Archive for the ‘modular origami’ Category

Waribashi and online diagrams


As I have previously mentioned, I collaborate with Waribashi – a free portuguese online magazine featuring japanese culture and events – on the origami section. Recently, or not so recently, I have added the responsibility of the facebook page of Waribashi, on management and creation of content, and even though I’m quite silent in the blog I still fold! Rest assured! :)
So, since I have yet to finish a print version of the models I’ve been folding and diagraming for Waribashi, not mentioning other folded models, here’s a short assembly of the models with a photo and link to the magazine featuring it (since 2012). All models are quite simple!
No knowledge of portuguese is required. Use thinner and strong paper for small models, sturdier paper for bigger models!
A safe choice/ recommendation:
. rice paper for tiny models
. kraft paper and wrapping paper for small models
. origami paper, wrapping paper and/ or copy paper for bigger models
. exception: tanzaku, use sturdier paper or light cardboard for the base and origami/ wrapping paper for the model

Happy folding!

links open in new tabs/ windows and are a direct link to the magazine online pdf

Waribashi 39, kirigami sakura
April 2012, Waribashi 39
Kirigami Cherry Blossom : 切り紙の桜

Waribashi 40, tsuru
June 2012, Waribashi 40
Crane, twin cranes and mother and child cranes : 鶴、双子鶴、親子鶴

Waribashi 41, butterflies
August 2012, Waribashi 41
(simple) Butterfly : 簡単な蝶

Waribashi 42, traditional kusudama
October 2012, Waribashi 42
Kusudama, traditional : 薬玉、伝統的

Waribashi 43, hebi
February 2013, Waribashi 43
Snake and Year of the Snake : 蛇と巳年

Waribashi 44, unit sakura
April 2013, Waribashi 44
(yet another modular) Cherry Blossom : (ほかのユニット) 桜

Waribashi 45, semi
June 2013, Waribashi 45
Cicada :

Waribashi 46, shiori, tanzaku
August 2013, Waribashi 46
Book marker and Tanzaku : 栞、短冊

Waribashi 47, akino ha
October 2013, Waribashi 47
(simple) Autumn Leaves : (簡単な) 秋の葉

December 2013, coming soon!

Spring Flower Ball /Shunka Temari


Shunka Temari aka Spring Flower Ball, 6 units

Modular origami is back! This time, I’m authoring it. However it wouldn’t be possible without Sakuradama (KAWASAKI Toshikazu), Temari Sakura (FUSE Tomoko) or some beautiful kusudamas like Plumeria Flower Ball or Petunia Flower Ball (Meenakshi MUKERJI). And of many more kusudamas! Thank you very much!
As soon as I find the last two kusudamas (they are stored) I’ll photograph them and post them here. They are very beautiful! You can see the Sakuradama on this post and the Temari Sakura on this post and this more recent one!

Shunka Temari aka Spring Flower Ball, 12 units

This one was though to be floral, so hence the name: Spring Flower Ball or, in the japanese version, 春花手毬 or 春花てまり. Despite the name, and the original intentions, the floral look is best achieved in the 30 units’ model. It was thought to welcome Spring, too. (:

Shunka Temari aka Spring Flower Ball, 6 and 12units + 6 units variation

Once again you can find this origami in Waribashi! You can click here to view/ download the pdf.
The best folding paper for this one is thin paper, but strong too. Any kraft paper provides these qualities; there are many wrapping papers that are good for this, too. You should fold a couple of units first to test the paper and the assembly. With kraft paper, or similar, 7×7 to 9x9cm / 2,75×2,75 to 3,5×3,5″ are best; if you use copy paper (80g/m2, for example) it’s best to use squares of 10 to 13cm / 4 to 5″ (side length).

Shunka Temari aka Spring Flower Ball, 6 units, variation

Unit folding has many steps but is, even though, simple. You need to crease well all folds; the next step usually inverts the fold or uses it as a guideline. If you don’t understand the fold you may, and should!, look at the next steps: the fold is either complete or further explained. In the final steps two variants are shown; they give the finished model a different effect.

