Popsicle Stick Icosahedron





Introduction: Popsicle Stick Icosahedron

About: "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, etc. Done with school, currently studying for Cisco Certificate Network Ass...

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 Instructables.com
Do it. It's really worth it.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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!

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!

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

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

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

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

Place it on a flat surface before gluing it.

Step 11: 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!

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!

3 People Made This Project!


  • Casting Contest

    Casting Contest
  • Make it Move Contest

    Make it Move Contest
  • Oil Contest

    Oil Contest

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Please be positive and constructive.




Thanks for sharing! Really nice work!

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

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!

14, 8:32 PM.jpg
1 reply

Its 20 triangles icos means 20

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?

This part is very confusing.

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

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!

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!


1 reply

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

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!

1 reply

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

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!

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

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

1 reply

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

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!