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Wednesday March 14, 2012

3D origami soot sprite

Skill level: Intermediate

Time required: 1½ hours

Stuff you’ll need: One-and-a-half sheets of black A4 card paper (a lighter colour is used here for clarity), one small sheet of white card paper, paper puncher, glue and scissors. Start cutting the black A4 sheet into 32 pieces. To achieve this size, keep folding the paper in halves till you get a rectangle about 5cm x 3.5cm in size – it’s okay if they aren’t perfect. Do the same with the second sheet. Watch out for sharp edges.

1 Cut each of the small rectangles into two strips (a).

> Take one strip, fold it in half to get a midline crease then fold the top-right and top-left edges in to meet the midline (b).

> This will form a triangle (c).

> Turn the piece over. Fold in the excess tabs on both sides

(d).

> Tuck them under the triangle’s pockets (e).

> Fold each of the tabs up onto the triangle (f).

> Fold the triangle in half (g). > Make 68 of these units and stack them like this (h), using the bottom pockets as access points.

2 Now to start building the base of the model, just stack the units in pairs like this. Make 12 of these pairs.

3 Connect the pairs into a circle. You have just completed two rounds for your model (24 units).

4 For the third round, you need to add on units by stacking a new piece onto the right and left points of two different units from the previous round. Do this all the way around 12 times. Do the same for the fourth round.

5 Now hold the model in your hand like this and gently squeeze it into the shape of a bowl. Continue stacking on new units for the fifth round. You will have used 60 units by now.

6 For the last round, you need to “decrease” the tip of the model. Take a new unit and stack it over three points – two points in one pocket and one point in the other. Do this all the way around. You will only need eight units. Squeeze the tips together to close up the hole at the top. Gently shape your model into a sphere by pushing or lightly stretching the units.

7Punch two dots from the remaining black paper and glue them onto a pair of white paper circles to make the soot sprite’s eyes. Now that you know the basics, you and the kids can start designing your own origami models, like the Totoro trio my friend made for me!

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