We have been making lots of origami lately, the origami hearts wall hanging, and the origami pull out drawers, for example, and now I'd like to introduce you to another kind or origami altogether, modular origami.Modular or 3D origami is made from lots of little double pointed pieces that fit into one another, and some really truly amazing things have been made with this technique, by people from around the world, with a concentration in Russia, so it appears to me from my research. Here is Israel, I have seen modular origami swans next to the bank teller and in the post office for years, but I never really knew what they were exactly. (Okay, I could see they were constructed from lots and lots of little pieces and I was reminded of the gum wrapper bracelets we used to make, but that was the extent of it, as these swans weren't exactly something I aspired to make.) Fast forward to a moment on pinterest when I spied a similar project, only it was a lovely peacock, and then my daughter told me about a girl in her class who was making a modular origami swan, and thus my investigation began!
As you can see from this photo, these stars have lots of dimension to them, and one can display them from either side, depending on how you'll be using them. The top photo shows them from the other side, with the cupped portion to the back. Can kids do this? Well of course, but it does take lots of patience is might not be appropriate for anyone under 10 years old, but that does depend on the child. I'm sure there are many very capable five year olds with great motor skills that could do this, but that is not the norm.
- A4 or letter sized paper
- directions for how to fold origami modules
- craft knife and ruler or paper cutter
- For my stars, I used rectangular pieces that were 1/8 of a A4 sheet of paper, as I wanted to make larger items more quickly. The standard size used by those who practice this art is generally smaller, namely 16 pieces per A4 sheet of paper, and some very small items are made with origami modules made from sheets that are 32 per A4 sheet.
- I cut piece by folding and scoring and tearing, but one should really pre-cut lots of pieces so that this goes quickly. Cut several sheets at a time with a rotary cutter or a craft knife, or use a paper cutter is you have access to one.
- Fold rectangles according to directions
- Start playing around with stacking the pieces. Take a close look at my stars to see how they are built, it is really quite simple, and so much fun once you get started. The hard part is folding all of those modules.
To Make One Small Red And Pink Star:
You will need: 24 red pieces, 18 pink pieces, 6 blue pieces
Round 1: You start from the middle with 6 blue pieces, placed in a tight circle with points to the center.
Round 2: To join the blue pieces to one another, stack six red pieces such that you are joining two legs from adjacent modules. This leaves you with a star with 6 gaps. Fill those gaps with 6 red pieces that will not be affixed until the next row..
Round 3: Go around the row, one pink, one red (or one pink one green) attaching each piece over two legs from different pieces. Kind of like bricks if you know what I mean?
Round 4: Attach six red pieces in the same manner, namely not stacked directly on top of the previous row, but staggered.
That is it! For the green star, you can now figure it out on your own from the photo, right? I am in the middle of another larger project using this technique, so stay tuned for more!