7-Stage Clover Folding (Shuzo Fujimoto)

Fujimoto, Shuzo
Adams, Sara
Difficulty Level: 
Model type: 
Square Grid
Tessellations and Fractals
Paper ratio: 
Review of the paper used: 

Given that I plan to make a video on a 3-stage clover folding next, I decided I needed to understand the model better. And what better way than to fold a 7-stage clover folding to grasp what it's all about? And this is the result.

Paper size: 19.5cm transparent paper (approx. 7.5in)
Model size: 8.5cm x 8.5cm x 1cm (approx. 3.3in x 3.3in x 0.4in)

The formula for determining which grid to start with depending on how many stages you want to fold is as follows: 6 * (no of stages) - 2
So for a 7-stage tessellation you need a 40-division grid.

Ravi Apte previously compiled this table:

StagesRequired grid divisions


Wow !!!

Sara? Where did you find the diagrams for the 3 layered clover folding? i have looked everywhere and i cant find out how to make it. it looks really cool. mabye you could make a video? thanks.

I plan to make a video on this, if all goes well this weekend.

Thanks for the video sara it's really good like all your other ones, but where did you get the diagrams for this model, and the other two fujimoto models?

I learnt this model from Ravi Apte. He had photo diagrams on his website, too, but the website disappeared quite a while ago. Recently (after I made the clover folding video) I got a copy of Oru 4, which includes diagrams to those tessellations, and some variations. Unfortunately, it's not easy to come by that publication.

-- Sara

hi Sara
i made the clover folding, but, how can i add more levels?

(sorry, my english is bad) (i'm mexican)

For more stages you have to start with a grid that has more divisions, and therefore more diagonal creases. [I think I might have added double as many diagonal creases than actually necessary. This happens when you experiment...]
You then collapse just like with a 3-stage clover folding. Start from the centre, then do the next iteration of squares as before. The fourth stage is slightly different, but essentially the same. I don't really want to put it in words right now (not that easy to explain), but if you give it a try you'll probably figure it out yourself. That's how I did it, too. Once you know how to fold the fourth stage, it easily generalises to as many stages as you like.
I'll make a video on how to do the 3 stage version, and might also do one on how to make more than 3 stages. It'd just be a small add-on which assumes you already know how to fold 3 stages, but might help those that don't like "fiddling until it works" too much.

I'm struggling a bit with the whole concept of the gridding. I find 16 and 64 are quite easy, but how do I go about making a 35 grid? (and for that matter, all others inbetween 16 and 64) I could be missing something really stupid, but I just don't see it yet.

A 40 by 40 grid is still quite doable - divide into fifths, and then each of the fifths into eights. A 35 by 35 grid is harder, because both 7ths and 5ths aren't straightforward (esp. on small sizes). In general, you can
(a) fold a bigger grid, and then cut down to the grid required, or
(b) measure the divisions that are hard to make.
I usually just try to avoid the too irregular divisions. For example, I'd avoid a 35 by 35 grid, but I'm fine with a 40 by 40 or 48 by 48 grid.

Hope this helps a bit.

Super! Thanks so much!

Does it have to have specific valley/mountain folds or could the whole precreasing be in valley/mountain folds

I really appreciate your folding videos, as they are very clear and easy to understand. Could you please do one for folding beyond a 3-stage clover? I would like to know how to create the initial 40x40 (or more) grid and how to add on more levels.
Thank you!

what kind of paper did u use? up there it says u used transparent paper, but it looks like almost looks like foil....

I used pergamyn. It's not at all similar to foil.

-- Sara

I initially learned these models from photo diagrams Ravi Apte had posted. Unfortunately, his old website, which included those diagrams, doesn't exist anymore. I also "learned" how to fold one of the models in a convention workshop that Ravi lead. He introduced a different folding sequence than his photos showed, but I don't remember it. I decided back then that the method I already knew was nicer. ;)

-- Sara

I successfully did a 3 stage folding thanks to your video :) Now I have to find out the courage to take up the 7 (or at least 5) stage folding!

Thanks for all the wonderful videos. I have been following them for quite some time and have made hydrangea and crowding butterflies almost 2 yrs back following your videos in youtube.


do those grids mean both square and diagonals folds?

The numbers apply to the horizontal/vertical grid divisions you'll want to start with, i.e. the square grid. I think I've always added all diagonal folds, although not all of them might be necessary.

-- Sara

I understand bisecting 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 grids, but how do you fold a 40 grid without drawing all the grid lines? I just bought Eric Gjerde's Origami Tessellations book and he seems to stay with 32 to 64 grids, but you must have a technique you could share?... I can cut my 32 grid down to 28 to make the 5 stage clover but what if I want 34 or 40 grids. Thanks!

I was so excited about my new book I didn't read further in your posting!!! You were very kind to explain the 40 grids, but i'd love to see a video showing at least a fourth stage! You're are so very talented and are a huge inspiration to my advancing technique. Thanks Sara!!!!

Well, I had thought about showing a 4th stage because people seem to struggle with it. Right now I fear I have other videos in mind first. However, I would like to make a small add-on video showing how to make more stages. Maybe I could speed over the parts that are already explained in the 3-stage version to make it shorter.

-- Sara

does a 32 grid work for this?

You can fold 5 stages from a 32 grid. It only requires a 28 grid, so you'll have some paper left to finish the model differently.

-- Sara

okay so heres what my paper looks like: on colored side(front) there is 1 square then 4 squares under that with 4 strips of paper coming out inbetween the squares, and squares under the strips. on white side(back) there are 8 strips of paper(2 on left, 2 on right, 2 on top, 2 on bottom). and 4 squares under them( 1 on bottom left, 1 on bottom right, 1 on top left, 1 on top right). in the middle there are 4 triangles pointing inward. what do i do now?

if I want to make more stages i have just too make a bigger grid?(sorry if i make some mistakes i'm still learning

hi Sara

your youtube channel is awesome can you please send me a diagram of the pre-creased grid for a 7 stage clover folding via email


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