Butterfly Ball

a butterfly ball

A modular origami polyhedron that is similar to a cuboctahedron with the triangular faces indented. It is called a butterfly ball because you can toss it up in the air, hit it and watch a show of butterfly-like pieces flutter to the floor.


  1. fold patternCrease twelve squares of paper along the diagonals as valley folds and in half horizontally as a mountain fold. Use three different colors.
  2. folded pieceFold them as shown and open them up partly.
  3. Place one piece on the table so that a large triangular face is facing down.
  4. Set a second piece inside the first so that the large triangular face is again facing down and it is rotated 90° from the first piece.
  5. Place a third piece.
  6. Weave the fourth piece so the pieces form a square on the table with each piece weaving over and under.
  7. Add pieces on the corners so the smaller triangles weave together.
  8. Keep on adding pieces alternating over and under. The model will be very difficult to keep together until the final piece is put in place. You may need help holding the model together while you build it.
  9. Toss the model in the air and hit it to see a shower of "butterflies" flutter to the floor.


  • The Butterfly Ball was invented by Kenneth Kawamura