Ouch! Paper Spike Balls

Abel Fam · 48 ·

With all your time crafting at home right now, are you running out of glue and other craft materials? Don’t worry, you can continue making with this cool activity that VIVITA Crew member, Abel is going to share with us here!

How did you come up with the idea for your project?

These spike balls are made using a technique called “modular” or “unit origami”. As its name suggests, modular origami is the piecing together of multiple pieces of paper folded into units to form complex and cool structures.

This particular project uses a unit called the Pentagon-Hexagon Zig-Zag (PHiZZ) unit which was designed by a dude called Tom Hull.

What makes this a cool project?

You can make many different types of balls with multiples of this PHiZZ unit. This project in particular will show you the first steps in making a dodecahedron requiring 30 units.

Could you share with us a bit about your prototyping process? What did you learn from the more memorable failed attempts?

Be meticulous and take your time when folding your units. DO NOT RUSH. Make sure that all edges are aligned properly and creased well as this will make assembly much easier later on. Assembling the dodecahedron is going to require some finesse, but it will definitely get easier once you get the hang of it.

Making Paper Spike Balls

What materials do you need?

30 Square pieces of paper

What tools do you need?

No tools required.
But you will need patience, meticulousness and finesse.
With these three ‘tools’, you will be able to make it!


Assemble your Paper Spike Ball


Intermediate Challenge

Try seeing if you can make a dodecahedron using three different colours, where no two units of the same colour touch.

Hard Challenge

If making the dodecahedron is not cool enough for you! Try making a buckminsterfullerene ball (the yellow spike ball in the picture) that would require 90 PHiZZ units. You can also try exploring using two or more colours when making it, just like the one made with blue and green PHiZZ units.

Insane Challenge

Make a spike ball with 270, 360 or 810 PHiZZ units!


The spike balls you create don’t have to stay as ornaments that just sit on your table. You can use it as a lamp shade like what is seen in the picture below. What other ways can you think of to use your spike balls?