Clover Folding (Shuzo Fujimoto): Instructions

Adams, Sara
Difficulty Level: 
Low intermediate
Model type: 
Square Grid
Tessellations and Fractals

Origami Tessellation Instructions: Clover Folding by Shuzo Fujimoto

Paper size: 20cm x 20 cm (8in x 8in)
Finished model: approx. 10cm x 10cm (4in x 4in)


Just watching the video, this model doesn't seem too hard.

(Famous last words)

it is almost impossible and i have been folding for more than 3 years

I'm only ten and I've folded the hydrangea and the two large ones in one of the pics on this video.


Hi Sara,
Thanks for another great video. A thought crossed my mind while I was watching: the 2 stage version must be the same as Thoki Yenn's Crossed Box Pleat model: http://www.britishor...
If so, I wonder if this is a development of that model or were they discovered independently?

I've always wanted to fold this model so was pleased to find your video instructions. I got really stuck at around 20 minutes. But eventually everything became clear and I managed to complete it.

My first attempt is a bit rough but I think I will improve with practice. To anyone else attempting this fold: persevere, the end result is worth it!

Thanks again, Sara, for the video.

Thanks for this great instructional video :) I've done several models through your guidance, Sara. Thank you very much for sharing them with us. ^_^ I've actually taken some pictures of the origami that I did and linked back to your website a few times. You make precreasing look so easy ^_^

Just wanted to tell you the video was excellent. Clear instruction, very nicely done. I used this and your notes on your level 7 clover to get mine to level 5. Just a small thing that I noticed(which you probably are aware of): the diagonal formula of blintzing and then halving the folds that you demonstrate in your video for the level 3 does not work for higher level precreasing(the diagonals cut across the small squares in odd and varied but wholly incorrect places.) You mentioned in your notes for your level 7 tessellation that you thought you diagonally precreased twice as much as you needed to. I think that you do have to preacrease that much. After a fair amount of my own experimentation I found that there was no simpler way as with the level 3 ( you probably noticed that in the level 3 each small square has only one diagonal cutting through it.) it seems that with higher levels, the diagonal precreases that allow for the collapsing (the roofs of the houses, as you call them) end up in the right place in one place, and the wrong place in others. It seems that you have to just hedge your bets and diagonally precrease in both directions through each small square ( forming an x.) Ugly, I know. But I think it's necessary. Anyway, it was just something I noticed in my own numerous experimentations.

P.S. Excellent website and beautiful accent! Makes listening to your videos that much nicer.
And PPS, I really hope I didn't come off as a long-winded jerk!


Hey, thanks for your comment, I always appreciate detailed feedback.

Ravi Apte suggested you always fold a 2^n grid, add the diagonals, then extend to a 2^(n+1) grid. Then cut off the excess squares. I haven't tried yet, but maybe that ensures that the diagonal folds are exactly in the right places. Of course, you can then figure out where to make the diagonals with this formula, rather than cut excess paper.

-- Sara

Could you pleas make a video of a 5-stage Clover Folding or more.
i am not that good and dont get it.


Hey have you gone nuts
Dont you know that making a video takes long time
I guess u are out of your brain

just thought about that.
very sorry for bothering you Sara Adams.

love your videos

I might make a small video response explaining how the 4th stage is done. After that it should be easier to generalize to more stages. Not sure when I'll find time, though.

-- Sara

Wow thanks a lot,
you rule.

Eeek!! My central square (first square) became a rounded square!! :o

Mine looked horrible with all the squares crooked and rounded. The first step of precreasing was really hard! I was really lucky to have survived all the collapsing. :D Phew!

I had trouble on my first one too. However, it turned out pretty well. I've been folding for over a year though. (If you have, too, no offense. I'm just saying.)

wellthe three stage is fne cuss i can pobalby do i in my sleep super simple even toug i am 13 but then i experimented with the seven stage but thats hard so i was wondering if you could do something bigger or do a vedio of a 7 stage clover folding please i beg u thanks for u hearng me out and thanks.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was very surprised as to how easy this was. I got stuck at the second collapse, but after you likened it to the first level, I completed the rest comparatively quickly. I look forward to making more stages soon. I love your videos. You also helped me make the Hydrangea model as well.

hi sara i have don the square grid divisions on the 7 staged clover folding but i dont know what the creasing is for the diagonals

Just crease all the diagonals, and you'll be fine.

-- Sara

One method I use is, if I need a particular diagonal, I just mark two points alng the line with a encil, then I either unfold the whole model to make room then re-collapse it or just get in in along the other folds.

thanks i finally done the 7 stage clover folding i might put it on youtube
once i do ill show u a link to it

Today I finally completed 4 stage clover folding. Turns out (at the risk of copyright infringement) you need the 6/22 and 20/22 Mountain diagonals (the crease meets the edges x squares from the corners) and 12/22 and 18/22 Valley diagonals. Also, the pinching the edges is the same, just 8-square-long Mountains instead of 5. Hope I helped someone here.

