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

The Taj Mahal kusudama is designed by Valentina Minayeva of Ukraine.  You can find out more about her work on her Facebook page. I love the beautiful geometric star shapes that form on one of the roundest kusudama out there. To complete the Taj Mahal kusudama, you will need 30 units, which are folded from square shaped paper.

Paper

The Taj Mahal kusudama is put together with 30 modules. You will need 30 square sheets of Kami or duo colored paper, to bring this beautiful design to life. I used 10 cm/4 in long paper – but you can choose smaller or larger size paper. You probably shouldn’t go too large, as the kusudama might loose on stability. I was quite happy with this size paper, as the assembly was not too tricky.

Fold the Taj Mahal Kusudama with high contrast paper like regular Kami paper, but you could also use Duo Colored paper to get more color variety!

You can see in my image gallery below that the two Taj Mahal kusudama are slightly different. The blue one is folded in the regular way. With the pink one I changed the beginning side of the paper. Start with the colored side up, and fold the white part in. With this you achieve a kind of inside-out look.

Folding

The folding of the units of the Taj Mahal kusudama was not too difficult. You will need a few diagonal (butterfly kind of) folds, which are not always too accurate. You can help yourself by measuring the exact spot you will need, and marking it out with a pencil. Then you just score those lines. I did really most of my modules that way. You should not need too much time for each module. I finished half a kusudama at the beginning of one day, and finished another whole one in just the evening hours.

I like to build my kusudama while I fold. I start folding a certain amount of units, then start assembling those. Like this I don’t get fed up from folding or stressed by the assembling. I also make up a plan, where I divide the kusudama up into steps. This helps me keep track of the overall design. I divided this model into 5 stages. If you have problems understanding exactly how to assemble your Taj Mahal kusudama, you can follow my simple plan. As I mentioned earlier, I fold always enough modules to reach the next stage, then assemble that step.

Assembly Stages for Taj Mahal Kusudama

First Stage – 5 modules

Assemble your first star

Second Stage – 5 modules Vertically

Add the modules vertically in between the openings of the first star

Third Stage – 10 modules (2 * 5)

Complete the 5 partial stars that formed. Each star will need 2 modules to complete. Now your kusudama will have 6 completed stars.

Fourth Stage – 5 modules Vertically

Add the modules vertically in between the openings of the completed stars (from stage 3).

Fifth Stage – 5 modules

Complete the 5 partial stars that formed. You will need 1 module to complete each star. Once you inserted all 5 modules, the last star will have formed on it’s own. Be sure to tuck in all edges.

With the above plan you should not have too many problems assembling your Taj Mahal kusudama. You might still find it tricky to complete each star, as your already linked pieces will somehow shift. Try not to panic and slowly wiggle all parts back in place. Sometimes you need to have a lot of patience and move part per part, millimeter by millimeter. Don’t worry about already finished stars, as they are mostly unaffected by it. Sometimes though, a flap will become undone, so just push it back in place. I did not need any paper clips or other help during the assembly of the Taj Mahal. I certainly did not need any glue.

You can see in the video, that it just takes time to assemble the kusudama. You won’t see me assembling all of it on video, as I do not want to bore you. But I left some of the parts where progress is slow, so you get an understanding how to get your kusudama started. I hope it helps you to get yours assembled. Sometimes videos make it seem all too easy, and then when you want to finish yours, you will have problems. So just take from it, that you need some patience to finish the Taj Mahal kusudama. But also know that while you are half through, your kusudama won’t suddenly all get undone. Most of the time, the stars you already assembled will stay together and won’t be affected by problems you might face putting new stars together.

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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.