Polyhedra and Bits of Paper

Last week’s rose kusudama was a bit tricky to put together, so I continued to play with paper polyhedra this week, trying to create a “flower ball” that was easier to assemble. I believe I have succeeded. (Instructions later in the post.)

Before playing with different polyhedra however, I wrote position indicators on all the flowers of a blank version of last week’s kusudama. These may come in handy for different designs someday.

I also played with varying the shape at the centre of each unit. A triangle produced some interesting shapes. The one below is based on an octohedron.

This one is even better. The underlying structure is an icosahedron. A project based on this may well appear in this year’s Advent calendar.


Today’s project is based on a rhombicosidodecahedron, but you might want to just refer to it as a five petal slide-together kusudama. To make one, download the file, print on card stock, and cut out the pieces. I printed the flower sheet on green and the tabs on yellow to make it easier to show the assembly process. There are thirty-five tabs on the sheet, but you will only need thirty. I found the process went quite quickly when I cut all the straight lines (including the slits) using a ruler and an Olfa snap blade knife. I then cut the rounded ends with scissors.

To assemble this week’s kusudama begin by attaching a tab to each petal of one of the flowers. It should look like this:

Next attach a flower to the open end of each of the five tabs.

The five flowers need to be joined in a ring. Add a tab between each of the flowers as shown below. The piece will begin to curve into a hemisphere as you progress.

Here’s the completed hemisphere from the top

and from the inside.

Set your first half aside and repeat the instructions with the remaining parts to make a second hemisphere. When both halves of your kusudama are complete, you can attach them to finish the kusudama.

Attach a tab to each of the petals indicated on the first hemisphere.

Now attach the open ends of those tabs to two petals on a single flower on the second half

Rotate the work slightly and repeat. Work your way around the piece until all the petals are joined by tabs. To finish, rotate the kusudama and check that all of the tab/petal joins are centred.

If you enjoyed today’s project, you can help support the blog here.   ; ]


I got a lovely present in the mail this week. Viewers of Simon Arizpe‘s recent online presentation for PaperSpecs were invited to send in an email for a chance to receive a copy of this pop-up book, and I was one of the lucky recipients.

Here’s a close-up of the final spread.

Since the book is not available for sale —it’s a marketing promotion— I went looking for more images on the web and found this video on the Sappi website.

You can see more detailed still images here.


The 99 Dreams of Euclid’s Wife continued this week.

In other book arts news:

If you would prefer a book project this week, you might want to make a letter card by following the instructions recently posted by Bound in Edinburgh.


This lovely book is called Bloom, and was designed by Julie Safirstein. You can find it in a number of places on the internet, but this page has an extensive set of pictures of the book in various positions.


The typographic treat for this week is the article The Gospel According to Wood Type’s Patron Saint. The piece includes an interview with wood type historian David Shields about his new book, The Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection: A History and Catalog.


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than thirty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004. I also create prints and drawings that are frequently text-inspired or text-based.
This entry was posted in art, artist's books, book arts, DIY, instructions, paper cutting, paper toy, typography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Polyhedra and Bits of Paper

  1. dinahmow says:

    Ooh! I shall have a lovely wallow later…after a trip to the Big Shops
    I do like folding a flat sheet of paper into otherness.


  2. It fun that we’ve both had icosahedrons on our minds these days, However, lately, I’ve been working with a shape that turns into a rhombic dodecahedron. not an rhombicosidodecahedron, so I guess we’re not completely in sync. 🙂


  3. Pingback: Planning Paper Projects | Byopia Press

  4. Pingback: Byopia Press Advent Calendar 2022: Day Five and a Star Kusudama | Byopia Press

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