Tabletop Tetrahedron

1-2 hours

Novice

Ages 11+

What Will You Learn?

A tabletop tetrahedron is like a mini pyramid. To build it, you need to construct lots of smaller tetrahedrons and stack them like building blocks. In mathematics, the model you are building is known as a fractal, a design made up of smaller copies of itself. Each tetrahedron is made of six struts made of rolled paper. To make a two-level pyramid, you need four smaller tetrahedrons, or 24 struts. A three-level tetrahedron takes eight smaller versions, or 48 paper struts. Want to add more levels? You do the math!

Roll the Paper

Step 1

For each tetrahedron building block, cut a sheet of copy paper into three pieces the long way. Then cut those three pieces in half the other way. You should end up with six pieces that are 3 3/4 inches wide by 4 1/4 inch long.

Step 2

Take the glue stick and apply an even layer of glue along one short end (you can also use white glue spread with a toothpick). Lay a bamboo skewer across the opposite end.

Step 3

Start to roll the paper up as tightly and smoothly as possible, keeping the ends even. When you reach the glued strip, press the paper roll closed for a few seconds with your hands.

Create Triangles

Step 4

When you have made six struts, pinch the ends flat and a little bent.

Step 5

Take three sticks and lay them flat in a triangle.

Step 6

Apply adhesive dots to the end of one strut and attach it to the end of the next strut. Do the same with the other corners.

Create a Tetrahedron

Step 7

Take three more struts and attach one end to each corner of the triangle.

Step 8

Take three more struts and attach one end to each corner of the triangle.

Create a Tetrahedron

Step 9

To keep adding to your tetrahedron fractal, make three more small structures. Place them on your work surface, corners touching, so that their bases form a larger triangle.

Step 10

Use adhesive dots to connect the corners that touch.

Step 11

Then put an adhesive dot on top of the tetrahedrons on the first level and place the fourth tetrahedron on top. If you wish, continue to add layers the same way.

About the Book

Enjoy this project? Making Edible Paper in 3 Easy Steps is just one example of fun and innovative projects you can find in the book Paper Inventions by Kathy Ceceri. Filled with color illustrations, step-by-step instructions, supply lists, and templates, this book will help you to create your own paper based projects!

Tabletop Tetrahedron

Tabletop Tetrahedron

1-2 hours

Novice

Ages 11+

What Will You Learn?

A tabletop tetrahedron is like a mini pyramid. To build it, you need to construct lots of smaller tetrahedrons and stack them like building blocks. In mathematics, the model you are building is known as a fractal, a design made up of smaller copies of itself. Each tetrahedron is made of six struts made of rolled paper. To make a two-level pyramid, you need four smaller tetrahedrons, or 24 struts. A three-level tetrahedron takes eight smaller versions, or 48 paper struts. Want to add more levels? You do the math!

Roll the Paper

Step 1

For each tetrahedron building block, cut a sheet of copy paper into three pieces the long way. Then cut those three pieces in half the other way. You should end up with six pieces that are 3 3/4 inches wide by 4 1/4 inch long.

Step 2

Take the glue stick and apply an even layer of glue along one short end (you can also use white glue spread with a toothpick). Lay a bamboo skewer across the opposite end.

Step 3

Start to roll the paper up as tightly and smoothly as possible, keeping the ends even. When you reach the glued strip, press the paper roll closed for a few seconds with your hands.

Create Triangles

Step 4

When you have made six struts, pinch the ends flat and a little bent.

Step 5

Take three sticks and lay them flat in a triangle.

Step 6

Apply adhesive dots to the end of one strut and attach it to the end of the next strut. Do the same with the other corners.

Create a Tetrahedron

Step 7

Take three more struts and attach one end to each corner of the triangle.

Step 8

Take three more struts and attach one end to each corner of the triangle.

Create a Tetrahedron

Step 9

To keep adding to your tetrahedron fractal, make three more small structures. Place them on your work surface, corners touching, so that their bases form a larger triangle.

Step 10

Use adhesive dots to connect the corners that touch.

Step 11

Then put an adhesive dot on top of the tetrahedrons on the first level and place the fourth tetrahedron on top. If you wish, continue to add layers the same way.

About the Book

Enjoy this project? Making Edible Paper in 3 Easy Steps is just one example of fun and innovative projects you can find in the book Paper Inventions by Kathy Ceceri. Filled with color illustrations, step-by-step instructions, supply lists, and templates, this book will help you to create your own paper based projects!

Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.