Pyromaniac Chrysanthemum Kusudama




Introduction: Pyromaniac Chrysanthemum Kusudama

We were over at a good friends place when the oldest boy in the family and I decided to shift location from the dining room to their attic, it happened to have a bunch of paper.

They had a simple origami book and we set a challenge to build all the models overnight.

We made it through the easy, medium, hard and expert but when we came to the modular section - it was difficult but in a different way.

There were only four different types of 'module' but to make any one model you had to make anywhere from 8 to 60 of any type of 'modules', we chose to do the smaller projects and work on to the biggest models through the night.

When we came to the Kusudama it was the last of the easy models, we made one each and set it aside and moved on to the next model - it had 20 modules, there was no way we were prepared for something like that so we decided to have a snack.

We moved down to the kitchen, he ate a sandwich and I stood next to the fireplace (the one that ruined my old watch) I was inspired by the fire and asked my friend if he had any matches available so we could incorporate fire with the origami, he liked the idea but it was bed time so we had to abandon the idea early.

We both got up a 6:00 the next morning, met before breakfast and started brainstorming.

He had the great idea of incorporating fire with the Kusudama as a party light - we got to work straight away.

Going into the kitchen I asked him what we could use to stop the paper burning - he didn't hear me, instead he turned around with his hands full of gear! He had already thought of the answer through the night!

We took the gear up to the attic and left it for that night - that night came quickly and before we knew it, there in front of us was a Kusudama party light awaiting to be lit.

That night after the completion of the project we announced the grand "invention" to the rest of the family, we took it outside and lit it - we waited - the candle was burning - and it was a major success!

At the time I didn't take any notice of the type of Kusudama we made because I thought there was only one type, I was quite wrong - there are hundreds!

When I thought back on that great night I always wanted to replicate the party light, I searched he internet for four hours before finding the exact design, I made it again and now I am making an Instructable on it.

Step 1: Get Your Gear!

To replicate this project you will need the following items:

  1. A4 paper, 8 sheets.
  2. Aluminum foil, about 2 meters of it.
  3. PVA glue.
  4. Matches.
  5. Tea light.
  6. Breadboard.
  7. Scissors (or exact-o-knife).
  8. Paper clips, you should only need one but grab two just in case.
  9. String, about 30cm.
  10. Heavy book, this is optional.
  11. Patience.
  12. Adult supervision and permission.
  13. Safety.

At least one whole read through this Instructable so you know exactly what you are making and why you need the items listed.

**If you don't want to use glue you can put paperclips on the corners to hold the whole model together**

Step 2: Aluminum Foil.

First and foremost, we need to cut the paper into squares, once you have done that you need to measure the al-foil.

Roll out the foil and lay the squares on it like shown in the first photo, cut the end giving yourself at least 20cm after the end of the last square to give yourself a little bit of space in case of a mistake.

When you have cut the foil you can put it away - you won't need the roll anymore.

To cut out the squares, put the breadboard under the foil, and then score the foil as close to the edge of the paper that you can, you don't need an exact square because we only need the middle of it.

Once the foil is scored it should be able to tear off in a straight line, cut out all of the 8 squares and then discard the leftovers.

Put your progress in a pile and move on to the next step.

**Not shown in this step**

*You should cut a little bit off the corners of the foil so the units can be glued together, I didn't do this and it utterly failed, I had to scrape bits of foil off the corners to expose the paper so they could be assembled.*

Step 3: Foil and Paer Unite!

Now we need to attach the foil and paper together, this is the first time we will need the glue.

Put the glue on the paper and the carefully lay the foil on top, make sure there are no bubbles in the foil.

Now you can put a book on top of the paper/foil combination if you want to enhance the bonding.

Do this to all 8 modules and then you can move on to the next step.

If you use PVA glue it should bond fairly quickly, leave it for about a minute or longer if you deem necessary.

Step 4: The Unit of the Model.

It is time to make the units, these are very simple in the first steps but it gets complicated in the last few.

You have to put the paper foil side down and then fold it in half in all four main directions - diagonals and vertical/horizontal.

Fold the bottom and top edges to the center, making quarter folds like the first photo shows.

Now, fold in both the sides into the middle so it makes a square like shown in the second photo.

