Frabjous Paper Star




Introduction: Frabjous Paper Star

The Frabjous is a 3 dimensional geometric shape designed by George Hart. In the .pdf listed below he provides a template for the component I call the swirl. In my file, I have added 2 tabs to each swirl to provide a way to glue the components together. You will need 30 swirls.

References: George Hart George uses only the 30 swirls, but my file uses an open, hollow dodecahedron as a base that will assist you in the assembly of the Frabjous. The concept for the base came from reading The Mad Scientist explanation for creating the Frabjous. After completion, you could reach in with your scissors and cut away the base if you are a purist, but I find the base provides stability and (when done in a contrasting color) a little extra dimension to the finished piece.

My file contains 1 swirl (cut 30) and both base pieces. (cut 1 each to form the hollow dodecahedron) templateSS.png Notice the base has 2 almost identical parts, but if you look closely, you will notice they are mirror images of each other.

Step 1: Supplies

I used 2 sheets of holographic paper cut from gift bags purchased at Dollar Tree. One silver pattern for the base, and a 2nd multicolor for swirls.

Scissors, X-acto or other craft knife, 2 sided tape (mine leftover from putting up Frost King insulating window plastic), but available in craft stores everywhere.

Also possible to cut shapes out with a electronic die cutter (like a Cricut) instructions on how to upload the shapes template to DS the Instructables named Cutting Frabjous with a Cricut .

Step 2: Cut Out the 2 Red Pieces That Will Be Used to Create the Base.

Transfer the red shapes onto least busy of the papers and cut 1 each. Score along the blue lines.

Notice the base has 2 almost identical parts, but if you look closely, you will notice they are mirror images of each other.

Step 3: Crease on Score Lines

I find I get a cleaner crease by bending the paper over a sharp edge placed directly beneath score line.

Apply 2 sided tape to the flaps. In the photo, the knife points at the 2 sided tape cut to fit the tab.

Step 4: Assemble Both Halves of the Base, Then Join Them Together.

Peel back the cover on the tape (first photo has the knife pointing at a strip of double faced tape) and fasten sides together to complete 1/2 of the open, hollow dodecahedron (Base)

Repeat for 2nd half of the base and use the already applied tape to secure both halves together.

Step 5: Cut Out Then Crease Tabs

Put aside the base for now and cut out 30 of the swirls.

Create tabs by creasing on score lines and apply 2 sided tape to each. Again you might want to fold these over your scissors blade to get crisp edge.

Step 6: Geometric Positioning

Each swirl will run from the outside edge of a single point (corner) on each pentagon, then under the opposite flat side and out to the opposite corner of the adjoining pentagon.

This photo shown to clarify positioning.

Step 7: Corner Units

Assemble not more than three, 3 piece corner units.

Photos show the addition of the 3rd swirl to the unit, which will in turn be fastened to first swirl to form a corner point.

Step 8: Weave the Units Through the Base

Take one of the 3 swirl units you just prepared and place the apex over a corner of the base. Weave the swirls into the nearest opening and under opposite flat side, then out to the far corner.

Each of the 3 swirls will weave through 3 different adjacent sides of the base.

Step 9: Use a Pencil to Identify Correct Placement

At this point, start attaching swirls to the ones already in place, joining points to make up the corner units. Be sure to weave the tails of the swirls into the correct locations. At any time you get confused about where a swirl should be placed, push a pencil through to identify the path.

All swirls run from base corner under bar to opposite corner and in this example, adhere to the 2 swirls that already meet at this location.

Notice how the position for the swirl will fall to the inside curve of previously placed swirls.

The first photo shows how the next swirl will weave through and attach to the corner unit at pencil tip.

Step 10: Done!


Last Swirl about to be woven in.

Assembly complete! Just add a thread to hang it up.

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    1 year ago

    I was trying to make the Frabjous for months now, without much success. It was only after your hack of creating the base that I could finally finish my model. Thanks for sharing this!