Notice that these units allow symmetric, or mirrored, units so be attentive; all units need to be of the same type because “left” and “right” units don’t fit into one another.
Some assemblies the unit allows are with 6 units (cube or hexahedron), 12 units (starred octahedron) and 30 units (starred dodecahedron or icosahedron). If you plan on assembling the cube, you only crease the top and bottom of the first crease so you can use it as a guide for the second step. On all the other assemblies you need to fold that crease.
On the cube all units are assembled in a 3-3 basis, «petals» or not. On the octahedron they are grouped as 4-3, flowers with 4 petals, and with 30 units as 5-3, flowers have 5 petals.
Have fun folding!

PS: There are more variants of this kusudama. They will be presented soon! Soon as in next month or the other (; They’ll be presented as soon as I find the time to complete the diagram and fold all the models… Well, and photograph them but that’s the easy/ fast part.

Creative Commons License
Shunka Temari/ Spring Flower Ball by Paper Unlimited is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

kusudama: v-shape module & variation


I know you’ve all missed Tomoko FUSE’s lovely kusudamas so, here it is! A beautiful one, too. As most, if not all, are :)

v-shape module with additional folds, 30 units

The name is V字135度/ V-shape module and for the variation 中折れV字135度 or V-shape module with additional folds. This one is in a Origami Tanteidan Magazine number 109.
Oh, I must say that I have read some comments regarding that there were difficulties in buying OTMs. I will buy some more around Easter, so I’ll post about it when I do. Until then you might try to buy them from a japanese book store, a fnac or some japanese items related store, perhaps…?
You can also stock on some pretty wrapping paper for doing or testing kusudamas! After all, Christmas is already that close (; and this is the season for pretty papers around us (:

v-shape module with additional folds, 12&30 units

v-shape module with additional folds, 12&30 units

v-shape module with additional folds, 12&30 units

v-shape module with additional folds, 12 units

First the ones with additional folds! The ones above were the test ones, made in kraft paper, in yellow and orange. The 30 units in orange and in orange and yellow the 12 units one. I love them… And they are only in kraft… They really bring out the beauty in the paper (:

v-shape module with additional folds, 12 units

v-shape module with additional folds, 12 units

v-shape module with additional folds, 12 units

Now with a cherry blossom themed origami paper, the 12 units one. This one I assembled it differently from the first! You can see the difference if you look at the holes in the kusudama; these have a 4 point star shape instead of the 3 point star shape (; I like both. I might be repeating myself, but beautiful is the word to say! I like this kusudama so much!

v-shape module with additional folds, 30 units

v-shape module with additional folds, 30 units

This is also origami paper, a traditional pattern in green and yellow; this is a 30 units kusudama.
This kusudama doesn’t need glue as most of Fuse’s kusudamas and is really sturdy! Be it in kraft or in a stronger paper. All papers were 7x7cm/ 2,75″. Both 12 units kusudama have a diameter of 7cm/ 2.75″ and the 30 units one of 10cm/ 3,94″. The diameter of the one without additional folds is 14cm/ 5,50″.

v-shape module & variation, 30 + 12&30 units

v-shape module & variation, 30 + 12&30 units

v-shape module, 30 units

In these last pictures a 30 units kusudama of the variation unit, without the centre/ additional folds. I like the kusudama better with the centre fold but I really like the fact that the unit permits simpler assemblies (: The paper has the same size of the other ones but the fewer number of folds make the unit larger and, as such, a bigger kusudama. This one was also made in origami paper with a traditional pattern!

modular origami: 6 units sonobe


Another oldy! I have done the diagram for the sonobe unit and a variation for a free magazine about Japan and japanese culture and that’s what this post is all about!

