The ninja star, or “shuriken“, is an ancient ninja weapon. It’s also a great origami model!
Let’s take a look at how to make an origami ninja star…
### Modular Origami Polyhedra
**Lewis Simon, Bennett Arnstein, Rona Gurkewitz**
Modular origami involves folding several ‘modules’ that are individually quite simple, then joining them together to form a larger origami model that is much more complex. Usually the modules are identical, but even more complexity can be added by varying folds in the modules or mixing different types together.
When it comes to getting started with modular origami, this book is one of the best available. Covering how to build over 35 origami models, there’s plenty for everyone from beginner to expert. There are plenty of illustrations and photos of completed models to make it easy to follow the instructions.
In the introduction, along with the usual legend and terminology, are several useful bits of advice about resizing paper, and details of how to create your own specially shaped sheets. After the basics, there are three main styles of model covered in detail:
A very simple and satisfying module that produces solid models.
**Decoration box system**
Very similar folds produce boxes with wildly different appearances, such as this ‘Ninja Star’ cube, with star-shaped holes on each side.
Three- or four-pointed pyramid-like modules that create endlessly complex models. The design shown below isn’t featured in the book, but it’s easy to expand on the basics by combining the modules in different ways.
For each style of model, there are many well-illustrated instructions, starting from the basic unit and working up to intricately folded modules that create complex patterns when joined together. At the end of the book there are a few other models that don’t really fit into the previous sections, although they are all fun to fold and look good when completed.
One of the best parts of the book is that it’s essentially open-ended – several of the modules can be joined together in many different ways, and can be combined in big numbers to create incredibly detailed models. Adorning the cover of the book is a chain of 14 linked boxes that form a loop, a very impressive model that requires only simple folds to build.
As I mentioned earlier, there’s something for everyone here, although all models require some precision in your folding, most are quite forgiving of slight misalignments. With a bit of assistance in the assembly stage, quite a few of the designs would be fun to make with children, since the finished model looks much more difficult than it actually is.
Like many people who practice origami, I’ve tried lots of different types of paper, from leaflets that I’ve picked up, to copier paper, to fancy papers from craft shops.
One thing I always wanted was ‘real’ origami paper, with only one side coloured. Every time I came across some in shops, it was always so costly that I didn’t want to use it in case I made a mistake.
That all changed one day when I visited my local branch of Muji – they sell packs of origami paper for less than £1 each, and you get enough in each pack that you don’t need to worry about wasting it – all those modular origami models become very cheap to try out.
The large size is 15cm square, and you get 80 sheets in 27 different colours. One of the great features about this paper – apart from its cost – is that the sheets are perfectly square – you can fold away without having any trouble with alignment.