How to Make a Kusudama With the Carambola Flower

by Leyla Torres on November 29, 2010

in -Floral & Vegetation, -Modular, -Paper Coloring/Decoration

Post image for How to Make a Kusudama With the Carambola Flower

This Kusudama can be considered modular origami, and it is based on a beautiful flower model, folded from a pentagon and originally created by Carmen Sprung (Germany). She calls it “carambola” perhaps because of its resemblance to a cross section of a carambola –also known as star fruit.

On her website, Happy Folding, Sara Adams (Germany) presents a video showing how to make a pentagon and how to fold the origami carambola. The folding process, as Sara demonstrates, is both easy and pleasing.

Three origami carambolas

The Kusudama structure is that of a dodecahedron and made with twelve pentagonal flowers. It can  be used as a holiday decoration or given as given as a handmade Christmas gift.  Here is a video with instructions to put an origami Kusudama together.

Extra Tips to Make the Carambola and Kusudama:

  • When folding the paper to make the pentagons, use the first piece of paper folded (picture 1) as a template by placing each of the other pieces above it and then folding (pictures 2 and 3). This will help you efficiently fold all the pieces you need to make your Kusudama.
  • Once the pentagons have been cut, color can be applied to the paper for added effect as in this photograph below.
  • The paper used was “Tant” and the color I applied to this paper was oil pastel. After laying on the color, I blended it by gentle rubbing with a cotton ball lightly dampened with a drop of -odorless- mineral spirits.
  • The finished piece dimension is about 13 cm (5.5 inches)
  • The pentagons were made from a square 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inches)

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Ancella December 1, 2010 at 3:49 pm

This is a great idea! I like the oil pastel coloring you have incorporated in the latter set of pics, too.

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Millie December 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

How remarkable! I was just making this Carambola yesterday, but couldn’t get past the single units. THANK YOU so VERY much! I LOVE the idea of coloring the paper and the changing of clips! I’m also glad to know what kind of glue to use (Elmer’s, right?). I’m making one for my neighbors tomorrow!

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Leyla Torres December 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I’m happy you like it, Millie. Elmer’s glue is what I use here in the US.

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David December 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

i love this!

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sridevi January 27, 2011 at 3:16 am

Can you give step by step instructions of how to make the flower please?
i’m struck at the last foldings.

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Leyla Torres January 27, 2011 at 3:22 am

For the video on how to make the flower please visit:
http://www.happyfolding.com/instructions-sprung-carambola

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Ryynette November 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm

The flower is very pretty! I love the little star in the centre of it!

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leappy August 18, 2012 at 12:16 am

I love paper flower i want to make it

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Sara Adams August 26, 2012 at 12:37 am

There’s an improved video available here now: http://www.happyfolding.com/instructions-sprung-carambola-2 – an easier folding sequence, English verbal instructions, and in HD. Hope it helps!

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LAP December 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I love your instructions and the oil pastels idea. Could you please share what paper you use, and if you can buy it online? Thank you!

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Leyla Torres December 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Hi LAP,
For the kusudama with the carambola flower I used a paper called “Tant” You can find it at the OrigamiUSA shop called The Source”: http://origamiusa.org/catalog/products?keys=tant

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Ryan February 1, 2013 at 5:15 am

Hey any chance of getting an English pdf of this design? German isn’t one of my strong suits :)

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Jon April 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm

What’s the thickness of the paper? I looked at the Tant paper…sadly no shades of purple. So, I will look for purple with same/close thickness as Tant.

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Leyla Torres April 23, 2013 at 10:56 pm

I don’t know the thickness in grams!

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Geneva H May 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm

These are beautiful. I have never done this before but an intrigued by it

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liliana September 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

por favor en español son hermosas y las quiero hacer para las fiestas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Leyla Torres September 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Hola Liliana, por casualidad tengo un video en espannol para esta. Lo puedes ver aquí: http://www.origamispirit.com/es/2010/11/como-se-hace-un-kusudama-de-carambolas/
¿Sabías que el sitie web de Origami Spirit tiene versión en español? puedes verlo aquí http://www.origamispirit.com/es/2010/11/como-se-hace-un-kusudama-de-carambolas/

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