MAKALU Modular Origami Sculpture - 6 Woven Pentagons





Introduction: MAKALU Modular Origami Sculpture - 6 Woven Pentagons

Howzit guys and gals!

This is one of the 5 Himalayan peaks of origami folding, but don't let that deter you, it is a relatively easy model to fold. (compared to my previous instructable at least!)

This is the first time these instructions are being made public on the internet, so appreciate it :) 

What you will need:
Good music
15 squares of paper.

This is a relatively sturdy model, and holds together well with no glue or attachments.

Ok lets jump right in!

Step 1: The Paper!

Ok first things first:

Good music! 

You want something thats slow, mathematical, interesting and not too distracting. Carbon Based Lifeforms are perfect:

Ok paper!

Cut your squares in half. 


You should have 30 rectangles with 2x1 dimensions. No rocket science here.

Step 2: The Folding Begins!

If you are using coloured paper, start with the white side up.

Valley fold your paper in half lenthwise. 
(valley fold=fold the 2 sides towards your face, making a valley. Mountain fold=fold the 2 sides away from your face, making a mountain)

Do this again, folding your paper accurately into quarters.

Step 3: Guideline Creases

Valley fold the bottom right corner over, as if you were folding the paper again into 8ths, but only fold the bottom cm or so.
This is called a guideline crease, it is used as a marker for later on.
Check da photos.

Step 4: More Guideline Creases

Valley fold the top right corner down and the bottom left corner up to the middle.


These are also guideline creases, for the first couple fold the whole way, but as you get the feel for it you will notice that you only have to crease a small area to use as a guideline.

Less creases=more elegant model.

Step 5:

Valley fold the bottom left corner up until it just touches the guideline crease you just made, and make sure that the corner of the crease in exactly at the previous guideline fold you made.

This isn't difficult, check the photos.

Repeat on the top end.

Step 6:

Fold the edges in to the middle.
Should look like this.

Step 7:

Open the top right corner and REVERSE the corner along the existing creases so that it lies open. Fold the model flat again so that it looks like the photo. 2 out of the 3 creases necessary here are already in place.

Repeat on the bottom left.

Fold the model in half once this is done.
Crease the top and the bottom where your new folds cross the midline (about where my thumb and middle finger are in the picture)

Step 8:

Valley fold the bottom bit up along the level that already exists there. This is self explanatory if you are doing it.

Step 9:

Mountain fold (away from you) the little white bit on the left side of the model around to the other side of the model, hugging the edge as closely as you can.
Should look like this.

Repeat on the top side.

Step 10:

Unfold the last 2 folds you just made, your model should look like this.

Tuck your flaps in where they belong.

Well done, the model is done.

Make another 29 (groan).

Step 11: The Fun Begins :)

Ok you're over the hump, now onto the fun stuff!
If you made it this far, well done, this is where it gets cool!

You have made the pieces, now to put the puzzle together...

Put 2 pieces end to end and tuck their flaps into one another as shown.
You will notice that the pieces are not flat when they are put together.

Once they are properly and neatly tucked in, pinch the top edge to secure them.

Step 12:

Put 5 of these together in a pentagon.

Well done, first pentagon done!

Step 13:

Make a second pentagon, and loop it into the first one.

Then arrange them as shown on the photo (this is important. Hold them like this).

Step 14: 3rd Pentagon

Make a third pentagon, and loop it into the first 2.

Notice the triangles where the 3 pentagons meet: This is important. Top and bottom.

Step 15:

4th pentagon: The hardest one
This is the hardest one to put in.
As you put it in, you will notice the triangular pattern as it crosses the previous 3.

There is a rule: Each pentagon must intersect each other one, once and once only. This isn't very helpful.

Try to figure it out from the photos.
Look at the pattern at the base (first photo), you should see this at the top as well. Where you had 1 triangle, you now have 2.

The first 3 you put in relatively upright, this one you must put in at an angle.

Step 16: Number 5

The fith one is a bit easier, by now you will start seeing where the pieces go.

