Upcycled Crafts: Origami Dice

July 19, 2013 at 6:05 pm 4 comments

Happy Friday everyone! As you might know, we are always trying to think up new crafts to reuse damaged books in order to keep them out of the landfill. We take some of these crafts to outreach events so we can better illustrate our mission to people. One such piece that we’ve taken to events is a pair of origami dice made from the pages of a damaged art book. Our resident craft master, Ruth, wrote down questions on each side of the dice for a recent Health Fair we went to, in order to make a fun, interactive experience.


These dice are examples of what is called modular origami, which is origami that is made up of many pieces of folded origami paper, each piece or unit folded in the same manner and then interlocked into the other units. The specific unit we are working with is a variation of what is called the Sonobe unit, designed by Mitsonobu Sonobe. We had to slightly alter the design in order to get more writing space. The great thing about modular origami is you can take units like the Sonobe unit and make huge geometric shapes, or a simple cube or ball. It’s all up to you!


6 pieces of paper per die (our paper measured 8” x 8”)

Step 1:

Fold paper in half diagonally. Unfold.


Step 2:

Fold two of the corners to meet at the fold made in step 1. This fold makes two triangles, as shown in the photo.


Step 3:

Now fold the bottoms of those two triangles to meet at the same fold we made in Step 1.


Step 4:

Take the remaining two corners and fold them inward, flush with the folds made in Step 3.


Step 5:

Now, take the bottom right corner and fold it up to the top edge. Do the same with the top left corner, folding it down along the bottom edge. These folds make two new triangle shapes.


Step 6:

Tuck these two triangles underneath the flaps below them, as shown in the photo.


Step 7:

Fold the triangles back, along their vertical edges. You now have a complete unit!


To make the die:

Make 6  units and begin assembling the piece by inserting the units into the flaps of the other units, as shown below.

Last Sonobeunit


Entry filed under: Crafts. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jane Ferson  |  July 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    This is great. I volunteer at a bunny shelter, and I am going to try making these (with or without a treat inside) for our bunnies to play with. They will love them.

    • 2. recycreads  |  July 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      That’s a good idea to have a treat inside to entice them! Hope it works out well.

    • 3. recycreads  |  September 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      Jane, what an awesome idea! If you have any cute pictures of the bunnies playing with origami dice, please feel free to share 🙂

      • 4. Jane Ferson  |  September 12, 2013 at 4:09 am

        We have lots of bunnies and lots of cute pictures. I will add the origami dice and see what I can get you.

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