How do you make the multiple levels like the green one? I only understand how to make the 4 squares with the one square on top.

Thanks so much for your awesome tutorials. I have learned so much from you. The clover folding took several tries, but at last I succeeded, however, my attempt at folding more levels is still a work in progress.

I am tiring to fold a 5-stage clover folding and I am at the part where I have finished the second stage and I have to do the water bomb bases on all 8 sections at the back. If I try to do one of the water bomb bases, it overlaps with the one beside it. What do I do? Please help

Hm, maybe a video on further stages should be the one for this month...
I'll see what I can do tomorrow (took a day off), else I'll try to explain in words.

-- Sara

Thank you so much. You took a day off just to help. Thank you!!!!!!!

Ah, not quite. I took a day off, and thought I might also do a video on that day. :)
Anyway, I just finished recording. I'll have to see whether the recording turned out well, but I'm guessing it will be good enough to make it as a video. Not sure whether I'll finish it today and upload it, but I'll try my best.

-- Sara

is the step your doing at 19:44 the step i should be repeating to make a 5 level clover folding?

hey sara im 11 and i love your videos ive made the normal clover folding and i wanna make the 5 stages i dont know how to fold it i dont know how double the creases please help im despreate

Since I've gotten many questions on how to make more than 3 stages, I'll probably make a video showing how to do that. I thought it was an easy enough exercise to fold more stages if you knew how to fold 3 stages, but I guess I was mistaken. :)

-- Sara

First, thank you very much for your site and your videos. I am folding only since a month, and your site is a mine of useful informations for beginners like me. You do have didactic skills that make the video a great help.

Now, i have questions about the precreasing for the clover:
- first, is it a standard precreasing technique, or do you use it for this precise project because the mountain and valley folds one obtains suit the necessary ones for the clover model?
- second, is it the kind of precreasing technique you use for your bigger models? the accuracy of your folds in the already finished complex models you present is admirable, and i wanted to know if you can obtain such an accuracy when you fold multiple layers of paper, as you do in this video for the diagonals (e.g. for the 1/8) or the medians, where you fold over with no unfolding - i was wondering if having two or four layers of paper could induce less accuracy because of the height of the fold itself, at least for the outside crease. I am just asking here, i am not so far that i could tell from my own folds if it works out well or not.

Thank you again for your site, and for taking the time to put such thoroughly designed informations on the internet.

I basically never fold multiple layers at the same time when precreasing grids if I am working on a display model. I may do so if it's just a trial piece to understand a concept, rather than get a stunning model. I fear as soon as you fold multiple layers precision won't be as nice anymore. There are two reasons. First, the paper has a thickness, and so when you have several layers the creases will be positioned slightly differently on each layer. Second, the paper may also drift slightly, thus increasing the error further.

As to the direction of creases - I usually don't really care about them when precreasing for tessellations. I know some people make them bidirectional for an especially nice finish, but I rarely do that. My grids are usually in the end accordeon folds (i.e. valley mountain valley etc) because I like to align edge with edge for good precision.

-- Sara

Thanks a lot for your detailed answer - it is a big help for me in order to understand more about all these (for me) new methods.

I am always looking for neat projects to do at work, i have a lot of down time, especially on Sunday! I really enjoyed making this model. it is flat and so slides nicely into the cubical :) i hope to learn to make the larger stages but i'm afraid to try since my paper is limited to 8.5 in per side. Any thoughts on where to get better materials?

---*--- regards, Krystle ---*---

I am assuming you are using regular copy paper since you stated 8.5 as your paper size. I wouldnt reccomend kami(aka origami paper) for this model, as it is very thin and deteriorates with larger grids. it is okay for the 3 stage, but make sure you buy a bigger size tahn the usual 5 or 6 inch. ive found 8 to work quite well. My suggestion would be to go to either and browse, or to, both of which have a large selectipon of paper. Glassine, sometimes refferd to as kite paper, is lovely fo this model. Its thin but strong, and it lets you see many of the layers with a backlight. Personally, i have liked doing this in vellum and in gold foil for the effects. Hope this helps!!

a fellow paperfolder and happyfolding follower,

I had tried to fold the Hydrangeas before, and I failed horribly :)

But this was easier. The first time I had a LOT of trouble for the second stage collapse and started yelling at the video but then I realized I could manipulate the paper to go into the right direction. My finished model looks great, if made from nicer paper one could frame these! Beautiful! Thank you Sara for making this video, you explain things wonderfully and your accent makes it even better.

Are Pacon paper squares suitable for this model if I want to go deeper than three levels?

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