Fanbyte Makes: Tissue Ghosts from Rilakkuma and Kaoru

Welcome to Fanbyte Makes, a new column where we take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. We’ll be featuring cosplay, crafts, and art how-tos for projects inspired by games, anime and more. If you follow along and make one of our projects at home, be sure to tweet it at us at @FanbyteMedia so we can see! 

Having a broken foot is boring. Being laid out after a trip down the stairs, I found myself with way too much free time on my hands — the kind of free time that lends itself to watching television for days on end. But that made me feel a little restless, so I decided to try something new.

Rilakkuma and Kaoru is a Netflix original series, created by Dwarf Studio in Japan. The show is brought to life using stop motion animation, resulting in short but satisfying episodes. Kaoru, a salarywoman, struggles with balancing life, love and work with the help of her unusual roommates. Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiiroitori are two bears and a chicken (respectively) complicating but enriching her life at each turn. Each episode depicts Kaoru’s relatable dilemmas and their solutions, ending with a lesson she has learned thanks to her animal accomplices.

The pull of this show lies in its relatability. While the bears add an element of whimsy, the trials Kaoru faces are all too familiar, from her budgeting snacks to feeling inadequate compared to her friends. Seeing Kaoru work through each day with her fuzzy friends made me feel as though things could and would get better after I broke my foot. All I needed was a bear.        

In one rainy episode of Rilakkuma and Kaoru, Korilakkuma creates tissue “ghosts” of all four roomies and hangs them in the window. Since we’re getting into the rainy season here in Oregon and the craft reminded me of Halloween, I just knew it was too cute to pass up. I decided to make some ghost bears of my own.

Build a (Ghost) Bear Workshop

I used the following materials in my recreation of the Rilakkuma and Kaoru ghosts. They’re all pretty cheap and you likely have most of them lying around the house.

  • A box of tissues
  • Clear rubber bands (I found these in the hair/beauty section of the dollar store)
  • Cotton balls
  • A dark pencil or eyeliner pencil
  • Clear tape
  • Yarn (the television series uses orange, pink, green and yellow if you’d like to be screen accurate)

Now, let’s get started!

How to Make Bear Ghosts

Step One

Grab two tissues, two cotton balls, and three clear bands. Starting with the ears, take one tissue and one cotton ball and split the cotton ball in half. Make the ears by placing the cotton ball in the fold of the tissue and securing it with a band. 

Step Two

Take your second tissue and cut or tear two holes in the fold, big enough for the ears to fit through but tight enough that you won’t see too much of the tear. Squeeze the ears through the second tissue.

Step Three

Place a cotton ball inside the inner tissue. This will be the head. Secure the cotton ball with another band. 

Step Four

Take your dark pencil (you can use a marker, but I’ve found a dark pencil doesn’t bleed as much) and draw the face on to your ghost. 

Step Five

Cut the yarn to the length you’d like to hang it, and tie the string around the ghost. Using the clear tape, secure the yarn against the head so that the bear hangs correctly. Since they are top-heavy, I found this helps it to stay upright rather than face downwards. Now hang up your bear and enjoy!

How to Make Kaoru and Kiiroitori

These are your standard tissue ghosts, so they require fewer instructions and no scissors (if you’re making these with young children, these are the easier ones). 

Step One

Taking 2 tissues and a cotton ball, double the tissues and place the cotton ball in the fold of the tissues. This makes it a little sturdier when drawing the face.

Step Two

Draw the faces on your ghosts.

Step Three

Follow step 5 of the bear tutorial. Enjoy!

If you make your own ghost bears, be sure to tweet them at @FanbyteMedia!