Introduction: Unit Origami

Picture of Unit Origami

This is a really sweet type of origami that doesn't require the intricate folding that nobody can understand.

What you'll need:
12 sheets of origami paper

Step 1: Building

Picture of Building
Now the first step making this type of origami is to make the first unit!

1. Start with a single piece of origami paper with the color side facing down and fold it in half.

2. Next, unfold that. Then bring up the paper edge to the crease just you made in step 1 and fold that down.

3. Rotate the paper 180 degrees and repeat step 2 with the paper edge.

4. Rotate that by 90 degrees so you're looking at something like a cupboard. Open the left side door of "the cabinet" and fold up the bottom right corner up to the crease of the opened left side.

5. Undo the right triangle you made in step 4 and close up the left side of the cabinet.

6. Then rotate this by 180 degrees and open up the new left side. Then repeat step four by folding up the right hand bottom corner up to the crease of the left door to the cabinet.

7. Now instead of undoing this fold as you did before, you want to simply close up the left door of the cabinet with the right triangle still folded up inside of it.

8. Now this is probable one of the hardest steps in making this type of origami so bear with me :)   Start out by lifting up the top right hand corner's "door" as far as it will go without undoing the folds. Then take the whole top left hand corner and tuck it underneath the right top flap. You want to keep pushing it in until it forms a triangle, the same as the one perpendicular to it.

9. Now take the whole shape flip it upside down and proceed to fold the white corners down over the shape for form a parallelogram without any white showing on either side.

10. Fold up the 2 points of the shape to form a square.

11. Lastly you just want to fold the square diagonally in half, along the gap between the two points you folded down in step 10. You may fold them in either direction.

That wasn't to hard now was it? Now all you got to do is go make 11 more of these :D

Step 2: Putting It Together

Picture of Putting It Together
Now that you have 12 completed units, it is now time to put them together. You're almost done now!

Notice that there are points (the two triangles that hang off of the square in the center) and there are pockets (the 4 little slots on the other side of the square). As you probable guessed you are going to put the points into the pockets. But an important thing before you begin, don't use the two "pockets" that would cover up the point of that shape if a unit was inserted into one of them.

Try experimenting to make the shape. It is kind of like a puzzle. If you get stuck try making 4 pyramids by putting 3 units together to form a 3 sided pyramid-esk shape and then put them together. Experiment!

Step 3: More on Unit Origami

Picture of More on Unit Origami
Unit origami is wide open for experimentation. The shapes you can create by simply knowing the basic unit are endless, the sky is the limit!


Rose Orion Cypher (author)2015-08-15

During 7th grade, I found a cube made of these modules on the floor at school, reverse-engineered it and made a larger 4x4 version of it without even knowing what it was!

origamistudent (author)2014-10-06

Spent 6 hours... good thing it looks awesome :)

mvicknair (author)2014-03-16

I did this in junior high math class. It was lots of fun once I got the hang of it, but I've forgotten how to do it, so thanks for reminding me of the steps!

Applebohn (author)mvicknair2014-04-05

For sure! I'd actually learned it in a middle school math class as well :)

adale123 (author)2013-02-05

It does require irritating folds that I can't understand. HELP!!!

spark16 (author)2011-08-19


spark16 (author)2011-08-19

omg it is so simple!
oh yeah, the video was a WHOLE LOT BETTER than the written instructions.
I like your work.

jbend (author)2011-06-12

this is soooooo easy

logghi (author)2009-05-04

i cant get the pyramids together... help!

kaylaangelkisses (author)logghi2011-05-22

Me nether!

