Origami and papercraft are both rather amazing hobbies, and nowadays it’s easy to see creations on the Internet far more impressive than paper cranes, like these folding ukuleles. Brian Chan is what I can only describe as a “master of folding” who’s decided to take his skills above and beyond the impressive paper-work he’s done in the past like his origami Batman figure or his Iron Man figure and mask. In fact, he’s managed to create impressive and functional designs, with two different ukuleles that are almost mind-bending to look at.
The first design is the full-sized ukulele which, as you can see, isn’t made of paper but rather out of thin sheets of bamboo plywood. You can also see that it appears to be made of quite a few of these sheets, fastened together in some way, which was one of the goals of this creation. It can be purchased as a kit and assembled yourself, a project which the designer says takes him “about half a day.”
Brian Chan also explains that the angular appearance of the instrument is because the various pieces are laser-cut, making it even easier to manufacture and sell as do-it-yourself kits. The video also showcases his friend putting the instrument to use, letting us know that it’s fully functional, but the crazy part is that this isn’t even the full extent of the design. A back panel can be opened, allowing the ukulele’s length to fold into the “body”, making it easy to store and transport without worrying about the awkwardness of its shape or the risk of snapping off the neck when bumping into something.
A smaller, soprano size also exists, crafted from laser-cut bamboo, which also features some slick green accents. It too features the same ability to fold in on itself, making it portable as a rectangular box (compared to the other versions more figure-eight shape). The kit for the first design can be had for about $85, with the “Supermini” size costing $10 less. Instructions are available with photos on Mr. Chan’s Instructables page, but if you’re all thumbs and would rather just purchase an already-built version, that too can be had for $375 ($250 for the soprano).