Introduction: How to Make a 3-D Ornament Out of Andrea's Rose (Origami)

This tutorial will teach you how to convert J.C. Nolan's "Andrea's Rose" into a beautiful 3-D ornament. This tutorial assumes that you have a prepared model of Andrea's Rose that you can convert, but there are many excellent tutorials and diagrams online that can teach you how to build the original rose. As with all geometric origami, remember that precision is key to a good looking final model. The more time you spend carefully folding and creasing, the better your end model will look!

Materials Required:

One pre-made model of Andrea's Rose (which will be converted into the final 3-D piece).

A thin pencil, pin, or fork to help pry up some of the paper folds.

You will not need any glue, tape, scissors, etc. This is a fold-only model.

Technique and Difficulty:

Andrea's Rose is considered an intermediate level design, and the 3-D conversion steps are of a similar difficulty, perhaps a bit easier! If you can build the rose you can definitely convert to the 3-D version.

I will assume basic familiarity with common origami folds (mountain fold, valley fold, etc.) but most of this design is about manipulating specific parts of the model, not folding.

Safety Concerns:

Watch out for paper cuts!

Also, if you are using a pin be careful not to prick yourself :)

Why Build One?

Andrea's Rose is an awesome, fractal-inspired geometric design that looks great and is (theoretically) infinitely complex. The design can be made even more unique and mystifying to onlookers by converting it into a 3-D model, showcasing the fractal art and your own origami talent. Basically: we build it because it's awesome.

Time Commitment

As with all origami your level of expertise and the amount of practice you have with a specific model can greatly affect the overall time to fold. For this model give yourself at least 30 minutes (and maybe even an hour) the first time you try it, but don't feel like you have to do it all at once! You can just go step by step and take a break whenever you need, I guarantee it won't unfold itself while you're gone :)

Step 1: The Beginning

When you first begin your rose should look something like the model shown above. When building Andrea's Rose note that the thinner and more durable your paper, the more minute you will be able to make the folds in the rose. I find that the best paper for this model is actually the cheap bulk origami paper that you can get at most craft stores. I used a thicker, harder wearing paper for my model so that the ornament will be durable (this would do fine on a Christmas tree, for example) and because the paper was beautiful.

Step 2: Fold in the Bottom Corner

Begin by valley folding the bottom corner of the back of the model. You want the corner to meet with the center of the model as precisely as possible. Hard crease the edge as this fold will form the new base of the model.

Step 3: Fold in the Remaining Corners

Fold in the remaining 3 corners just like the first one. They should meet up nicely in the middle and have sharp, creased edges. At the end of this step you should see 4 triangles on the bottom of your model, as shown in the picture above.

Step 4: Fold One Triangle's Corners Into the Middle

Pick one of the triangles that you created and rotate the model so that triangle is on the top. Valley fold one outside corner of the triangle into the middle of the model as shown above. Then, valley fold the second outside corner into the middle of the model. Make sure to hard crease these folds as they will be visible in the final model. At the end of this step, your model should look like the one shown above, with both corners folded into the center.

Step 5: Fold in the Remaining Corners

Repeat Step 4 for the 3 remaining triangles on the bottom. When you have finished with this step, you should be left with a small square as shown above.

Step 6: Prepare to Fold Two Corners Together

This step is to help visualize what we need to do next. Start by unfolding two adjacent corners that you just folded in. We are going to be tucking one of the corners into the other to create the 3-D base for our model. Look carefully at the pictures above, notice how I have the left corner on the outside of the model and the right corner on the inside. We will want to follow this pattern for the upcoming steps.

Step 7: Tuck the Right Corner Into the Left Corner

Here's where things get just a little bit tricky. If this step is hard for you the first time you try it don't give up! Keep on trying and you'll get it down.

Start by looking at the two corners you chose in the previous step. Look at the back of the model and slightly pinch open the left corner as shown. Take the right corner and tuck it all the way into the opening of the left corner (look carefully at the pictures to see how this is done). Once the right corner has been tucked in, collapse the left corner over the right corner so that it completely engulfs the right corner. After this step, your model should look like the picture above.

Step 8: Repeat Step 7 for the 3 Remaining Triangles

Repeat step 7 for each of the 3 remaining triangles, always tucking the right corner into the left corner. Tucking in the last corner can be slightly more challenging than tucking in the first 3, but not by much. Your model should now have a 3-D shape to it as shown above. If you are going to place this model on a table or stand than congratulations! You can stop here and have an awesome 3-D model. If you want to impress and amaze your friends even more than keep going with the rest of the steps to close off the bottom of the model.

Step 9: Fold Up One of the Loose Flaps

Alright, now to make the model even cooler! Start by picking one of the flaps on the bottom of the model. You'll notice that one edge of the flap is stuck but the other side can be lifted up to form a little shield over the bottom of the model. Pick any flap and expand it until it covers half of the bottom as shown above. For this step you may want to use a small pencil, pin, fork, or other implement to help you get under the loose flap as it can be difficult with your fingers alone.

Step 10: Repeat Step 9 With 2 More Flaps

Repeat step 9 for the two flaps to the right of the first one that you chose. Each of the flaps should be nested underneath one of the others as shown above. This step should be pretty easy to do after having done Step 9.

Step 11: Fold Up the Last Flap

Lastly, we'll need to fold up the last flap. We want to keep with the pattern of each flap being tucked underneath one of the others, but to do this we need to get the first flap out of the way. Begin by flattening the first flap down just a little bit so that you can reach the second flap. Then, repeat Step 9 for the last flap, carefully bringing it up so that it is level with the others. When all 4 flaps are raised, use your pencil / pin to reach underneath each of the flaps and push them upwards away from the model to make them uniform. When finished, your model should look like the picture above.

Step 12: You're Done!

Congratulations, you've finished! You now have a unique 3-D version of Andrea's Rose to show off to your friends. These roses make great ornaments and conversation pieces and look awesome to boot! As an added bonus you can usually get a lot of compliments from passersby if you leave one on your desk at school or work.

If you are having trouble with any of the steps post your questions in the comments below and keep at it! The world of origami is fascinating and exciting but, as with any art, it takes time to grow into your potential. Happy folding!