The Megapolis Kusudama is designed by Valentina Minayeva, an amazing Origami artist from Ukraine. The Megapolis Kusudama has a very distinct look, with its twisting cones and closed triangle points, which comes to life when duo colored or Kami Origami paper is used. You could compare it slightly with the Shalimar Kusudama by the same author, which also has cones, but looks a little bit different than this design. This is definitely one of my favorite Kusudama designs by Valentina Minayeva. Be sure to check out the Taj Mahal Kusudama Tutorial as well. If you want to see more of her amazing Origami work, be sure to check out her Flickr page and Facebook.
The Megapolis Kusudama is an advanced Origami project. You will need some experience with medium to advanced Kusudama assembly. A similar model, assembly wise, is the Sakuradama by Tomoko Fuse. There you see the same triangle points like in the Megapolis Kusudama.
Paper, Ratio & Pre-cutting
The Megapolis Kusudama is a modular Origami project and is put together with 60 modules, which are folded from paper in the ratio of 3:4. You will need either duo colored Origami paper or Kami paper or double colored Kraft paper. You can cut your paper into the sizes of 6 cm x 8 cm/2.4 in x 3.1 in or 7.5 cm x 10 cm/3 in x 4 in. I tend to prefer to use the slightly bigger size first, as both the folding and the assembly are easier with bigger sizes. As I used the bigger size, 7.5 cm x 10 cm, I managed to cut out 4 units from one 20 cm x 20 cm/7.9 in x 7.9 in Origami paper. So altogether I used 15 sheets of 20 cm x 20 cm/ 7.9 in x 7.9 in Origami paper. You should try to choose a paper which is not too thin and not too soft, as you might have problems during the second part of the assembly. I did struggle a bit during the assembly, as my paper definitely was too soft for this Kusudama project. I think the best choice would be double colored Kraft paper as you would use for gift wrapping. The downside of this is, that you will need to pre-cut all your paper by hand. It is slightly easier with pre-cut Origami paper, as they are already cut into a manageable size. I always use a calculator and plan ahead before I start cutting my papers, so I have to do the minimal amount of cuts to get my paper into it’s finished size.
Use the Paper Ratio Calculator (link below) – if you need help calculating your paper measurements.
Be sure to have a ruler, pencil, scoring tool, paper clips and a toothpick ready. You might not want to use any of them, but it sure helps you along the way.
I think the design of the Megapolis Kusudama sticks out the most if you use the dominant color of your paper for the twists. For example I folded one Megapolis ball with red and white paper. So the dominant color is red. When you start folding, put the dominant color on the top (red) and the less dominant color face down (white).
The folding of each of the 60 modules for the Megapolis Kusudama is not too difficult. You can make the process even easier by scoring a few lines ahead of folding. You will see in my Megapolis Kusudama Tutorial video, which lines I score. This saves a lot of time as you don’t need too check too much if you are folding the line in the exact location connecting two points. It is up to you if you want to do that, but as you need to fold 60 units per Megapolis Kusudama, it sure cuts down time.
I like to fold a certain step on all papers and then move on to the next step and repeat it with all papers. I think this is quicker than to fold one module from start to finish. For example the first step is to mark the 1/3 and 2/3 line. So I would do that step on all 60 papers and then score these two lines on all 60 papers.
When you need to half the angle during the folding of the Megapolis Kusudama, I folded down the paper of my first module. Then I measured with a ruler the distance and wrote that down. So now you know that distance for all your other 59 modules, and can be marked easily by ruler and pencil. Then you just score the line.
With these few hints, it should not take too long to fold all 60 modules. You probably could do it in a day, if you are really dedicated to that project. When I have a lot of drive, I fold it in two days – otherwise I split it up in a few more days. Remember, Origami is supposed to be relaxing and not a race.
The Megapolis Kusudama has a two step assembly. First you need to connect 5 single modules to form a cone. You need to repeat that 5 x 12 times so you will end up with 12 cones. The cones hold together a little loosely. But don’t be worried. If you want to support the cones during the final part of the assembly, you just slide paper clips on all non-active sides. This stabilizes your cones and they won’t fall apart. If you are nervous or your paper is just too soft, use a little glue. Please experiment first where exactly you should place the glue, so it won’t show on the top part of your work. Also try to apply glue very thinly, as with too much liquid – your dominant color might show on the outside of your Megapolis ball.
The second part of the assembly is to connect all 12 cones to form the Megapolis ball. For that you need to take 3 units and slide the three triangles together to form a triangle point. Again, if your paper is too soft, you might have problems. You can support your work on all sides with paper clips, to keep it from falling apart. This is probably the most tricky part of the whole Kusudama project. You will need good nerves, calm hands and a lot of patience. Please don’t give up! If you are really struggling, don’t be afraid to use glue. Again, take into consideration the hints I gave you in the previous paragraph. I needed to use a little glue on both of my balls, as my paper was way too soft. I sure tried with a lot of different ways and gave it a lot of time, but my paper was just not good for this model. To make the assembly with glue as clean as possible, I connected one triangle out of the three parts. Then I would put a drop of glue on a piece of scrap paper. Now I would use one toothpick to slightly lift up one side of the three and with a second toothpick take a bit of glue and spread it into that pocket. Then press it together gently. This will let you avoid to wiggle around with the proper position of the triangles, and prevent your pockets to get stuck together in a wrong position. Also you will have much more control on the amount of glue you will want on your paper, so it will not show up on the outside of your Megapolis Kusudama. I hope those tips will make the assembly less difficult and more enjoyable for you.
I love the design of the Megapolis Kusudama. I personally consider it in the top three of Valentina Minayeva’s kusudama designs. Before I started both of them, I thought of which colors would look nice with this design. And I am quite happy how both of them turned out. I hope you will love this design as much as I do.