Origami Ninja Star (a.k.a. Pinwheel, or Magic Circle)

In this video, I’ll be showing you how to make the traditional origami pinwheel (or ninja star, or magic circle — there are many different names for this model!). It converts from a circular shape to a star shape by pulling the units away from the center, and pushing it inwards.It requires 8 sheets of square paper and no glue. It’s a fun, easy, beginner’s modular origami model (modular = uses multiple sheets of paper). Perfect for the summer! It’s also a perfect modular origami project for a beginner. 🙂
Hint: Use red, white, and blue colors to make a July 4th pinwheel. Stick to a card for a unique gift.

Written Instructions

Note: Written instructions are meant to be used as general guidelines. For more detailed instructions, please refer to the video tutorial above (long version) or below (“under 4 mins” version).

  • 8 square sheets (in this video: 3″ x 3″ squares)


1. Fold paper in half, unfold.

2. Fold 2 adjacent corners, diagonally, along the center crease.
3. Fold entire unit in half (“book fold”).
4. Turn unit on its side. Fold point “A” to point “B”.
5. Unfold.
6. Open unit slightly.
From the Top View: push the left side toward the center (along the creases you made in step 5). Flatten.
7. One unit complete! Repeat steps 1-6 eight times (fold all 8 units in the same way).

8.  Insert one one unit into the other, following the “assembly rules” below. Continue the same process until all 8 units are assembled. Use images below (and video tutorial) for guidance.Assembly Rules

  • Opening faces right (creates “<” shape)
  • Top sides align
  • 2 tabs [of the left unit] fold into the opening [of the right unit]
  • Maintain an octagon shape

First pink tab folded into yellow unit.

Second pink tab folded into yellow unit.

Orange unit inserted into yellow unit.

2 yellow tabs folded into orange unit.

Last unit (pink) inserted into purple unit.

2 tabs on purple unit inserted into pink unit.

9. And you’re done! 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more tutorials!

Four-Minute Version of this tutorial is below!

One thought on “Origami Ninja Star (a.k.a. Pinwheel, or Magic Circle)

  1. Pingback: NEW! Written Instructions & Still Images | OrigamiTree.com

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