieces."
A trio of stickers for the eyes and the line of sparkles on its dressing offered a captivating twist for Shirata-san's Daruma doll.
My minimalistically adorned Daruma doll. The gold coaster gave it an extra dash of gleam.
Using the attached stickers and cushion, Umehara-san's Daruma is poised with a sparkle beneath.
The dazzling Daruma made by Yukawa-san is decorated with a spirited splash of deco-glitter playfulness.
An Experience of Fun and Fortitude
Even for those who aren't quite sure of their inner-artist qualities, decorating a Daruma doll can be an enjoyable activity. Not only will it introduce you to the doll's enchanting allure, but it also allows you to elevate its already ornamental aesthetic.
Edo Kimekomi Daruma Dolls can offer more than simple decoration as they symbolize fortitude and good fortune. Placing one in a cherished spot in your home can serve as a daily nudge to continue pursuing your ambitions. So here's to enjoying all the decorating fun and, even more importantly, to your future goals and success!