Introduction: Popsicle Stick Icosahedron

Picture of Popsicle Stick Icosahedron

What is an Icosahedron?

"In geometry, an icosahedron is a regular polyhedron with 20 identical equilateral triangular faces, 30 edges and 12 vertices. It is one of the five Platonic solids." - Wikipedia

Why should I build an Icosahedron?

- To get inspiration. Trust me. Once you have started, a million creative ideas start to pop up in your head!


To build the icosahedron you need to see all the images. To see all the images, you need to join
Do it. It's really worth it.

Step 1: What You Need:

Picture of What You Need:

You will need:

- More than 60 popsicle sticks.  (100 for $1.02)

- Hot glue gun.   ($ 5.00)

- Glue sticks.   ($ 0.34 each)

- Tape.   ($ 1.00)

Is that really too much?

Step 2: Sort the Sticks

Picture of Sort the Sticks

Work with the good stuff.

Go through your pile of sticks, and take out sticks that look ugly.

Bent, broken, dirty, stained, rough, all those you put aside.

Step 3: Basic Setup

Picture of Basic Setup

This is the basic building block that we will use.

A Triangle.

Have fun. Glue a bunch.

We'll need twenty of these. (Icos = twenty)

Do a few more. You really can have fun with these triangles.

Just make sure they are all alike. A flipped one won't look so good.

Step 4: Have Fun While You Can

Picture of Have Fun While You Can

Now, didn't I tell you that you'd have fun?

Grab'em, stack'em, break'em... No. Don't break'em.

Have as much fun as you want.

Step 5: Starting the Construction

Picture of Starting the Construction

Grab a pair of triangles, match them up, and tape them together.

Now grab one more, tape it.

Do the same with two more triangles. You should come up with something like in the second picture.

Now flip it upside down, so the tape faces towards your working surface.

Step 6: Lift It Up!

Picture of Lift It Up!

Time to LIFT!

Carefully lift up the center of the figure. The two "loose" corners should meet.

Tape under the two sticks that you matched together.

Make sure you put the structure on a flat surface. Then you can glue all the joints.

Step 7: Think!

Picture of Think!

The next steps are a bit hard to explain. It's the same building process, but complicated to explain.

Take a look at what you just created. The tip of it is a vertex. It is the point where five triangle tips join. It is important for the next steps that you only put five triangle tips in each vertex.

Now go ahead and join trianges with tape, in groups of four, three, and three. In a straight line.

Step 8: Keep Building the Structure

Picture of Keep Building the Structure

Grab the first part you made, and the group of three triangles.

Tape as shown in the pictures. Then place the structure on a pile of books, with the unglued vertex pointing upwards. Make sure all three edges are touching the books surface.

Hot glue the vertex and the other tips.

Step 9: Keep Building the Structure

Picture of Keep Building the Structure

Grab another group of triangles. Tape them to the main structure.

Make sure that you only have five triangle tips in each vertex.

Hot glue the vertexes again.

Step 10: Make a Lid

Picture of Make a Lid

Make a lid like the first one, using five triangles.

Place it on a flat surface before gluing it.

Step 11: Finish the Icosahedron

Picture of Finish the Icosahedron

Join the main structure with the lid. There are five vertices (plural of vertex) to glue this time. You don't need to tape this time.

If your edges don't join perfectly, like in the third picture, melt the smaller joints, gently pull the triangle tips together, and glue the vertex.

When you have glued all the vertexes, and the glue has hardened, remove all the tape strips from the inside.

Also clean up all the silicon threads from the glue.

Step 12: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

If you have followed all the steps correctly, you should have an Icosahedron.

Feel free to remix the idea, by adding your own decoration. Maybe paint it, varnish it, cover it with paper, put a LED in it, etc.

