Singapore Cuisine-Themed 12-Unit Sonobe Ball

Oh wow. Talk about long overdue! It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks but I’ll make up for it with some origami lovin’.

As a kid, my parents would always try and engage my siblings and I to do something artsy. They would get us modeling compounds, drawing and coloring sets, but my most favorite of all — an origami book. It was love at first sight.

I don’t practice it as much as I used to, now that I’m older (don’t ask how old I am *sniff*), but every now and then I find myself absentmindedly tearing a Starbucks receipt into a square and making a paper crane. Café receipts are not the only victims.

Meet Singapore Food Trail coupon booklet. Featuring the best of the best cuisine from the Little Red Dot!


In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to transform something as ordinary as a coupon booklet, into a 12-unit sonobe ball. What’s a sonobe, you ask? Sonobe is a piece of paper folded in a specific way and combined with other sonobe units / modules for modular origami, a type of paper-folding technique that uses two or more sheets of paper to form a bigger origami.

How to Make a Sonobe Unit

Step 1: Cut paper into squares. I put the image at the center so it will be “featured” on each side of the sonobe ball.

Step 2: Fold in half  to create a crease in the middle.

Step 3: Open up then fold again. This time, the edge of the paper to the center crease.

Step 4: Fold the upper right corner and make a diagonal crease going from top center to bottom right.


Step 5: Do the same on the left side. But this time, crease goes from bottom center to upper left.

Step 6: Tuck the flaps into the pockets.

Step 7: Fold in the excess portion from the pocket (the portion that my fingers are holding on to, not my index finger which is pushing the flap in)

Aaaaaaand that’s just one sonobe unit 🙂


How to Make a 12-Unit Sonobe Ball

This is the fun part — building the modular origami!

Step 1: Make 12 sonobe units and fold the flaps upwards. Make sure the flaps and pockets are facing you. (Check out the yummy photos in each module!)

Step 2: Fold diagonally from upper left to bottom right.


Step 3: Insert one flap of Module 1 into the pocket of Module 2.

Step 4: Put Module 3 in the mix and you should get something like the image below right. So that’s Module 2 flap into Module 3 pocket. Module 3 flap into Module 1 pocket. Easy enough, right?


Step 5: Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. After you form one triangle…………….. form three more using the same Module X flap into Module Y pocket process. See image below left for guide.

Step 6: See it start to form into a ball by inserting the flaps into the pockets next to them (where the pink arrow is). No adding of sonobe modules on this round.


Step 7: Getting there! Once you get the form on the image below left, add the remaining three modules and it should now look like something like the image below right.

Step 8: Tuck the three remaining flaps into the pockets next to them and you now have a 12-unit sonobe ball!


DONE! I think this will be helpful on days when I can’t decide what to eat!

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