The Origami Sphere Lamp




Introduction: The Origami Sphere Lamp

This origami sphere is made of recyclable milk cartons. The

used milk cartons are cut into strips to form triangles by folding them, and by connecting those triangles hexagons and pentagons are made.

By joining the hexagons and pentagons we can build this sphere lamp.

Step 1: Making the Basic Unit- Strips

Unfold the cleaned and dried cartons as shown in the picture.

Cut the cartons into strips of width 2cm

Step 2: Forming Triangles

Fold the strip in such a way that it forms 6 creases of 2 cm width.

Then fold the strips to form the triangle as shown.

Step 3: Forming Hexagons and Pentagons

We can join two triangles with the help of another strip and a paperclip as shown.

Likewise by joining 5 triangles we can make pentagon and with the help of 6 we can form Hexagon

Step 4: Forming the Hemispheres With the Help of Hexagons

First join five hexagons as shown.

Then start connecting hexagons adjacent to the 5 hexagons until you obtain the shape as shown in second and third pics.

In the Star like gaps we should connect pentagons to fill with.

Then by joining the U like valleys we can get a hemisphere as shown in the pic.

We need to build 2 hemisphere to complete the doom

Step 5: Forming the Sphere

Now remove the first five hexagons in any one of the hemisphere, so that we can get space for our hand to connect the two hemispheres.

After connecting the two hemisphere, we can insert a bulb inside the sphere via the space available and then we should connect back the five hexagons in their old place to get the whole sphere ready.

Now we can hang it on the ceiling to have a spectacular pattern all over the room.



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    38 Discussions

    it look really awesome! You did great job! I'm thinking about making it.... so If it is ok, I would like to know some more info : How big it is? And how many cartons have you used?

    There is no way you can get that pattern on the wall as shown in your first photo. I know from first hand experience as I have made one of these and posted my instructable on it in May. You can see it at Also it would be nice if you had given credit to the originator of this design, Ed Chew. His original work can be found here

    10 replies

    It actually looks as if the person did get that kind of lighting out of the lamp. Thanks for the other links, interesting to see :)

    This is a composite photo. The photo on the Ed Chew site is also a manipulated picture. I spent over 40 hours making one of these and I know there is no way to get anything this sharp as a projection on the wall.

    You seem quite certain of it not being real lighting. However, I have worked with lighting before and know that it's possible. It depends heavily on the type of lightbulb used!

    Maybe be a bit more considerate before you say 'there is no way you can..' etcetera.

    That said, it might of course still be a composite image, but I for one, know that it's possible to get these crisp shadows. It has to do with the size of your light source and the distance of the object to the wall. The light falloff and different wavelengths of your light source will have great impact on the effect a shade like this produces.

    Thanks Marinus84! You are perfectly right when you said it was possible.

    The image cast upon the wall is due to real lighting. You can also see the tiny shadow of the paper pins used for making the sphere lamp on the wall.

    The pattern that you get does depend on the light source. In your instructable you simply say "insert a bulb inside the sphere" with no mention as to what kind of bulb. You also say "have a spectacular pattern all over the room" but your photo only shows a small round patch on what appears to be a wall very close the sphere, how about a photo showing that spectacular pattern all over a room.

    Do not forget the Designer Heinz Strobl, who invented this kind of folding way back!

    Thanks for the information about Heinz Strobl. I will ad this to my instructable.

    Thanks for the link to the Ed Chew page. Very nice!

    I'm not quite sure why this one came out differently than yours. This one looks more spherical although as far as I can tell it's an icosahedron like yours. Maybe something about the assembly method in this instructable that helps it be rounder.

    I think the heavier foiled material has more bulk and that forces the triangles apart more making more of a curve.

    Thanks for the links and advice! Hopefully the author just lost the link.

    As commented below. This is someone elses design and the quality of the original was superb. If you do use a previous design it's OK but please acknowledge the original and SHOW clearly the differences/updates/improvements. I spotted the differences which was small tetra boxes/longlife milk cartons. The Edward Chew also has all the measurements and didn't use paperclips (there must have been hundreds) not very sustainable. I still like it.

    1 reply

    Kindly read my comment above. Adding to it, yes there are many differences to both the projects like long life cartons in spite of tetra boxes, use of paper clips, no complex measurements and recyclable from home. But it was really time consuming. And I will update it.

    I acknowledge that this lamp has evolved from the basic idea of Edward Chew image and what I was doing here is trying the same using the milk cartons that I use for my toddler son. A method of recycling it.

    For this milk cartons, you don't need any specific measurement as such. Please follow step 1 to step 3 to get the required shape. It works !

    unfortunately for karthy i must agree with you , maybe if he make some more evolutioned that the basic idea of edchew this work have more credit , but the idea is so good to recycle a lot of trash !!

    regards from mexico

    Thanks for your comments. Yes, this origami sphere lamp took shape from the basic idea of Edward Chew image and what I was doing here is trying the same using the milk cartons that I use for my toddler son.