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Modular Origami: The Mathematical Anomalies of a 12-Sided Ball?

by | DIY, Paper

I’m finally starting to work on my Easter decorations, which means, I’m finally going to take down my Christmas wreath.  (Yes, it’s true, it’s still hanging up there on my mantel, but I’ve also learned an important lesson through my laziness.  I had weaved some boughs from my long-dead Christmas tree into the wreath, and they are still green!  Maybe not vibrant green, but definitely not brown and dead.)


Paper Dodecahedron | One Dog Woof | #origami #papercraft #modularorigami


I really want my Easter mantel to cost as little as possible, but still look interesting and fresh, so I put together a little something called a Dodecahedron.  I used to make these when I was little, and had completely forgotten about it.  And now that I’m an adult, I’ve learned that there is a name for my folding paper madness – modular origami.  Who knew?  Basically, it means multiple pieces of the same shape are assembled together to create a polyhedron of some sort.  Today’s polyhedron is a 12-sided “sphere”, with each side shaped like a pentagon.

Want one yourself?  It’s a great lap project to work on while numbing your brains with Weeds (addicting show, that.  Pun intended!), and they look beautiful hung up in a nursery or a child’s room.




You’ll need 30 pieces of paper to build this model.  I used some cute green scrapbook paper for a “spring” feel.

1. Each piece should be in a 3 to 4 ratio -> [3 in x 4 in], or [4.5 in x 6 in], or [6 in x 8 in], etc.

2. Fold the paper into thirds using a z-fold.  Now you have a strip of paper that is 1 in x 4 in.

3. Fold each corner up, and make a crease from one inside corner to the other.  It sounds complicated and I know I didn’t explain it well, but hopefully the pictures show what I’m talking about.

4. Repeat, 30 times.



Again, I have no idea how to explain this using words, but the end fold of one piece gets tucked into the long fold of another piece.  The third piece has its end fold tucked into the long fold of the second piece, with the first piece being tucked into the third piece.  Oy vay.  Still with me?  Well, best get yourself a fun drink at this point!



Now you just keep adding pieces by tucking the end folds into the gaps of an adjacent long fold.  I try to use 3 different patterns on each corner, but that’s just aesthetics.  When you finish the 30th piece, you will have a complete dodecahedra ball!



Paper Dodecahedron | One Dog Woof | #origami #papercraft #modularorigami


I recommend watching some fun tv while doing this, with the fun drink on standby.  Our household has been surviving on Weeds, The League, and pina coladas 🙂

Stay tuned for some more Easter fun!  I tried my hand at word art, and bought some plastic eggs to pimp out.  You can follow my craziness on Pinterest and Facebook!



  1. Teresa

    I’ve never seen one of those. I think maybe I could manage that, maybe… with a pina colada I’m sure I could : )

  2. Jamie

    I’ve wanted to try some of this modular origami, but never quite got around to it. Maybe now’s a good time to try!

  3. June@I will craft

    Very cute but I wonder if I would finish it by the time I finish a snazzy drink!

  4. Amy

    That looks so cool! Thanks so much for sharing such a unique idea at Shine on Fridays!!

  5. Karima

    Wow – what a statement piece – love it!

  6. Debbie @ OtRD

    Very cool! I love it!

  7. Artsy VaVa

    Very cool! Definitely going to try it!

  8. Rachel

    This is so cool looking! Just pinned. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays. Rachel


    Hooray – math + crafty!
    I used to make a different type of origami dodecahedron. Mine were stellated though – each face was actually a spike. I also figured out that by adding the same pieces a little differently, I could make bigger (and more awesome!) polyhedra. Wonder if you could do that with these?
    Love the patterned papers you use – great color for easter 🙂

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