Buzzsushi (author)logghi2010-02-14

It takes A LOT of wiggling and bending lol.

logghi (author)Buzzsushi2010-02-15

I managed it about a week after posting that comment, but it looks great thanks!

mary96 (author)2011-03-25

can someone plz tell me how to make the 90 unit one//

bubblebut (author)2011-01-09

I did it and it looked awesome it is so cool thanks for making it mine looks like this.

dude i have no clue how to do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It may take sum practice with other origami folding before or in my case, an epiphany cuz I'm weird like that. Trying the lazy tertrahedragsomething at is a good place to start :3

bubblebut (author)PetBennett2011-02-18

dude if you want to start off with easy origami then ckeck out my page or go to

o come on its easy

Applebohn (author)bubblebut2011-01-09

that's awesome :D Looks great!

christophungus (author)2011-02-06

Awesome!!!!!! I made a Giant one out of big construction paper!!!!!!!!!!

Applebohn (author)christophungus2011-02-07

that's epic!!!!

christophungus (author)2011-02-06

Nice instructable!!


mutant763 (author)2010-06-04

Really nice, could you do a video showing how to put one of the larger versions together with 30 modules

pholt (author)2010-06-03

How do you put the units together?

eaglehylian (author)2010-06-02

it´s easy... but so awsome.. thank´s

Phantomn (author)2010-05-27

Just made one and haven't stopped fiddling with it xD
Nice 'ible.

imcharly (author)2010-03-17

try adding a fortune cookie in it, really cool :DD


The Gray Ninja (author)2010-03-06

i followed your guide and i have to say it was very cool when i experimented! I had somehow managed to make a cube out of six units that holds up pretty well! thanks a lot!

Buzzsushi (author)2010-02-15

Already made 3 different things and working on a 90 unit thing. its gonna rock, will post pics when Im finished. Great ible!

Applebohn (author)Buzzsushi2010-02-16

Awsome, it sounds great!!! kinda adicting isn't it :-D  thanks

Buzzsushi (author)Applebohn2010-02-16

Yeah. It is. Lol. Halfway done making the units nao. its gonna be big.

rock_JOCKY (author)2010-01-30

ur right, it does confuse ur friends. when my bud showed me his, i couldnt figure out how he did it. now i do so thx

origamianything (author)2009-12-12

... has ANYONE thought about the *cough* other *cough* 12 unit and the (lol) 60 unit sonobes? and everything inbetween? and also the 270 unit....

wadnilmom (author)2009-08-10

I made a 120 (? maybe it was just 90) piece '-hedron' back in the mid 90's. A few years later we moved overseas, and I lost track of it. Now we're back in the ISA and I would sure like to make another one to show my math students! Anyone out there who can help??

WHAT? A 120 UNIT??? i just made one of those, but slightly modified. make rings of 10 units, like ur making a stellated icosahedron. but you push the center down, that makes a star. make 12 of those, and connect those together like a dodecahedron.

kog103 (author)2009-10-10

Thanks for that man! Good instructions, and a brilliant result! Thanks!

jibas_music77 (author)2009-09-15

I did it! Thanks for the video XD

nam.keeheon (author)2009-01-17

What is the real name to this origami? (like polyhedra)

i think its called a hexaflex

Applebohn (author)nam.keeheon2009-01-19

I don't know

nam.keeheon (author)Applebohn2009-01-19

thanks though, it turned out really cool, It be cooler if I knew a name...

Applebohn (author)nam.keeheon2009-01-20

i just looked it up and i beleive it is a stellated octahedron

nam.keeheon (author)Applebohn2009-01-20

sweet, thanks dude

paperairplanecreator (author)2009-09-08

hehheheeeh a brazilian tought me this

jdogsbart (author)2009-06-26

this is the sonobe unit!

ColtonBlake (author)2009-05-22

I love this instructable its amazing!!!!!!!!!!! I have this type of paper where it is two pieces in one and i made one square piece with one of them!!! I recommend it.

jmanlk456 (author)2009-04-23

i'm making one with post its do you think it will work

Applebohn (author)jmanlk4562009-04-24

the sticky parts might make it hard to do but tell me how it goes. something a little easyer to do it with might be startburst wrapers, it looks really cool

CountAight (author)2009-04-10

I was looking for this unit and by looking at your instructions I remembered it. But on the last flaps you fold behind the piece you can actually tuck it in to give it a cleaner and more stable look.

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