Once you have done this you need to fold the mini square in half on the diagonals like shown in the third photo.

You have made half of the unit, move on to the next step.

**If this confuses you, comment and I will post instructions on how to make a simple Kusudama.

Step 5: Continue the Unit.

This part is where it gets a little bit tricky, you have to open up the top flap and squash-fold it flat again, it should look like the second photo.

If you know how to do a squash fold you should be fine, if you don't I have tried my best to explain it in the next step - if you can't understand it please comment and I will post instructions on how to squash fold.

Now you need to fold the little triangles up and squash-fold them flat like the fourth and fifth photos show respectively.

The result of your work should look like the sixth photo, you should have four individual squares.

Step 6: Finishing Off the Units.

This is where it gets really really fiddly, you have to squash-fold each of the eight corners like the first three photos show, this is an ordinary squash-fold so if you know how to do them this should be no problem.

If you do not know how to do a squash-fold here are the instructions:

Crease the edge in focus to the center of the square like shown in the first photo.

Carefully start to open the piece that you creased like in the second photo, it should start to fold flat.

Continue this urge to fold flat until it lays completely flat like in the fourth photo.

Do this to all eight sides on all eight modules!

**Shown in fourth and fifth photos: Open up the little tabs and put a bit of glue under them to hold it flat.

Now we have to flip the unit over and fold the four corners in a little way using the tip of the squash folds as guides.

Make eight of these and then you are finished folding!!

Step 7: Glue the Units Together.

It is time to assemble all eight units, put a bit of glue on one tab and butt the next tab up to it, pinch it together for about 15 seconds to ensure a secure bond, if you don't want to hold it you can use a paper clip.

Let this sit in the cross position for a while to make sure the edges are stuck together before you fully assemble it.

When you think the edges are fully bonded you ca go ahead and fold it up to make the Kusudama, from this step you have two options: You can leave it as-is and use it as a display or you can read (and make) on to make it into a party light.

You will see that the corners look rough, this is because I had to scrape a bit of foil off for the glue to stick, if I did it again, I would trim these off in the fist step.

**If you don't want to use glue you can put paperclips on the corners to hold the whole model together**

Step 8: Hanging the Kusudama

If you want to hang the Kusudama somewhere you will need the paperclip, bend one side so it looks like photo one and poke a hole in the center like shown, make sue it is neat otherwise it might rip - if it is not neat you can have another go on one of the five remaining faces, you don't notice the small holes.

Bend the opened side of the paperclip backwards like shown in photo three and thread it into the hole like photo four shows, the staple I am holding is there so you can see where the paperclip should sit.

Now you have to get the string and tie it onto the paperclip, tie an ordinary stopper knot but add one extra wrap before tightening, trim the end off close to the paperclip - don't trim it too close or it will come undone!

Tie a loop in the remaining end of the string and you are nearly done!

**I hadn't tied the loop at this stage, that is why I don't have a photo of it.

Step 9: Add the Candle!

If you want this to be a party light you will have to use a tealight, that is no problem - it just means more work!

You will have to insert the tealight via one of the triangular holes like shown in the first photo.

If it fits well you will have to take it back out and light it, assuming it is night time!

If it is not night time you will have to be very patient and wait until it is nearly dark.


The candle in the photo is being inserted the WRONG WAY, if it was lit it would burn the Kusudama, you need to insert it the OTHER WAY so the flame doesn't touch the foil.

Step 10: Light the Candle!

When it is dark you can relieve your anxiety and light that candle!

Put it into the Kusudama, position it in the center and hang it on something!

Please, do NOT light this inside, you have a high risk of burning something that shouldn't be burned.

I have added a few photos of my Kusudama at night, they are the best out of the shots I took, it is very hard taking photo of fire at night so please bear with it.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

** If someone makes ten of these and posts an 'I made it' with a photo of all of them I will give that person 1 year PRO membership!

Make it Glow!

Participated in the
Make it Glow!

Papercraft Contest

Participated in the
Papercraft Contest

Formlabs Contest

Participated in the
Formlabs Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Lighting Challenge

      Lighting Challenge
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Puzzles Speed Challenge

      Puzzles Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions