June 24, 2009

How to make paper ball ornaments

I promised to show in detail how to make paper ball ornaments for a garland, mobile or any other decoration. So, here we go.

You will need:

  • compass
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • glue
  • colored paper
  • paints
  • threads and strings
  • piece of cardboard

We used this technique to create a "rainbow" seven-colored mobile, which consists of seven colored paper balls and a top. First, let's make the top that will hang from the ceiling and where the color balls will be attached. This part is optional, you may skip to the instructions on making a ball if you're not going to make a mobile.

1. Cut two cardboard circles, 4 and 5'' in diameter (10 and 12.5cm) and divide the larger circle into 8 equal parts.

2. Convert it into an octagon by trimming it like shown in the picture. I did so to help me cutting short triangular flaps like in the following picture. You may skip this step if you feel confident cutting straight and making the parts equal without measuring.

3. Draw an inner circle that is a bit smaller than the outer. Cut out triangular flaps that start where the inner circle intersects the straight lines, and point outwards.

4. Make a radial cut along one of the straight lines up to the center and cut off a flap that is adjacent to it.

5. Fold the flaps up. Then superimpose two sectors of the circle where it has the radial cut and glue them together to create a pyramid with 7 sides.

6. Thread a string through the apex of the pyramid, secure its end inside. Then glue the pyramid to the other cardboard circle.

7. Decorate.

Making ball ornaments

1. Prepare colored circles 1 1/8'' (3cm) in diameter. For one ball you will need 20 such circles.

2. Draw an equilateral triangle within each circle so that its apexes touch the edge.

3. Score at the sides of the triangle and fold three flaps like shown in the picture.

4. Start assembling a ball by gluing the flaps of different pieces together.

Build up the ball row by row.

5. When almost done, put a string or thread through one of the junctions and tie its end to a piece of paper inside the ball so that you can attach it to the mobile.

6. Complete making the ball.

I chose s single color for each ball for this project, but there are a lot of ways to decorate them, of course. This one is my kids' idea, it looks like they can decorate just anything with paper punches :)

When I was writing this post, I wanted to know what others have done with paper balls, and stumbled upon these awesome paper ball ornaments by Jane Walker. Enjoy!

UPDATE: This is a template for two ball ornaments. It contains 40 circles, diameter approx. 1 1/8'' (3cm) if printed on Letter size. You may resize it and print only a part to make larger balls.


Mary said...

Ой, какая интересная поделка! красиво очень!

Anonymous said...

Hi Inna,

The ball ornaments are cute and colorful! I do not have a 1 1/8" circle punch, but I will purchase one and try to make these. TFS


Inna D. said...

Mary, спасибо большое!

Pat, I think you don't need a punch if you're going to make only a small amount of ornaments.

Светлана В.С. said...

Прикольно! В детстве мы делали такие шары из цветных открыток. А для больших шаров нужны, кажется, пятиугольные детали.

Inna D. said...

Ага, мы тоже делали из разной бумаги. Вот теперь пригодилось :) А большие шары я не пробовала делать. Вы не помните, сколько пятиугольных деталей на шар нужно?

Anonymous said...


Fio said...

I love these! I actually created a template for cutting the shapes using the Silhouette SD and created a tutorial on my blog.

I linked back to here as one of the places I saw these originally, I hope that's ok!

reema said...

ive done this... its so awsum... but it luks more cool if u put lights in it... good job..

Inna D. said...

Thanks, reema! I can believe it looks great with lights inside :)

katie said...

Cool craft! My great grandmother had these up at Christmas time. I am so excited you had instructions on how to make them! Thanks!

Inna D. said...

Thank you, Katie!