Introduction: Origami Firework - Yami Yamauchi

Picture of Origami Firework - Yami Yamauchi

I have been re-creating origami patterns for years now. It's a wonderful way to relax and create something beautiful out of simple colored pieces of paper. Dynamic origami patterns are one of the coolest things, and this Origami Firework by Yami Yamauchi is one of my favorite patterns to make. It's so simple and creative! You'll only need a paper, and some nimble fingers, to make it. I got the permission of Mr. Yamauchi to display his design in this instructable.

Step 1: Paper

Picture of Paper

You can fold origami from any paper as long as it is square. I happened to receive a small pack of folding paper so I was able to find a nice assortment of colors, and would highly recommend trying to create either a rainbow spectrum or a pattern of some sorts.

Either way you'll need 12 squares of paper!

Step 2: Starting Creases

Picture of Starting Creases

Now get folding! Take your first piece of paper (it doesn't matter which one) and place it color side down. You'll be making an assortment of creases, so follow along!

  1. Fold (and unfold) the corners together creating two diagonal valley folds along the entire square.
  2. Fold all four of the corners to the very center (marked with your valley folds from the previous step). Unfold.
  3. Flip your paper color side up

Step 3: More Creases!

Picture of More Creases!

4. Fold the top edge down to the bottom, making a crease line in the middle of the paper. Unfold.

5. Fold the top edge to the new middle crease you just created. Unfold and repeat with the bottom edge (unfold)

6. Fold the left edge to the closest points created by diagonals (see the pictures for this one), it's not that far into the sheet. Unfold and repeat on the right side!

Step 4: Folding (Part 1)

Picture of Folding (Part 1)

Flip your paper colored side down again, and fold it like so:

  1. using the middle mountain crease, pinch half of the crease together and repeat on the other side (see the photos above!) This will create a bit of a 'dish' shape.
  2. Flatten and make sure your creases are very crisp. This will help you later on! This shape you have now (the triangle) is also known as a 'waterbomb base'
  3. Take the top flap of your waterbomb base and begin folding it up. Lift it up and fold it back until the creases that once met at the flat side of the base now match the triangle's tip at the top. If this doesn't make sense, take a look at the photos and you'll see what I mean!
  4. Sharpen your creases and flip your work over to repeat on the other side.

Step 5: Folding (Part 2)

Picture of Folding (Part 2)

You're almost there!

  1. Notice the flaps that meet in the middle of your piece? take the leftmost one (grabbing it from the bottom) and fold it upwards so that left side of the paper folds over itself and your crease makes it look like a sideways house. Once again, if this confuses you (as it probably will), take a look at the pictures!
  2. Unfold this crease and repeat on the other side, and then the back!

Now that you've successfully folded your first piece, get lots of practice by repeating this 11 more times (on all of your 12 pieces of paper. Once you have everything folded continue to the next step!

Step 6: Join Your Pieces

Picture of Join Your Pieces

Now that all 12 of your pieces are folded and ready to go it's time to join them together. I recommend placing them in the order that you want them to be in the final piece so that you can make sure you like it.

You'll notice your pieces are comprised of a few different things:

  • the flaps on the outside (one paper thickness) which meet in the center of your piece (the part that you made the final creases on)
  • two overall flaps a few pieces of paper thick. These all meet at the point on the very top.

You're going to take the thin flaps on one of your pieces and slip it over the thick flaps on an adjacent piece. It should slide over nicely, and all you have to do is line it up. Notice in the pictures above the red piece I'm sliding onto the other piece. The thin flaps on the red piece are sliding over the thick flaps on the other piece.

Repeat this process until all of your pieces are joined together in a single line!

Step 7: More Folding!

Picture of More Folding!

You are very close to finishing your origami firework! This last step is to lock your pieces into place using some of the creases you've already made!

  1. Begin by taking your chunk of pieces and for each flap, you need to 'tuck' the corners into your piece. Do this by isolating a flap, and gently taking the very corner and pressing it first up and then into the piece. Check out the photos for some help on what this should look like. Repeat this on every flap on both sides. Note that the first and last piece of your stack will not have tucks in them (they will be joined together last!)
  2. Now hold your stack of pieces so that you are looking straight on at the first piece. As if you were reading a book, turn a 'page' (flap) so that you are looking at a similar profile, but with each half being a different color. (see the picture where there are two shades of purple). Take the bottom of the flap and fold it up so that the sides you just tucked in are revealed and form a triangle. Try and fold it up as high as you can (gently of course!).
  3. Turn to the next 'page' and repeat step 2 until you have completed it on every set of 'pages' (except for the first and last pieces.

Step 8: Joining It Together - Final Steps

Picture of Joining It Together - Final Steps

Now very carefully open up the flaps on your first piece. Take your stack of pieces and gently fold it around so that it starts to form a circle (try to not rip any of the pieces out of place, and make sure your creases are nice and strong). Take the remaining flap on your last piece and slip it inside of the first piece like you did with all of the other pieces. Then tuck the corners in like you did in the last step, and fold the bottom edge up to lock your pieces in place. You're going to have to do this on both sides.

If you're wondering how the heck you are supposed to reach the inside of the firework don't fear! Carefully roll it inside out (think like how you would roll a sock) so that the final piece doesn't pop out of place. Then tuck in the corner and fold the edge up.

I now like to go around my firework and make sure all of my creases are crisp and strong - this is a dynamic piece after all, it's going to get a lot more use than you think! Turn it inside out a few times and make sure they all look good! Then keep turning it inside out because it's just so mesmerizing.

This may seem daunting but rest assured each individual piece is very easy to make and anyone can do it! It's such a showstopper, and is a fun toy to fidget with and impress your friends and family. Give it a shot and let me know how your origami fireworks end up.

Once again, a huge thank you to Yami Yamauchi for his permission to show his beautiful design in this instructable!

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