Instructables Holiday Ornament - Icosahedron

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Introduction: Instructables Holiday Ornament - Icosahedron

About: I am a Graphic Designer by trade and a passionate crafter, tinkerer, and inventor at heart

Happy Holidays from all of us at Instructables. To celebrate, let’s do a little papercraft together! Here’s an ornament that’s fun and easy to build, and learn about the beauty of geometry along the way. If you’re feeling the joy this holiday season, build this project with family, friends, or for yourself.

To learn more about Icosahedrons and the other Platonic Solids, check out this Numberphile video:

Step 1: Supplies

  • Printed templated (regular 8.5x11" or A4 copy paper)
  • Scissors
  • Glue (glue stick preferred)

Print Options:

  • Color: Full color print with decorative patterns in orange and yellow - ready to go!
  • BW: Black and white print with decorative patterns - color it in!
  • Blank: Black and white print with blank circles - decorate it yourself!

Ornament Dimensions: 2.5inch/6cm complete, using 20 x 1.5"/4cm diameter circles

Step 2: Cut

Cut out 20 (1.5"/4cm diameter) circles

You can cut out each circle individually for a precise ornament, or use this speedy shortcut to decrease your cutting efforts:

  • Cut along the 2 horizontal "cut" lines.
  • Carefully fold in half along the center "fold 1" line.
  • Open the page up again and fold along the two remaining "fold 2" lines to bring each cut edge to the center fold.
  • Fold again along the center line. You should see 5 circles now. Cut along the dotted lines ( through all folded layers), resulting in five layered square.
  • Cut out each layered circle (through all folded layers)
  • When complete you should have 20 (1.5"/4cm diameter) circles.

NOTE: There are 2 additional "blank" circles at the top of the sheet incase you make a mistake, or want to personalize your ornament with a unique design!

Step 3: Template Triangle

  • Cut the triangle "template" circle from the top of your paper.
  • Carefully fold along each line to create an equilateral triangle. This will be used as your folding template.

Bonus: here's a fun tutorial from CutOutFoldUp on how to make an equilateral triangle from a circle. If you don't have the center dot, you can find the center of a circle by folding it in half, and then again into a quarter circle. When you unfold the paper, the intersecting point of the folds will be the center.

Step 4: Fold

Use the folding template as a guide to fold the remaining 20 circles. Be sure that the decorative side of the paper is located inside of the tiny paper triangles you're making.

You should have 20 equilateral triangle shapes when complete.

Step 5: Glue

Stick triangles together by applying glue to the flap of a triangle and sticking it to the flap of another triangle.

To create your ornament you need to make:

2x - Hat shape

  • Glue five triangles together such that a single point of each triangle meet in the center.
  • These hat shapes will form the top and bottom of the ornament.

1x - Hoop shape

  • Glue ten triangles together in a row such that the triangles alternate pointing up, then down, then up, then down... and ultimately forms a long band.
  • Once all ten triangles are glued in a band, connect the first and last triangle so that you form a round hoop.
  • This hoop shape will form the center body of the ornament.

Step 6: Hanging Loop

Create the loop from which your ornament will hang:

  • Cut a piece of string/rope/yarn/cord approximately 5"/13cm long.
  • Double the cord over and tie the two loose ends in a knot.
  • Thread the loop through the small opening where the triangles meet at a single point on one of the hats, from inside to outside. (Making sure that the knot is on the inside of the ornament).

Step 7: Final Assembly

  • Glue the flaps of one hat to the flaps of an open side of your hoop.
  • Once secured, turn over and glue the flaps of the remaining hat to the flaps of the bottom open side of the hoop.

Step 8: Voila!

Congratulations ! You just completed an Instructables Holiday Ornament.

Step 9: 2019 Ornament Photo Challenge & Giveaway! - NOW CLOSED

************* THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED **************

When you post a photo of your ornament papercraft on

This Instructable as an "I Made It", Twitter, - or - Instagram,

we’ll send you an Instructables giveaway pack (shirt, mug, or notebook, stickers, and more)! Additionally, Instructables staff will feature the best recreations of this papercraft project on our Twitter and Instagram Stories (and tag you, of course).

Here's how to participate:

Create your Instructables ornament by following the detailed instructions in this project. Post a photo of your ornament in its polyhedral glory to Instagram and/or Twitter, tagging @instructables and #iblesOrnament. (You’ll have to follow us on each platform so we can DM you.) Alternatively, post your creation as an "I Made It" at the bottom of this project. We must receive submissions and iterations of this project by January 7, 2019 (11:59pm Pacific Time) to be eligible for this offering.

************* THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED **************

179 People Made This Project!

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23 Comments

0
jessyratfink
jessyratfink

3 years ago

Hello everyone! I'm going through today and making sure everyone who posted an ornament has received a PM to claim their prize. If you haven't gotten a PM yet to fill out your shipping information, please reply below and I'll make sure you're on the list. :)

Thanks y'all! <3

0
misterxp
misterxp

Reply 3 years ago

Hi Jessy! Received our prize today! Kids are really pleased! Very kind of you all! Thanks very much!

0
GlueDotMadness
GlueDotMadness

11 months ago

I just love how your visuals show each critical step so that readers have a panoramic kind of before-and-after vista. Other instructables may skip steps, or change views abruptly; that's hard for visual learners. Thank you

1
Gadisha
Gadisha

3 years ago

Huh? Somehow I missed this one... must be the holliday stress. But I like making/ drawing geometric shapes so I guess I will give it a try anyway!
P.s. On the following website there's a lot of free printables;
https://www.polyhedra.net/en/

2
chuybregts
chuybregts

Tip 3 years ago

For those with a Silhouette Cameo cutter. I've uploaded a .studio file to cut the circles quite easily using registration marks. Give it a try!

0
christa627
christa627

3 years ago

Numberphile!!! Squeeeeeeee!!! <3 <3 <3
Making this now (got all the circles cut out)!
But snowflakes don't have eight points ;-)

0
Elaina M
Elaina M

Reply 3 years ago

Yes ! Numberphile rocks :) Nice catch on the snowflakes - Hope you're ornament turned out well :)

0
christa627
christa627

Reply 3 years ago

Yeah, I posted it in the "I Made It" :-). And then my little brothers and sister liked it so much, they all wanted to make one too, so now we have five :-D.

3
y_cantu1126
y_cantu1126

3 years ago

This was a really fun project for my computer maintenance class. Some of the students geared off a little and made the ornament a little different, but that's what these projects are all about. Creativity! Thank you for all these amazing Instructables.

2
jon_chalk
jon_chalk

3 years ago

This is a wonderful craft idea. I volunteer at our collective for inner city street artists. I am going to discuss with our collective members an idea to make craft kits that can be handed out to at our local day program facility for homeless people and during mental health wellness workshops in another organization that I volunteer with. Thank you for posting this instructable.

0
Elaina M
Elaina M

Reply 3 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing. The work you do sounds absolutely wonderful. Art can be a powerful tool, and Paper crafting makes it so accessible :)

0
SusanD188
SusanD188

3 years ago on Step 8

Thank you for your well written instructions. It was easy for me to make because I used my Cricut Maker to lay out the circles. It scored the triangles and cut out each one.

0
Elaina M
Elaina M

Reply 3 years ago

That's great ! I've never used the scoring feature on my paper cutter but this seems like a fantastic use for it. I love when you can adapt the projects to utilize the tools you have :)

1
calichigal
calichigal

3 years ago

Thank you for this! My mom made these way back in the day, using old Christmas cards. Now I have the template to make some!

0
RichFarwell
RichFarwell

Reply 3 years ago

I showed it to my wife and she said the same thing! Her mom & gramma used to make decorations out of old xmas cards too.

0
Elaina M
Elaina M

Reply 3 years ago

What a great idea! I hate throwing away old cards and this seems like a fantastic was to re-use them and give them a place to live on our Christmas tree! thanks for the tip :)

0
LeslieGeee
LeslieGeee

3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your well written tutorial and idea. This would be cute made from heavier stock and using non toxic glue to attach seeds for the birds to eat from. Thin wooden skewers for perches could be passed through the form for the birds to land on. They are not that heavy so I think the form would stay intact :)

0
bekathwia
bekathwia

Reply 3 years ago

That's a nice idea! When I was a kid we used to make bird feeders by coating pine cones in peanut butter and rolling them in birdseed, I wonder if that technique would work here as well!

0
Elaina M
Elaina M

Reply 3 years ago

Cool idea ! I wonder if you make this out of thin plastic sheets instead of paper if that'll make it more weather and peanut butter friendly ;)

0
LeslieGeee
LeslieGeee

Reply 3 years ago

Another good idea Elaina. Maybe cut from gallon or quart milk jugs. To help with the bends use a heat gun if the fold doesn't stay.