I like the look of the little candle inside it, but fire and wood don't go well together. Neither do heat and hot glue. But it still looks cool!

iPhone/iPod owners:

 - Download "Magic Lights" on your iPod/iPhone, turn up the brightness, and use the disco option!


ndrplz (author)2013-06-21

Hi, i think your instructable is really fun! After I saw it I immediately made one for myself, then I painted it, it'is really nice, so I wanted to share with you the result!
Again, congraturations!

colorex (author)ndrplz2013-06-21

Thanks for sharing! Really nice work!

instructable123456789 (author)2017-04-10

I love this

instructable123456789 made it! (author)2017-04-10

made a lot of these

candyaddict (author)2016-11-15

This is epicly sweet however watch your fingers @ the hot glue part. I got blisters from burning them on the glue.

Fishyfish123 (author)2014-07-12

Thanks it's soo cool! I made it! It was a little harder than I thought but it was worth it! It takes 15 triangles and a lot of glue!

dwalt1999 (author)Fishyfish1232016-10-28

Its 20 triangles icos means 20

shadha.ali.5 (author)2015-09-24

From step 8 I got confused, do you think you could do the different parts in different coloured sticks to make it easier to understand how the different parts fit together?

OogieMustBoogie made it! (author)2015-08-20

I made myself a pink one! With a string on it!

This instructable is one of the greats

lacmes1406 (author)2015-07-31

This part is very confusing.

BroadL made it! (author)2015-03-20

I made it! Here's my blog about it:

sixela108 (author)2013-12-24


or_ford98 (author)2013-02-01

WOW! Nice idea. Also good photography, pretty rare on instructables :P

colorex (author)2012-01-14

Awesome. I've been featured in lot's of places. Not significant places, but still!

Just search "Popsicle Stick Icosahedron" on google and you'll see!

lexkeepsitsimple (author)2012-01-11

Very cool. I love things that are simple to make, don't involve power tools and can be done relatively quickly but look elegant. Great job!

lullerfly86 (author)2011-10-07


colorex (author)lullerfly862011-10-07

You're right. But I don't have the patience... LOL

evacooper (author)2011-10-06

i once made one of these with cardboard, also one with cardboard that i cut out and put platic, and i hung it like a lamp... it wasnt very sturdy though. i must try this!

colorex (author)evacooper2011-10-06

This one is indeed very sturdy. I dropped it once, 3 ft high, still intact.

ko'donnell johnson (author)2011-10-01

I made this but added tissue paper on all the faces. You could use different colors on each face if you wanted. I also used a "flameless" tea light candle to avoid burning my house down!

geeezer (author)2011-09-25

cool. gotta love platonic solids... (platonically of course)

Would it work to make 4 of the pentagonal "lids" and stick em together?

colorex (author)geeezer2011-09-25

Nope. You can make three lids, but the fourth wont fit anywhere. Nice play on words, there!

mispel (author)2011-09-25

I made something similar SO long ago in middle school art class. We made a "stellated icosahedron", which is the addition of spikes that come out from each triangle on the surface of the icosahedron. I had that thing hanging from my ceiling for years.

We used small diameter straws (think cocktail straws), strung together with strong thread, which made it more or less impossible to see how it was held together and also gave it some flex.

To "stellate" the initial icosahedron shape, string longer sections of straw off of each intersection and then bring their tips together, eventually making the whole thing a 3D star...

Thanks for this 'ible, brings back fun memories!

colorex (author)mispel2011-09-25

Yeah basically I could do the same thing with 180 sticks more. You just build a pyramid on each of the faces.
I did think about that, but I had only 100 sticks...

I'm glad you like it :)

mispel (author)mispel2011-09-25

Oh yeah, and a tip for assembling this way is to use a heavy needle to string the thread through the straws. That way it just drops through quickly and easily...

colorex (author)2011-09-21


I got my instructable featured on the homepage!


Thanks Instructables!

tea_kettle (author)2011-09-21

This is genius!

colorex (author)tea_kettle2011-09-21


Verga (author)2011-09-20

Very Kewl Ible

colorex (author)Verga2011-09-20


colorex (author)2011-09-19


I'm Overly Happy!



About This Instructable




Bio: "I'm good at everything, but expert at nothing" I'm a kid that likes to build, design, find out, calculate, make, play, have fun ... More »
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