It’s time to take another look at origami kusudamas. A kusudama is essentially a modular paper model made up of various units assembled into a ball-like shape. They’re often quite beautiful with very interesting shapes and amazing colour schemes.

First up we have this beautiful flowery orange kusudama. It’s assembled from 30 units.

Allegretto Kusudama by Masha Athanasiadi
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/31173021992/

Allegretto, Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

Most of the time kusudamas are completely closed in but sometimes they’re open with holes in them like what you see here. This one is also folded using 30 units (many kusudamas use exactly 30 units). The units here are 1:3 ratio rectangles.

Strange Midnight Kusudama by Ekaterina Lukasheva
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kusudama-me/31671384954/

Strange Midnight, Designed and Folded by Ekaterina Lukasheva

Instructions not available

 

This next one believe it or not uses 300 units! That’s 300 pieces of paper folded and assembled together to make this! Uschi Mitzkat was also able to reverse engineer the design and fold this without any instructions.

Twirl Rhombicosidodecahedron
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/29999075000/

Twirl Rhombicosidodecahedron, Designed by Krystyna Burczyk and Folded by Uschi Mitzkat

Instructions not available

 

This next one is absolutely beautiful with an excellent choice of paper. It’s folded using 12 units that are 2:3 ratio rectangles.

60° Origami Star by Maria Sinayskaya
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/31906776174/

60° Origami Star, Designed and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Instructions not available

 

Here’s a very different looking design. There are 150 units here, 60 purple ones, 3o orange ones and 60 green ones.

Polyhedron with 150 units by Tomoaki Yano
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64195347@N08/31639882434/

Designed by Tomoaki Yano and Folded by Valentina Minayeva

Instructions not available

 

Next is a very festive looking kusudama. I quite like the paper used here.

Starline Kusudama by Uniya Filonova
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangeplacesonearth/34885677694/

Starline, Designed by Uniya Filonova and Folded by Akira Nguyen

Instructions not available

 

You don’t always have to fold your paper with crisp flat angles. You can always curl the paper too like you see here.

Erythronium Kusudama by Masha Athanasiadi
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/32475293483/

Erythronium, Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another really great kusudama that’s more on the complex side. It’s folded from 72 units. I should also mention that pretty much all of these are assembled with no glue or tape.

'Buckie' (type Truncated Cuboctahedron)
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/megagon/30750786726/

‘Buckie’ (type Truncated Cuboctahedron), Designed and Folded by Tomoaki Yano

Instructions not available

 

I really like how this next one almost looks like it’s made out of stone. It’s folded from regular red Tant paper and then painted with golden, bronze and purple acrylic paints. This one is folded from 12 pentagon shaped sheets of paper.

Tiara Kusudama by Ekaterina Lukasheva
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kusudama-me/33522477725/

Tiara, Designed and Folded by Ekaterina Lukasheva

Instructions not available

 

Next we have a quite elegant looking one with some luxurious looking gold and black paper. The colour combinations you can use to fold these are endless! This is another 30-unit kusudama.

Scilla Kusudama by Natalia Romanenko
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/27380087112/

Scilla, Designed by Natalia Romanenko and Folded by Uschi Mitzkat

Photo diagrams available from kusudama.info

 

Here’s another beautiful 30-unit kusudama. The individual units are 1:2 ratio rectangles.

Spring Awakening by Natalia Romanenko
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronatka/33516548615/

Spring Awakening, Designed and Folded by Natalia Romanenko

Instructions not available

 

Some kusudama designs look a lot like balls of flowers. The name of this one, “Moonstone Rose” really fits with the colours and shapes.

Moonstone Rose Kusudama by Natalia Romanenko
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/charles-dragon/27177258463/

Rosalie, Designed by Natalia Romanenko and Folded by Charles Smith

Diagrams available in British Origami Magazine #279

 

This one is very well put together and I really like the star shapes.

