Hanafuda Earrings-August

I keep going back and forth between sharing these. I guess I’m sitting here wanting to write a history lesson because the background of the cards is so interesting. Then I think the explanation is too long and keep backing out.

I’m working on a complete set of earrings based on hanafuda. I love them. I am using the cards I have as a guideline to the theme, and I’m hand drawing and adapting the designs to cut on the Glowforge.

Here is the August theme set:


They’re very pretty, and the background story would make it interesting…go for it! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


They came to Japan by way of the Portugese in the mid-16th century. The first Japanese-made decks were made in the late 1500s. They changed in appearance over time as foreigners and gambling were banned.

They consist of 12 suits which are months, and have 4 cards for each suit. I think the appearance as they are now happened in the early 1800s.

One thing I think is totally interesting is that Nintendo was founded just to produce and sell these cards. I think that was 1889. The same cards and designs made it’s way to Korea in the 1890s.

There are different games you can play with the same cards. My family used to play with these cards at every family get-together…but I never could figure out what the heck they were doing. Lots of shouting, slamming cards down, and clinking noises (the Korean versions are plastic-makes a great sound when throwing them down-very nostalgic).

Ok…I’m done, I didn’t go into a huge history…a brief overview…probably so brief it may be inaccurate :rofl:


Fascinating, I love learning new things. The earrings are beautiful!


These are pretty. Great sketching. And great lighting for the photo, which reminds me I should get one of those photo light boxes. Hmm.

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These are really pretty!


Very interesting backstory, lovely earrings, and a great idea.

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The earrings are very pretty on their own. Knowing a bit of the backstory and something about the playing cards makes it more interesting. I like the way you have interpreted the bottom section of the cards.


I made a lightbox from @geek2nurse’s pattern in free files. I only had to change a little bit to fit my 1/8-inch board, which I think I posted on there later in the thread. For diffusers, I used very thin cutting boards from Daiso.

Other than that, the photos are taken on my phone. then I use the free lightroom app on my phone to boost the exposure…because it’s really dark in my house no matter how many lights are on.

@dklgood My originals were much more exact. I personally always like to see how close I could draw something to the original. But, ten minutes to engrave one small earring just wasn’t worth it. And my husband said that it looked too heavy. I originally made them 2 inches long, but he said to go smaller. So they are slightly larger than 1.5 inches long now. Which means that unless I engraved them, they turned to lovely charcoal.

Lots of testing and redrawing later, I finally came up with hills/grass that don’t disintegrate at that size.


The original Pokemon!


Those look pretty good!

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In Hawaii, I grew up playing Hanafuda in elementary school. It was so fun! Love your designs! As an adult, I am learning how to play Mah Jong. Those would be pretty designs to create also.


My thoughts exactly. Thanks for asking and OP thanks for the great answer


I’ve got a mahjong set started too (uhh…I started it two years ago and got distracted), but I’m now in the “pick one item and finish that first or nothing will ever be complete” stage.

And I still can’t follow my own advice, because I’m working on 3 major projects right now, though I suspect I’ll finish them all at the same time. Hopefully by the end of the month I can share those :rofl::rofl:


A perpetual state of being for me…:thinking:

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