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How to Make a Kusudama With the Carambola Flower

How to Make a Kusudama With the Carambola Flower post image

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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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Bhushan April 1, 2018, 4:48 am

    I’m a big fan of your origami art. And I want to make a video about carambola flower on my YouTube channel. How can I get permission to make a video on carambola. How can I contact with the designer Carmen Sprung?
    Please, suggest me something! 🙂

    • Leyla Torres April 1, 2018, 10:08 am

      Hi Bhushan. Carmen lives in Germany. Perhaps you can contact her via Origami Deuthcland, the German origami association.

  • liliana September 12, 2013, 4:37 pm

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

  • Geneva H May 6, 2013, 2:48 pm

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

  • Jon April 23, 2013, 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.

  • Ryan February 1, 2013, 5:15 am

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

  • LAP December 2, 2012, 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!

  • Sara Adams August 26, 2012, 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!

  • leappy August 18, 2012, 12:16 am

    I love paper flower i want to make it

  • Ryynette November 26, 2011, 5:44 pm

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

  • sridevi January 27, 2011, 3:16 am

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

  • David December 7, 2010, 5:13 pm

    i love this!

  • Millie December 7, 2010, 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!

    • Leyla Torres December 7, 2010, 3:22 pm

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

  • Ancella December 1, 2010, 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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