Modular Origami Earrings




Introduction: Modular Origami Earrings

Here's an easy but fun pair of earrings that you can make for a friend, a loved one, or yourself! The origami model is called a Japanese Brocade, designed by Minako Ishibashi. It's fairly simple to fold, but making them at a small scale might require a little extra patience.

If folding tiny pieces of paper isn't your style, you can still follow these instructions with larger sheets to make elegant Christmas ornaments for your tree. Instead of attaching earring hooks at the end, you can use some ribbon to hang up your origami ball!

Step 1: Supplies

You will need 12 pieces of paper, and if you would like to make the earrings with three different colors, you should have four sheets of each color. Each of the modular balls uses six pieces of paper. I used 1"x1" sheets, which creates earrings that are about 5/8" in diameter. Any kind of paper will work, but sturdier paper will be easier to work with. If you would like to be festive, you can try using gift wrap or printed photos.

The rest of the supplies include:

- 2 eye pins

- 2 earrings hooks

- Elmer's glue

- pliers

Step 2: Making One Unit

1. Fold the sheet in half and unfold.

2. Fold the paper into fourths matching each edge with the centerline.

3. Without unfolding the previous step, fold the bottom right corner to the top and the bottom left corner in the opposite direction, then unfold completely.

4. Fold each of the four corners of the sheet, so that they meet at the 1/4 fold mark that you created earlier.

5. Fold the top and bottom edges to also meet at the 1/4 fold mark.

6. Using the diagonal crease that you created in step 3, take the right corner of the paper and fold along the crease. Take the left edge of the corner and fold the flap to the right while simultaneously folding the bottom edge up.

7. Rotate the model 180 degrees and repeat step 6.

8. Tuck in the corner/flap that you've just folded under the bottom edge pocket created in step 6. At this point, you should have a parallelogram.

9. Turn over the parallelogram and fold the long corners inwards to create a square, then unfold.

10. Now your unit is complete! Fold five more to assemble one brocade.

Step 3: Putting Together the Units

The six units will be assembled into essentially a cube, and they will be held together by inserting the triangular points of each unit into a pocket of another unit as shown above. To keep the model sturdy, so the earring doesn't fall apart when someone is wearing it, add a dab of Elmer's glue to the back of the triangular point.

You will want to assemble five units of the model as shown above.

Step 4: Adding the Earring Findings

Before adding the eye pin to the piece, bend the length of the pin into a kind of triangle shape. Then place the eye pin in the corner of your cube before adding the last unit of the model and glueing the remaining flaps. The eye pin should not be able to slip out because of the bulb shape.

Next, squeeze the four flaps on each face together to create the final Japanese Brocade.

Finish the earring by using your pliers to open the loop of your earring hook slightly, attaching the hook to your eye pin, and then closing the loop tightly.

Step 5: Final Product

Create a second earring, and you're done! I hope you enjoyed making these :)

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    Question 3 months ago on Step 2

    how do you the 6th step on making one unit?


    8 years ago

    I love them! They look really good :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, these are way impressive!

    Super intricate . . . but your instructions are very clear to follow. Nicely done!