A few weeks ago I came across an interesting Kusudama model by Tomoko Fuse, which I had never seen before. You can find the diagram in the book “Unit Origami Wonderland“, p. 52 by Mrs. Tomoko Fuse. I would rate this an advanced model – please read below why.

Tip: Papers I usually buy on Ebay or Origami Shop. Japanese books I tend to buy from CDJapan.

There is a very similar model which is shown in the same book, but folded in a slightly different way. You can find it on page 60.

About the model

The Origami Icosidodecahedron (twenty triangular faces and twelve pentagonal faces) by Tomoko Fuse is a 60 unit model, which requires single colored paper – as only one side shows. The book recommends to use the measurements of 7.5 cm x 7.5 cm / 2.9 in x 2.9 in. I am not sure that this is the right size when trying out this model – as you might run into difficulties. I made a further mistake and chose a paper which was way too soft for this model.

As this model is not easy to assemble, I would recommend you to use Japanese Tant paper or even more sturdy paper – possibly like Stardream – a recently discovered Origami paper gem!

The reason why the paper size and sturdiness are important is because there is a crucial step where you need to “unlock” already assembled folds and insert new units. This process weakens the paper, and the flaps themselves might not be strong enough to be inserted that way. Now if you would use too soft paper, your unit will not slide into the destined slots, but crumble and distort the whole model.

Folding

The folding of the Icosidodecahedron is a fun and relaxing process (very similar to the Cherry Blossom Ball by Tomoko Fuse). You might be put off at the beginning by the unusual angle, but you get used to it pretty quickly.

Assembly

This model requires a two-step assembly. First you will need to form 20 triangle valleys, by combining 3 units together. Once you have all of them ready, you can start with the final assembly.

Now this is the tricky part of this model. Once you combine the first two (or 5) triangle units together, you will need to turn the direction of the shape a bit like inside out. It is hard to explain – but basically your model would not face the correct direction, if you would skip that step. That step also locks in the parts. But while you try to push the folds into it’s correct direction, some of the triangle units might come apart. (Problem 1) The smaller your paper is, the more easy it will be for the units to slide apart. After you combined your first Pentagon ring, you will need to continue to add more triangle units to shape more Pentagon rings. Each time you want to add to your existing assembly, you will need to “unlock” part of it – in order to insert another part. This process weakens the paper quite dramatically – not only the existing assembly but also the flap, that you will need to insert (Problem 2). Also sweaty fingers might weaken the paper even more. You can help yourself a bit with a toothpick to open and straighten the pockets. But if you chose the wrong paper (too soft) in the first place, you might not be able to finish your model without any additional help (sticky tape, strengthening the flaps or using glue).

Take a lot of time for the assembly and don’t rush.

Conclusion

This is a truly interesting and not very well known model by Tomoko Fuse. I would rate the Icosidodecahedron an advanced project that will certainly challenge most folders. But don’t be turned off – as the finished model is certainly very rewarding.

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You might also be interested in my paper recommendations including different Origami paper usage, personal hints, tips & what to avoid when buying online. To get updates on my latest video tutorials, subscribe to my youtube channel, see what other Origami models I am working on right now – follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my Newsletter.