How to Fold an Origami Frisbee / Magic Star

How to Fold an Origami Frisbee / Magic Star

This is one of my favourite ever models, and one of the reasons I fell in love with origami. I’ve taught it to many people because of how simple, elegant and surprising the design is. This model takes two forms. It starts as a colourful star but can be transformed into a wicked frisbee. It genuinely flies well, and the star is beautiful, especially when made with different colours of paper. The original design is by Bob Neale.

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Colourful magic stars

You will need eight squares of paper. Only one side of the squares will be visible on the final star or frisbee. I recommend mixing and matching the colours you use. Alternating colours look great, or like me you can use eight different colours.

Making the units

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Step 1
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Step 2

Step One: Fold the square in half like a book and unfold. Fold the right-hand corners to the centre of the square. Only the side that starts face down will be visible on the final unit.

Step Two: Fold the top edge down to the bottom edge, reusing the horizontal crease from step one. Then fold the left edge down to lie along the bottom edge.

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Step 3
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The finished unit

Step Three: Unfold the horizontal crease again. From now on, we only reuse existing creases. Fold the crease marked in blue. One corner will be sticking up. Fold it to the left, to meet the end point. This makes two points on the left and one on the right. You will reverse the direction of the fold doing this.

Finally flatten the unit by reversing the direction of another fold. Fold seven more units.

Building the Magic Star

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Sliding two units together
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Locking two units together

Each unit has two points on the left hand side. To join two units together, put one unit inside another. Slide the two units together, so that the bottom edge forms a straight line. Also make sure that the inside unit has one point on the right, and two points on the left.

To lock the units together, fold the tips of the outer unit points in between the two points of the inner unit.

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The finished magic star

Continue adding units in this way until the star is complete. The final units can be tricky to add. I recommend connecting four units together, then joining the remaining four units together separately. Putting the two halves together is then straight-forward. Your magic star is now complete!

Transforming the Magic Star into a Frisbee

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Pulling apart opposite sides
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The finished frisbee

The magic star is perfect for display, but it can also be transformed into a frisbee. Hold the central octagon of the star on opposite sides and gently pull your hands apart. The star will be stretched in one direction as shown on the left. Rotate the frisbee a little and repeat the process of sliding. Keep doing this until you have a frisbee. Throw it with a flick of the wrist and it will fly very well. Happy throwing!

This first time you do this, the transformation won’t be very smooth. If you transform the star back and forth a few times, it will become like a well oiled machine. It will slide from frisbee to star and back again in a beautifully smooth way.

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