sonobe variation units and origami paper

This unit is known as the sonobe unit since it is general belief that 薗部光伸 / SONOBE Mitsunobu is it’s author. Some doubts about authorship do exist however.
Various assemblies are possible; with this exact diagram (no creases added) the cube or hexahedron, then with some added or modified creases you can create assemblies with 3 units, 12 units, 30 units and even more (:

6 units sonobe assembly (and sonobe variation)

I like the sonobe variation diagrams for key chains. In the photo, my actual key chain; I did glue the units and sprayed the finished model with varnish and left to dry for 2 days… An easy to do key chain, unique in the world! (; have you ever done origami key chains? Oh, this one also has styrofoam inside for sturdiness!

6 units sonobe variation key chain

Here is the diagram; it’s for viewing purposes since if it’ll be probably too cramped when printed. The original diagram for the magazine was different and I may or may not re-do this one for a printer friendly version. Probably not since I have a lot to do other than this and there’s so many origami related stuff I want to spend my time with. Sonobe is well known too, so… I’ll decide later.
On another note: I have been reading the comments! However it will take me a while to re-read and properly respond. I’m only one (;

kusudama: fuse’s little turtle

my cat and the little turtle kusudama

I present you my cat with an oldy! Well almost half of my cat. He’s very fond of kusudamas and origami. The greater the time I spend folding, the greater his interest will be… Cats! You can’t just help loving them! (: However, rest assured: I arrived in time to save the turtle! And to take a photo (;
FUSE’s little turtle has been around for some time but it certainly does not lose its charm! I love the unit for this kusudama; I think it’s so cute, especially if you have paper with nice prints and/ or colours. Also, this is one of my favourite kusudamas! Ok, practically all of FUSE’s kusudamas are my favourites…
Here is the first assembly! Five units around a centre point and then three units to form a hole; and you keep going until you’re out of the 30 units. It’s the most common and pretty in my opinion; due to the five units around a centre point it turns out very flower like. And, if you have not noticed, I love flowers! (:

little turtle (common)

little turtle (common)

The other assembly is done by inverting the first. You assemble three units around a centre point and then five units around/ to form the hole. It’s a different form of assembly; my first wasn’t done intentionally. Half way through I understood that I was doing the “wrong” assembly but even so I finished it. This is the second one and I’ve done it with brighter colours so it’s much more to my liking!

the two 30 units little turtle assemblies

the two 30 units little turtle assemblies

Both were done with wrapping paper cut in 7x7cm/ 2.75” squares. The blue has a diameter of 8cm/ 3.15” and the flowery one of 10cm/ 3.90”. In the photos above you can notice that the assembly method changes the final size of the kusudama.
You may or may not glue the units; I glued them because the paper was too thin and slippery but with stronger and a little textured paper you don’t need any glue.

the other little turtle assembly

the other little turtle assembly

You have these two complementary assemblies in most, if not all, 30 units kusudama so, be attentive and experiment a lot! I want to try one more variant of this kusudama, with more units, but I still have a lot of kusudamas in my “waiting to be folded” list. Ah, vacation time will be great!

Some boxes…


I haven’t fold that much lately… But let me show you that I’m still living and folding!

These are boxes by FUSE Tomoko (: Nice, ain’t they…? (that’s a rhetorical question by the way…) Well, there’s one that I’ve made without a diagram, on the second photo, the box on the left. But I think Fuse has a box like that, or prettier… I might have rearranged the folding sequence but that’s a Fuse box, no doubt! (;
edit: due to some strange thing the second photo wasn’t showing… Now it is…

kusudama: nishiki


After some hiatus time due to my exams (and they went the right way! Yay!) I humbly present you what is probably “widely” known as Japanese Brocade. The author of this kusudama is ISHIBASHI Minako; all I know is that the kusudama was originally diagrammed or at least presented in NOA Magazine #143 (1987). The unit is terribly simple to do and by adding an extra crease you can jump from the cube, 6 units, to the 12 and 30 units kusudama (: The kusudama’s name in japanese is にしき/ nishiki. If anyone can enlighten me about the kanji for the name of the author I’d much appreciate it! (; Thank you, Sam, by sharing: 石橋美奈子 is how ISHIBAKO Minako is written in japanese.




