Lotus Construction

To make an LED paper lotus, grab your favorite origami paper, an LED, battery, and some tape. Use a hard object to help you crease your paper-- it could be a genuine bone folder, the handle of your scissors, or even the edge of your iPhone.
Start with one sheet of square origami paper-- any size will work.

Fold in half diagonally to make a triangle, unfold and repeat in the opposite direction. Unfold.
Fold all four corners to the center X.
Once again fold each newly-formed corner into the center. Strongly crease these folds using a bone folder or similar hard-edged tool.

Then repeat this process one more time-- fold all four corners to the center and crease.
Flip over and fold in the corners 1/3 of the way toward the center X.

Try to fold an even amount on each corner.
Flip over and slowly pull back each quarter-section from the center toward the outside edge of the figure, turning the flap inside-out onto itself, sort of like peeling off your socks!

Make sure to hold the flower from both sides so it doesn't rip while pulling. Repeat for the other three petals, then peel back the next layer of exposed petals in the same manner.
Continue to slowly pull each petal over to face the top of the flower figure. Try placing your finger in the center of the petal on the opposite side especially on the second layer as it gets tougher to pull over the first layer.
Fold back the last remaining layer like the others, then turn the flower over and curl the petals for a more natural look as well as easy access to the center of the flower. Your lotus is finished, now it's time to add the LED!
Apply a small piece of tape the center of the flower on the back and front so when you pierce the LED through the paper will not rip.

Pierce the LED legs through the center of the flower.

Skip to the last step to add a battery on-board, or read on:

To make the lotus light up on a clear "pond" as described in an upcoming page, pull the LED legs apart. Use pliers to give the LED legs a gentle curve for better contact with the ITO.
For a battery on-board, don't splay the LED legs, but instead place the battery in between them. If the LED doesn't light up, reverse the battery. Bend the whole sandwich to the side and tape to the bottom of the lotus.
This guide was first published on Apr 10, 2013. It was last updated on Apr 10, 2013. This page (Lotus Construction) was last updated on Nov 26, 2019.