Kusudamas are always a great topic and some of the people I follow create a lot of these!

A kusudama for those not familiar with the term is a modular papercraft model in the shape of a ball. The name kusudama translates to something like “Medicine Ball” in Japanese.

These models typically use 30 individually folded units joined together without the use of tape or glue. Some of the more complex kusudamas though can have a lot more units, maybe even 100+!

Kusudamas always look beautiful and you can do some very neat things depending on the colours and patterns of the paper you use to fold the units.

So in this post we’re going to take another look at some wonderfully delightful kusudamas.

First up is this blue and white one. This is folded from 30 units using just regular blue on one side, white on the other side kami paper. The mix of the white and blue in the overall design is quite nice.

Blue and White Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/28810485732/

Glacier Var. Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

Here’s an absolutely gorgeous kusudama folded using 30 units. The overall shape is great but it looks especially awesome with that subtle rose and gold coloured paper.

Rose Gold Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/32112632044/

Designed and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Instructions not available

 

Here’s something a bit more flowery and complex. This particular model is folded using 60 units, 30 of one size and 30 of another.

Lady Feona
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64195347@N08/28643378263/

Lady Feona, Designed by Uniya Filonova and Folded by Valentina Minayeva

Instructions not available

 

Everything about this next one is so bright and happy. The name of this model is “Frost Crystals” but if you use bright warmer colours it’s got a completely different feel.

Frost Crystals
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronatka/33674400156/

Frost Crystals, Designed and Folded by Natalia Romanenko

Instructions not available

 

This next model is designed after a type of flower called a spider lily. Do a quick Google Image search for “spider lily” or “Hymenocallis” and you’ll definitely see the resemblance.

Hymenocallis
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/33438744650/

Hymenocallis, Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

Here’s an absolutely beautiful fall-themed kusudama plus some very nice stars that go quite well with it.

Fall Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/82084045@N08/33342184493/

Star Planet Designed by Natalia Romanenko and Bitterrot Stars Designed by Ekaterina Lukasheva, Both Folded by MiharaMiyo Monterivas

Star Planet instructions available from kusudama.info

 

Kusudamas often look solid and packed together but some can be quite open and more “frame-like” and delicate I guess just like these next two models. Both of these are the same model but one is more curved and flowery which gives it a completely different look.

Undina Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/34300331121/

Undina Kusudama, Designed and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Video instructions available from Happy Folding on YouTube

 

Byriah Loper is famous for some pretty complex origami so it’s not a surprise that he’s designed some very complex looking kusudamas. Despite how crazy this looks it’s really just 30 units joined together like most other kusudamas.

Complex Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/byriahloper/34395163732/

Sarmatia Kusudama, Designed and Folded by Byriah Loper

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another excellent design with a fantastic choice of colours and patterns on the paper. Almost makes me think of an orange creamsicle.

Sonora Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79348234@N06/15080448895/

Sonora Kusudama, Designed and Folded by Uniya Filonova

Instructions not available

 

Peter Keller took some very common sonobe units and a very common kusudama shape and gave it a bit of a twist here to make it look like a flower opening.

Flower Sonobe
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/syngola/34693541005/

Embellished Sonobe, Designed and Folded by Peter Keller

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another really complex one that I believe is actually 2 kusudamas combined into one. This one uses 102 units all joined together!

Star Holes
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64195347@N08/34618177552/

Star Holes Designed by Francesco Mancini and Vallota Designed by Tanya Vysochina all Folded by Valentina Minayeva

Instructions not available

 

I’m loving pretty much everything about this next one, especially the little curls along the edges.

Green Curled Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronatka/34639366551/

Designed and Folded by Natalia Romanenko

Instructions not available

 

“Flipper” seems like a very appropriate name for this next one which looks quite aquatic and almost marble like.

Flipper
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/34318601351/

Flipper, Designed by Masha Athanasiadi and folded by uschi mitzkat

Instructions not available

 

This kusudama is absolutely beautiful. It’s folded using 12 units and the paper was hand dyed. It looks like some kind of exotic beautiful star stone. This may even be my all-time favourite kusudama.

