Sew a Dodecahedron




The purposes of this project are to:

1. Sew a fun, toss-able, and decorative dodecahedron (an object with 12 sides).

2. Practice using the sewing machine. While teaching my daughter to sew on the machine, I found that the most frustrating thing for her was trying to keep a straight seam while at the same time trying to mange stopping, starting, and generally using the foot pedal.

My daughter and I did this together. She decorated the fabric using machine stitching, and I sewed the seams that make the shape.

Step 1: Materials


sewing machine
colorful thread
1/2 yard thick, stiff, non-adhesive interfacing (I think felt would work as well)
round object to trace as template
measuring tape
straight edge
disappearing quilt marking pen or chalk

Step 2: Decorate Your Fabric

We're starting with a blank canvas. Using the sewing machine's stitches, we're creating the design on the fabric.

This step was a lot of fun for my daughter. To make the designs, she got to sew wherever she wanted on the fabric using all sorts of crazy patterns. She got to practice starting and stopping using the foot pedal without having to worry about keeping a straight line or minding the seams allowance. I think it was actually the first time she had fun with the machine and didn't get frustrated.

We used free-motion quilting, which means that we lowered the machine's feed dogs so that they weren't feeding the fabric forward and regulating the stitch. With free motion quilting, the sewer's hands control the movement of the fabric entirely. If your machine can't lower the feed dogs, you can still do this project--your design will just have more zig zags and fewer swirls.

In short:
Thread the machine with colorful thread.
Stitch all over your interfacing so the thread makes cool designs.

Step 3: Trace 12 Circles, Then Cut

Using your round object (ours is a juice glass) as a template, trace 12 circles on your interfacing using a pencil.

Make sure you center any favorite parts of your design on a circle.

Step 4: Cut Out the Circles

Cut out the circles, cutting off all the pencil marks.

Step 5: Make the Pentagon Template

Use your round object to trace a circle on paper.

Measure the circumference of the circle using the measuring tape.

Divide the circumference by 5. Let's call the resulting number "x". Mark the circle every "x" inches along the circumference. You will have 5 evenly spaced dots along the circle.

Using the straight edge, connect adjacent dots inside the circle. You will get a pentagon.

Cut out the pentagon. You've made the pentagon template!

Step 6: Mark the Stitching Lines

Using the pentagon template, mark a pentagon inside each circle using the disappearing ink quilting marker. You can use chalk or something else to mark, but if you can't dust it away, the marks will remain visible.

Step 7: Stitch the Dodecadedron

Start by picking on circle to be your "Master Circle". Sew a circle to each of the 5 sides of this circle, matching the stitching lines, and stitching on these lines. Then, sew the sides of the circles that are adjacent to each other. Make sure all the seam allowances (the little crescents sticking out) are on the same side of your dodecahedron. After you do this you will have something that looks a bit like a bowl. (A bowl is a cool project in itself!)

Make a second bowl.

Stitch the two bowls together, matching stitching lines.


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    13 Discussions


    A million thanks to both you and your daughter!! I've been looking all over on how to make a faceted hexagon out of fabric to sew onto a flat surface and add padding. This instructable solved the only problem I had left, how on earth to I add seam allowances to the each of the oddly shaped facets!! Thanks!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Could you leave it till the last one and turn it inside out to get rid of the seams? Not sure how easy it'd be to finish it off!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    fantastic! I might make one with catnip inside for entertainment at christmas


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You could also sew it out of heavy fabric then fill it with normal stuffing and a squeaker or two and you would have a awesome dog toy


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Your daughter should leave a side open, turn it inside out, fill it with sand or beans then sew up the last side then sell them as hacky sacks. She'd get $5-10 each.

    2 replies
    Uncle Kudzu

    9 years ago on Introduction

    that's pretty cool!

    for those interested, all manner of polyhedron pattern can be found to download here: they're for paper models, but could perhaps be modified for sewing.

    i sometimes hand sew simple hacky sacks and balls; like Jayefuu said below, your daughter might enjoy that and sell what she makes.

    1 reply
    hishealerUncle Kudzu

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for this site! I used to make these in school and I found the rotating ring I was once so proud of.


    9 years ago on Step 7

    This is absolutely awesome! I'll have to try this with the kiddos. Great instructable!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a great idea! I honestly just want to make some bowls this way. :P