Sunshine Kusudama by Valentina Minayeva
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangeplacesonearth/33278775265/

Sunshine, Designed by Valentina Minayeva and Folded by Akira Nguyen

Photo diagrams available from stranamasterov.ru

 

This next one is folded from fake dollar bills which is probably a good thing otherwise this would be one expensive kusudama! This is another design that has holes in it which I quite like.

Skella Beta Kusudama by Maria Sinayskaya
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goorigami/34842520963/

Skella Beta, Designed and Folded by Maria Sinayskaya

Video instructions available from Sarah Adam’s YouTube channel

 

Byriah Loper is famous for some incredible interlocking shape models but he’s also designed a few really great kusudamas as well.

Pisidia Kusudama (Byriah Loper)
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/byriahloper/35375583866/

Pisidia Kusudama, Designed and Folded by Byriah Loper

Instructions not available

 

The purple and shiny paper here is a very nice combination.

Mandragora by Ekaterina Lukasheva
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/17368402921/

Mandragora, Designed by Ekaterina Lukasheva and Folded by Uschi Mitzkat

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another really great curly design.

Kusudama by Natalia Romanenko
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ronatka/35375268222/

Designed and Folded by Natalia Romanenko

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another one with a really great design and a really great colour combination.

Fern Flower var. by Masha Athanasiadi
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/73033379@N07/35601530471/

Fern Flower var. Designed and Folded by Masha Athanasiadi

Instructions not available

 

This is a really great design and I especially like the blue and yellow star paper used here. This one is also made from 30 units and the units are folded from 2:3 ratio rectangles.

Kusudama by Akizhi
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangeplacesonearth/33711043172/

Designed and Folded by Akira Nguyen

Instructions not available

 

Here’s a quite soft and pretty looking kusudama folded out of 60 Sonobe units. The Sonobe Unit was designed by Mitsunobu Sonobe and is probably the most popular unit to assemble modular origami models out of.

Sonobe Kusudama by Peter Keller
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/syngola/34739888251/

Sonobe with Stripes, Designed and Folded by Peter Keller

Instructions not available

 

Here’s another very pretty almost flowery looking kusudama. Sometimes these are enhanced with beads or string like you see here.

Sea Jelly var. by Valentina Minayeva
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/64195347@N08/33645511521/

Sea Jelly var. Designed and Folded by Valentina Minayeva

Instructions not available

 

This is another really excellent 30-unit model.

Elisabeth Kusudama by Masha Athanasiadi
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uschi-mitzkat/34149914530/

Elisabeth, Designed by Masha Athanasiadi and Folded by Uschi Mitzkat

Diagrams available from Masha Athanasiadi’s Google Drive

 

This design reminds me of ice cream or some kind of delicious looking dessert.

Izumi Kusudama by Tomoaki Yano
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/megagon/24261914726/

Izumi, Designed and Folded by Tomoaki Yano

Instructions not available

 

This one really looks like the bows you’d put on top of a present.

Pompadour Kusudama by Uniya Filonova
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/strangeplacesonearth/35595660021/

Pompadour, Designed by Uniya Filonova and Folded by Akira Nguyen

Instructions not available

 

Our final kusudama for this post is this absolutely beautiful purple star looking thing by Ekaterina Lukasheva.

Hathor Kusudama by Ekaterina Lukasheva
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kusudama-me/33235060870/

Hathor (Opus K-516), Designed and Folded by Ekaterina Lukasheva

Instructions not available

 

That’s it for this post. If you want to get into folding some kusudamas of your own there are several excellent books you need to check out.

First of all Ekaterina Lukasheva has 3 fantastic books. You’ve seen several of her designs in this post.

Meenakshi Mukerji is another really excellent kusudama designer who also has 3 excellent books.

And finally Byriah Loper has a great book called Mind-Blowing Modular Origami that has some great kusudama designs in it as well as a bunch of his crazy interlocking shape models.

If you fold a kusudama of your own be sure to post a photo in the comments!