I first tried and done the cube then did the 12 units and finally the 30 units. The first 12 units’ kusudama was just to test how it would look but even though I like the result. All are very addicting to do. As in many kusudama I recommend to use some glue in the 30 units… I couldn’t assemble mine without glue but perhaps I’m just clumsy. These units are made from square paper; I used kraft paper for the golden cube and wrapping paper for the flowery cube. The 12 units kusudama were made with regular 80g/m2 blue and pink paper and the other with pinkish wrapping paper; as for the 30 units kusudama they were made with two types of wrapping paper. Since I disliked the first, I assembled it too fast and it ended up not so neat looking, I did another version. Smaller, a bit too small but I liked it (:
I’ll try and update this post with paper types and kusudama measures very soon! I also have some more folded things to show. And even though I remain silent I’m also considering on showing diagrams for some popular folded and asked models in here.

kusudama: kusabi a (i)


What a surprise! Another kusudama by FUSE! I bet none of you saw that coming… I have only done the cube and octahedral base shapes. The dodecahedral will come soon :)



Since I haven’t done the 30, or 60 in this case, unit kusudama these were assembled without glue. Just a bit challenging assembly for the 12 unit kusudama. However as long as you don’t use very big units it’s perfectly assembled without glue. These were made by 6x12cm /2.4×4.7″ coloured paper, the normal colour paper of 80 grams per square meter. The 30 units kusudama will be a little big with these paper sizes but by using 80g/m2 paper any smaller size will be very hard to assemble.

kusudama: curl 1 (i)


Once again a kusudama from Flower Globe, 花まり, by 布施知子/ FUSE Tomoko. This one is named カール1/ Curl 1. It’s not the first “curled” kusudama of the book but receives the name as such. As the one in the previous post this one was done a looong time ago…


As most, every?, kusudamas in the book it’s a double sonobe; actually sonobe isn’t quite the correct expression. After all a sonobe is from a square paper and even though there are obvious similarities in the folding and assembling process there are are different in many ways! Paper size, number of pieces per unit and of course the numerous arrangements :)
I used double faced coloured paper of 8×4 cm/ 3.1×1.6″ and the same size of sketch paper. Or draft paper; I never know which name to call it: the strong yet thin paper slightly transparent and whitish that you sketch on at some part of your school life… The sketch paper doesn’t hold that well the curls but it doesn’t hold it that bad either… If I find a better substitute I’ll definitively use it. This kusudama is also nice before curling: it has a totally different feeling to it.

kusudama: diamond shape pacchi (i)


Remember me? And remember these kusudamas? I do! :)
They are by 布施知子 /FUSE Tomoko and I had to post them decently before doing the washi version. The smaller has 12 double units and the bigger 30. These sonobe-like units are made from 1:2 paper and each finished unit is made up of a base unit and a face unit. In these particular kusudamas the base is the base colour unit and the face unit, the diamond shape unit.




These units were made by colourful 8×4 cm /3.1×1.6″ paper of 70g/m2. The smaller one can be made without glue but on the bigger one I used a bit of glue. It’s hell to assemble without glue however I believe it is possible.
A note on the name: I made these by the original/ japanese book so even though I know there is a english version of the book I do not know the name. The kusudama is named ひし形パッチ; it means something like diamond shape pouch or patch. I have no clue whatsoever of what パッチ /pacchi is intended to mean. Really no idea! You can find them at Flower Globe, 花まり. [edit: Sam, as you can see in the comment bellow, stated that this kusudama is named rhombic patches in english!]

Another note: ultimato do papel is finally somehow active/ online. It’s basically a sister blog/ site of paper unlimited also maintained by me with these contents in portuguese. It’s going to be a slow ride but it has finally started :)