How to make a paper lamp (truncated icosahedron)

I continue with my lamps, and an idea that was going through my head was to make an origami sphere , but to let the light pass in order to use it as a lamp . If you like it, don’t miss all the models  at the end.

Using again a truncated icosahedron (the same geometric shape as a soccer ball ) and recycled paper , you can get a perfect paper sphere,  alternating pentagons and hexagons, which you can use as a lamp.

It does not need glue or any other fixation, the pieces that make up the ball remain alone.


It may seem very laborious, but in reality it is a very mechanical type of construction, and although at first it is difficult to understand the structure, but then it comes out automatically, without thinking . And it really doesn’t take that long … think about the time (and money) you spend if you have to go buy a lamp in the store. So the excuse of time is not worth either …

In the video you can see how each basic figure is formed, they are assembled together , and the final process in fast motion:


It seems to me a perfect exercise for a geometry class , the students will hate me, but in the end it takes a liking to origami.

To make this origami lamp we need 120 square papers that are the same size. I have used 20 x 20 centimeters , but it can be another size as long as all the papers are the same.

– It can be paper of any type ( the thinner the better ) including newspaper, advertising, magazines …

– Fold each piece as seen in the video and  interlace three by three , making each vertex triangle out.

– Alternate pentagons and hexagons , to make it a perfect sphere there cannot be two pentagons together, always leave and hexagon between each two pentagons.

For safety:  If you make a lamp by hand, paper or other flammable material, use LED bulbs, which do not heat up and avoid the risk of fire.

Isn’t that a great alternative to typical Ikea paper balloon lamps ? And also handmade by ourselves.

Papelisimo, Spain

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