Star Stone
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kusudama-me/35250185715/

Tiara Var. Designed and Folded by Ekaterina Lukasheva

Instructions not available

 

Next we have another very unique design that almost looks like it could be an earring or something like that. It’s definitely more spikey looking than your average kusudama and that’s pretty cool.

Metal Crystal
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangeplacesonearth/35499757966/

Metal Crystal, Designed by Ekaterina Lukasheva and Folded by Akira Nguyen

Instructions not available

 

Tomoaki Yano has a very unique style when it comes to kusudamas with lots of delicious looking swirl shapes.

'Buckie' type truncated octahedron
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/megagon/34825143320/

‘Buckie’ Type Truncated Octahedron, Designed and Folded by Tomoaki Yano

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another really excellent hollowed out kind of design. I feel like these types must be a lot more delicate and easy to fall apart, especially if you’re not using tape or glue to hold everything together. No glue is needed for this model though.

Tulip Garden
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/36588389742/

Tulip Garden, Designed by Meenakshi Mukerji and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Diagrams available in Origami All Kinds: Single Sheet and Modular Designs

 

Here we have a rather pointy kusudama that’s been enhanced with the addition of twelve origami roses.

Twisty Roses
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64195347@N08/37260106365/

Stern + Twisty Roses, Designed by Paolo Bascetta and Folded by Valentina Minayeva

Stern instructions available here

 

The green and yellow paper used here looks absolutely delightful.

Inspiration
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/26360051909/

Inspiration, Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

Now this is a really autumn themed one. This is a regular globe folded from simple sonobe units but with a ton of autumn leaves tucked into it. An awesome idea and awesome use of coloured paper here.

Autumn Leaves
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/16545592@N04/37769069905/

Herbst, Designed and Folded by Tine Blasek

Instructions not available

 

Next we have something absolutely beautiful. This kusudama is folded from some of the most unique looking translucent paper I’ve seen and lit with a light. The light mixed with those splashes of colours here looks amazing!

Tornillo Enlightened
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/38256201932/

Tornillo – Enlightened, Designed by Paolo Bascetta and Folded by uschi mitzkat

Video instructions available from Dans Origami on YouTube

 

Here’s another excellent curled kusudama with a very organic almost flowery shape. When making a kusudama you can decide to curl the paper a lot, a little or keep everything straight and crisp. That’s one of the many great things about origami, you have so many different ways to bring out your own style.

Hessea
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/37946782205/

Hessea Var. Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

This next one almost looks like some kind of children’s toy or 3D puzzle.

Star Toy
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/122577187@N08/24978397778/

Designed and Folded by Saku Saku

Instructions not available

 

This next one has a sort of country charm to it, almost like a table cloth you’d see in a rustic countryside home.

Countryside Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kusudama-me/38912220671/

Easy Modular, Designed and Folded by Ekaterina Lukasheva

Instructions not available

 

It’s really cool how different these things can look depending on what kind of paper you use. I definitely like the paper used here which gives the whole model a more organic earthy feel.

Leaf Kusudama
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/modular_dodecahedron/30447179964/

Evangeline, Designed by Xander Perrott and Folded by Kerstin

Diagrams available in Olympiad 2016

 

Here we have another absolutely fantastic use of colour. It’s certainly very pearl-like.

Perlina
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/79348234@N06/19668197931/

Perlina, Designed and Folded by Uniya Filonova

Instructions not available

 

Our final model for this post is this absolutely gorgeous Imperial Rose Sonobe. Unless you look closely you can easily mistake this for actual roses with the paper used here and the perfect curls in the units.

Imperial Rose Sonobe
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/35881308134/

Imperial Rose Sonobe, Designed and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Diagrams available in Zen Origami

 

What did you think about all these incredible origami kusudamas? Let us know in the comments!

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