Omamori charms, which resemble kimono fabric, are used to decorate backpacks, keychains and luggage.

Omamori are small, Japanese charms or amulets. Traditionally, amulets were sold at Shinto shrines throughout Japan. They were made by monks that dedicated the charms to Shinto deities. Traditionally, omamori contained written prayers that the bearer would recite to bring good luck and to ward off evil. Today, omamori are made and sold throughout the world.

Cut a small, rectangular piece of traditional Japanese cloth, such as the decorative silk cloth used for Kimonos. Alternatively, cut a piece of cloth depicting a modern design such as a Japanese cartoon character (e.g. Hello Kitty). Fold the pouch in half and sew the sides to create a small pouch.

For a traditional charm, place a tiny piece of wood inside the fabric pouch. For a more contemporary version of the charm, place a different kind of charm, such as a tiny plastic animal, button or other miniature object inside the pouch.

Punch a hole through the pouch at the top, using a hole punch. Punch the hole through both flaps of the fabric, approximately a quarter inch from the top. Thread a ribbon through the hole. Tie and knot the ribbon at the pouch. The ribbon makes it harder for the charm to fall out, and it can be used to attach the charm to a bag or other item.

Include with each omamori a small note to designate its special purpose. Common omamori intentions include safe driving, happy household, good health, passing an important exam, protection from bad luck, romantic luck, fertility, healthy birth, relief from pain and financial fortune.

Things Needed

  • ['Japanese silk fabric', 'Needle and thread', 'Charm', 'Lighter', 'Hole Punch', 'Ribbon', 'Note card']