Sunday, September 9, 2012

Making of an Origami Ball

So here's what goes into making one of my origami balls. Here is the design (warning, it's a PDF). It's called the Kusudama Ciclone. I like it a lot!

One of the first things is you have to make a test sheet. This is so you can figure out what kind of design you want to put on the final product. I usually fold three test sheets so I can see how one of the points folds together. For the sake of not taking a billion photos, the test sheet looks like what the normal sheets look like the normal sheets until I get to the design stage. 

Test Sheet (Or just folding a sheet of paper)
Sheet Fully Folded
Below is the actual test sheet. You can see where I tested the dot pattern a few times, experimenting with how and where I want the dots to be placed. I tried a couple of different ideas. Origami paper is thin, so it's important to mark where exactly you need to put your colors on the sheet when it's flat, putting any design on the page when it's flat where it shouldn't be can result in the pattern showing through the paper when it's folded. I had to make sure the dot pattern wouldn't be visible except where I wanted it. Sometimes it's complicated, sometimes it's not. It really depends on the pattern.

Testing the dot pattern
Once I got the dot pattern where I wanted it, I was able to start folding the sheets of paper. This is one sheet completed with dot pattern.

Final dot pattern on one sheet
Repeat. 30 times.

30 sheets of paper, folded and dotted
Then, after all the dots and folds were done, it was time to start folding! Folding most of the 30 sheet patterns is the same general principal. Three sheets of paper makes up one triangle, and every 5 sheets makes up a star. Three to a triangle, five to a star, repeated for all 30 sheets. It's pretty basic once you get the pattern down. Though the pattern looks like there's four sheets of paper with dots on it between the five star pattern, there's only two. Visually it can look more complicated than it is.

Five star, three triangle. You can see the pattern
Here you can see the inside as the pattern nears completion. This particular pattern is easier to complete than others because the origami papers slide together on the outside of the pattern, rather than the inside. You can see this because the inside of the ball is really simple looking, there's no interlocking pieces, nothing overlaps much inside the ball.

Inside the ball

Outside the ball half finished
Here I was going to take photos of getting the beads into the inside of the ball and finishing the outside up, but I was in a rush to finish it, so I forgot to take pictures. Instead, here's the final product! I'll try to be better about it, and take more photos of actually slipping the paper together. It did end up looking beautiful and full of vibrant fall colors. Hubby helped pick out the beads. The beads colors worked out perfectly! It's up on Etsy, of course!

Finished product!

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