Introduction: How to Build a Paper 'kirigami' Tower

Picture of How to Build a Paper 'kirigami' Tower

I found a picture on the Internet showing a sculpture made of a single piece of paper, folded a certain way in order to give it volume. There is no glue at all... Here is the work I've made from this picture.

Step 1: Creating the Design

Picture of Creating the Design

I draw the sheme under a very common piece of software. I attached the drawing in full size. You simply can print it on a normal piece of paper or draw it on cupboard.

Step 2: Cut the Paper

Picture of Cut the Paper

Once the paper printed, cut the paper following the lines. Only cut the vertical ones, the horizontal wil be used to fold. You only need to cut the parallel vertical lines.

Step 3: Fold the Paper Sheet

Picture of Fold the Paper Sheet

Begin by the top and fold the bottom. the tower will slowly take its shape. Be carefull not to rip up the the paper. Use a small shapr piece of metal to make precise folding (a knife blade for instance). Fold on side from the back, one side from the front.

Step 4: That's It

Picture of That's It

Completly fold the paper and press strongly on it to make a nice folding. And that's it.
You can experiment with other shapes and share them here...


ana63 (author)2017-12-01

Hi, ur instructable,i felt was more geared toward d person who already has some knowlege of kirigami. There is no mention of scoring lines first,difference between a valley or mountain fold. Its not for the beginner at all or for anyone who would like to try this. If possible, could u make a more easier so that a beginner can follow more easily. Im sure all that info is stored up in ur head and now, if u can put ALL ,and i mean ALL ur knowledge on paper, so we could understand better ur tute.

LailaF (author)2016-03-05

Mr. tonypascal, how can I do it with heart shapes? I am planning of having a tower of hearts for my training facilitation. Please help. Thank you.

kunal birmiwal 2 (author)2015-08-20


kunal birmiwal 2 (author)2015-08-20


mainlinx (author)2007-11-21

Great Instructable. I found it easy and quick to do. I drew something similar to your stair sets one in the second pick on paint and made it on my lunch break. Everyone who saw when I came back from my break was very amused and impressed. A bunch of "Wow! how did you do that?" in which I responded "You ever, heard of" thats when I explain the purpose and show them how to get to this one and other cool ones.

tonypascal (author)mainlinx2007-11-21

cool, your doing some advertising to the site, good, moderators will be happy...

Anurag2693 (author)tonypascal2014-10-03

thank you for your inputs..I am planning to make this 25 layers for 25th anniversery? is it possible? and which software i should use?? can you give me any basic idea???like attached file i want to make..can you help??

mainlinx (author)tonypascal2007-11-21

Maybe I can get a free robot t-shirt!!


(actually I do it unintentionally because I love the site and what people contribute it)

howboutitbru (author)mainlinx2007-11-24

or is it becasue you jsut want a free shirt

mainlinx (author)howboutitbru2007-11-24

No, it's because I like to give credit where credit is due. My first instructable was inspired by another web sites service and I gave them credit by mentioning them in my intro. I read gizmodo daily (occaisionally engadnet too), and found instructables (and gawker artist) through them. Now, I look at instructables daily too. (/end explanation)

howboutitbru (author)mainlinx2007-11-24

no your wrong its cuz you want the free shirt :)

mainlinx (author)howboutitbru2007-11-25

ok...this has gone on long enough. (to humor you) yes, exactly, because i want a free shirt.

howboutitbru (author)mainlinx2007-11-25

YES i win!

omnibot (author)howboutitbru2007-11-25

Actually .. I promote the site just because people wonder how i make all those incredible little projects of mine and am in no way interrested in a t-shirt. If I was there would be serious trouble with shipping it to Sweden.

angryrobot17 (author)2014-03-14

O _ O

smulla1 (author)2013-09-10

THnak you so much!!!! ill try very soon may be now!! :)

Pr0pmaster (author)2011-09-08

please post more kirigami paterns

_Logos_ (author)2011-01-09

cut along a ruler for faster, precise cutting. i feel so brainless for not thinking of that earlier, lol!

kusadama (author)2010-07-21

thanks mine came out awesome, thanks :D

kibbler (author)2008-12-20

I made my sister with kirigami... Then I lit it on fire. ;)

titus subagyo (author)2008-11-24

Luar biasa sekali, dari sini bisa memberikan inspirasi yang lebih indah lagi. very amazing, its give me new inspiration. thanks..........

GuitarHERO® (author)2008-02-02

Also, could you put to of these together and put i soft light in between them? That would be neat.

That's a really cool idea! I hadn't even thought of that. I'm so trying it. Thanks!

artificially_flavoured (author)2008-04-27

Great instructable! The powers of paper never cease...

GuitarHERO® (author)2008-02-02

Do you have any other designs that are printable?

Chewy2634 (author)2008-02-02

very cool it was an hour well spent

Mr. Bean117 (author)2007-12-15

great instructable i just made one, it's sittin on my desk. these things are beautiful, and, with a sharp enough blade, surprisingly simple. i personally used the blade from a cheap 3-inch planer from Lowe's i had lying around. thanks

DirectorsCUT (author)2007-12-03

Man oh man that's a lot of cutting! You must be very patient... ;-) If you're interested in more of this process you should do a web search for 'kirigami' .

zumbo333 (author)2007-11-25

i ussually tell people about instructables to its the best. you can learn how to build anything here it allways has me creating. and im just starting the tower its very simple soo enjoy!

activfilms (author)2007-11-24

Good instructable. Something to try out later.

drips (author)2007-11-19

Man oh man that's a lot of cutting! You must be very patient... ;-) If you're interested in more of this process you should do a web search for 'kirigami' .

tonypascal (author)drips2007-11-19

Hey, thank you for the name, that's exactly what I wanted to know, thanks

Thats impressive, where did you get the picture in step one that has the sphere I want to have a look KSM

tonypascal (author)drips2007-11-20

The longest was to draw it with PPT... keep trying, I am not particularly patient, so, you'll make it...

GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-20

Even though this really made me mad and I had a lot of problems and never finished it, it's still in my favorites because I know other people can succeed in this. :-)

saintshortckt (author)2007-11-19

I did something like this in 3D Design 201, pretty amazing. Stairs are the easiest, I remember somebody making the empire state bldg. cool stuff!

GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-19

how do you fold it its hard for me

MrTrick (author)GorillazMiko2007-11-19

The fold lines need to be scored - this will make those points more susceptible to bending than the surrounding paper, so it will bend there. Ideally use a bone folder, or something smooth and pointy (not sharp or rough, or it will cut or rip the paper). The back of a PDA stylus might do nicely, or if you can't find anything else a ballpoint pen will do. Draw over the lines on the side of the paper that you want to fold away from you, leaning heavily on your scoring tool.

tippmannphreak (author)2007-11-19

one time i was in an asian resturant and their was a sign that says "please use paper tower" it was so funny. haha. great instructable btw.

drips (author)tippmannphreak2007-11-19

LOL. When I first read the title of this Instructable I thought I said "How to build a paper towel". I was very confused and intrigued!

SkiingInstead (author)2007-11-19

the one with the steps looks way cool

jongscx (author)2007-11-19

wait... does anyone have a laser cutter they can try this with? Possibly use plexi, cutting through the vertical, and scoring the horizontal lines?

GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-19

I quit. This instructable was way too hard. I got mad and ripped up the whole paper. Folding it did not make any sense to me.

GorillazMiko (author)2007-11-19


Thornie (author)2007-11-19

That's very cool. I guess I'll experiment with that

John Smith (author)2007-11-19

Very cool. I'm doing this one.

About This Instructable




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