Math Monday: Binder clip constructions

Craft & Design Science
Math Monday: Binder clip constructions

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


Here’s a challenge: Make something cool from binder clips.


It will be tough to beat this spherical construction by Yang Enqi. Using one handle, five clips of one color are linked cyclically into a pentagon. Using the other handle, twelve of these pentagons assemble like a dodecahedron to make the sphere. The above image is centered on a 3-fold joint, where three pentagons meet using one of the handles. The image below is centered on one of the pentagons, made from the other handle. Every clip has one handle in each of these two arrangements.


Notice that just six colors are used for the twelve pentagons, with opposite pentagons having the same color.


2 thoughts on “Math Monday: Binder clip constructions

  1. says:

    And I guess that’s 30 total binder clips.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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