Here it is easier to put the pentagon in in segments of 1 or 2 pieces and attaching the pieces once they are in place.
You can see this is what I have been doing.

Step 17: Final One!

The last pentagon is easy, you will see where it has to go, just follow the symmetry.

I made the last one golden, it adds a nice contrast.

This pentagon you will have to put in piece by piece.

Well done!

Put it in a spot where people can ooh and aah at it :)

I hope you enjoyed my instructable, please post photos if you end up making it :)

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34 Discussions

This was a very fun model to make. Thank You!

I made one without patience OR good music LOL

I’m 12 ? no kidding


2 years ago

I still can't get step 7, could you explain more. Thanks!

Heh, how hard can it be? #famouslastwords

Also, that's a pretty fancy pattern on the paper. How did you get it?

1 reply

Haha this is definitely doable for your average origami folder, not too tough! I just googled "granite texture" and "gold texture" and printed them out on regular paper... The paper you use makes a world of difference to the final model, it's worthwhile getting a nice pattern :)

Dude this thing is awesome!!! It took me 5 hours to make (im a bit slow) but it was really fun! I heaps of compliments on it! Please do more origami instructables because your posts are awesome!

1 reply

Aah much appreciated!
Post a photo, i would love to see!
I will certainly post more interesting origami posts :) I prefer the geometric models to birds, fish etc...
There's a certain beauty in working with a 2 dimensional medium, its very mathematical :)

I like how you broke down something that looks impossible into doable steps. NIce job! I want to try it.!! so stoked to try this. thx for sharing!

I think while this is probably the second hardest origami model I've made (second to the kawasaki rose) it's definitely my favourite. I've suspended it from a ruler with fine cotton thread and taped the ruler to the top of my PC tower on my desk at works so now it slowly spins next to my monitor. I love how the angles come together to form the inverted pyramids where they meet.

Think I'll have to try this. How big were the squares you halved and what height did the model end up? Just so I can estimate how fiddly it will be with my size paper. Thanks.

9 replies

I cut squares out of an A4 and then halved them, so about... 20cm I guess?
The model was quite big and there are no really small tricky folds, so you can do it with paper thats quite a lot smaller.
Doing the weaving will be easier with smaller paper as well, and the smaller your paper the sturdier the model...
I wouldn't go smaller than about 6cm squares though, unless you have very thin paper.

That's great, thank you. I think I have 12 cm squares, I'll give it a go some time this week. It should look good on my desk next to my 30 unit PHiZZ ball.

Aah the 30 unit PHiZZ was one of the first modulars I built...
Great way of learning how the geometry of these modulars work!
Post a photo if you get it done!

The 4th and 5th pentagons are REALLY hard to get right. I'm not sure if I've done the 4th right since it's so hard to differentiate between the units in your photos. I've connected the 4th but can't see how to integrate the 5th. It'd be much clearer if your pentagons were different colours :(

If you attached the 4th one correctly the 5th one is much easier...
I have attached a photo of the diagrams, but they're not very good quality...

Basically, work on the triangles that are formed, each arm goes over the next one clockwise. When you put the 3rd loop in, 2 triangles are formed, one at the top and one at the bottom. The 4th one adds another 2 triangles, next to each of the original 2.


Thanks, that looks like it'll help. I also reread all of your instructions and found I definitely must have put the 4th in wrong. If you hold 3 loops up by one you can see that one of them only goes through 2 not 3 others. Will have a play again tomrorow night :D

Good luck!
The 4th one is the hardest....
What might make it easier is holding the first 3 in place with some sticky tape or something so that you have both hands free to get the fourth one in.
The triangles are the key.
If you look at the photo on step 14 (3 pentagons) the 4th one goes inside the 3 loops on the left/front and outside the 3 loops on the right/back, forming triangles at the bottom/front and at the top/back, next to the previous 2 triangles... sounds confusing I know...

I actually found 5 harder than 4. I found the tape trick, I also put some tiny dabs of glue in the joints of the pentagons to hold them together a little better, my paper's a little floppy. Sure, it's not purist, but only you and I will know ;)