Origami Christmas Wreath using open frame II units from Tomoko Fuse's book, Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations.
One of the first origami Christmas decorations that I made (and one of the first things I had thought up on my own) was this Christmas wreath.  The concept to chain the boxes together is one that I saw elsewhere, but I don't remember seeing the idea used to connect them together in a continuous ring. 

The first unit/modular origami book that I got was by Tomoko Fuse titled Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations.  I love this book.  In my mind, I see this book as the "Bible" of unit origami or as the standard for unit and modular origami (probably because its my first and favorite of unit origami books).  It has a few more complex models to fold and create, but the vast majority are so simple in the folding and even in the assembling of the models that its easy to pick up and learn. 

A little closer look at the origami Christmas wreath.

One of the reasons that I love unit origami is that its a lot like playing with building blocks as a kid.  All you have to do is learn how to fold the base units, practice a few models to learn how they interlock, maybe try a few variations and then the sky is the limit.  I've found a lot of times that if you can think up the shape or structure in your mind, you can build it with unit origami.  This book offers so many different type of models and the angles in which they connect that the options are huge.  (I plan on posting a great deal of my older pictures that are models from this book.) 

The first wreath that I folded with a Christmas theme was a little different, I simply alternated the green and red cubes all the way around.  My next idea was to see if I could make one that looked more like a traditional Christmas wreath by using mostly green with a few red to make it look like the typical red bow.  I think it worked out quite nicely.  The above pictured wreath is actually the third wreath I've folded (including the very first I just mentioned). 

These are the first two traditional wreaths that I folded.  The one on the left is the first attempt and was too large.  I used squares that were 4 inches which made for easy folding and assembly, but made the wreath too large and heavy for the strength of the paper.  What's more is that I originally had 2 additional cubes in it which added to the problem.  As a result, with so many cubes it made hanging the wreath difficult due to the fact that the wreath wouldn't hold a circular shape and the connections tended to pull apart.  The one on the right is the one I folded for this season and both my wife and I like it a lot more; much more compact and easier to hang.
 One of the main reasons for creating another wreath was due to the fact that the old one had seen a few Christmases and had been moved more than once, so it was a little worn out.  Not to mention before we put it away last year I think one of my kids got a hold of it :)  Having to make another one is always fine by me because I love the process as much if not more than the finished product.  This last wreath took me about 5 hours to fold and assemble (I can't remember how long it took to cut the paper).  It includes 144 sheets of 3 inch square paper (each cube has 12 sheets and there's 12 cubes).  There is no glue or any adhesive holding it together, the unit lock together very nicely.

Once again, I love Tomoko's book.  I highly recommend it, probably my favorite origami book to date.  In the next little while I plan on showing some of the other origami Christmas decorations that we use around the house.  Until then, enjoy!

Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations:

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