How to make 3D paper ball ornaments | How About Orange

November 15, 2011

How to make 3D paper ball ornaments

I love 3D paper things. Love. And when I saw a little picture of what appeared to be paper balls in a CB2 catalog, I thought, "I am going to make those."

So the other day while Alex was writing a paper about mysterious things like polymers and flexible films and tactoids, I made a paper ball. Then I proudly announced I had created a tactoid and it was sitting on my desk. He giggled. Apparently a tactoid is not a paper ball.

These are made from 12 slotted flower shapes that fit together to form a sphere. No adhesive needed; the only ingredient is paper. I made a template in Illustrator and cut out the shapes with my Silhouette machine, but you could also print out the pages and cut by hand instead.

Download the PDF templates here:
Large ball (10")– print/cut 12 sheets
Medium ball (5")– print/cut 2 sheets
Small ball (3")– print/cut 1 sheet

Download a Silhouette .studio file here:
Small ball (3")– unzip the file; cut 1 sheet. (The shapes can be scaled up or down in Silhouette Studio if you'd like to change the size.)

If you want to hang your ornament, you might like to add the string before assembling the ball. I placed a piece of tape on the back of one flower so the hole wouldn't tear, then used a needle to pull string through, forming a loop on the front side. I secured the ends of the string on the back side with another piece of tape.

Use the slits to join petals together. Keep adding shapes, connecting as you go, so that every petal is connected to another petal on a neighboring flower.

It might be helpful to think of the first piece as the "north pole," and then add a row of five flowers encircling it. At this point, the ball is half finished.

Here's what it looks like upside-down:

Attach the next row of five flower shapes, and finally, add the "south pole" piece to finish the globe.

The colored balls are made from regular-weight computer paper (Astrobright from Office Max) and the white balls are made with cardstock. The big sphere is the size of a basketball; the little one is approximately a baseball. And the medium-sized guy is maybe a large grapefruit.


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KJ said...

Hi, I just found this project and your site by chance when searching for 3d paper crafts. I jyst want to say a huge thank you for being so generous and imaginatively crafty. Your site isaamazing and overflowing with great idea's, hints and tips. I wish I had even a tiny bit of your talents. I spent yesterday showing my 6 year old niece Kerris how to make these as she loves anything crafty. Took about 20min for her to get the hang of it then spent next 3 hours making lots os the balls in different sizes, colours and designs. She told me that I was the best auntie ever for teaching her how to make them, she's so cute lol. Thank you for giving me the skills to be the best auntie lol. She now wants to make some in Halloween designs and some mire for Christmas. She even made 3 cute pink 1's with baby designs on to welcome her baby sister home. Thank you again and I will definitely be following your site from now on xx

Jessica Jones said...

Kirsty, so happy you guys had fun!

Anonymous said...

I just made a hand-cut rainbow ornament out of construction paper. (6 colours, 2 of each colour). It was a little laborious, but easily my most successful Christmas craft project of the season. My 3 year old loved it and wants one for herself.

Thanks for the templates... they were great, and I look forward to making many more!

Unknown said...

They're selling these at my local mall..Small, medium, large & Xl in all different colors. There using a hard flexible plastic & adding a light bulb & selling them for Xmas as lamps. There making tons of money, specifically because its a unique gift idea for anyone, not just kids. Love it!

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for this! We just made a mobile as a birthday gift for someone who needs visual stimulation. It turned out great!

sil said...

Lovely and easy to do. Thaks for sharinng.Sil.

Julia said...

This was so helpful, and so much fun! I probably went back to this post a few times last week, because i couldn't stop making them! Thanks for sharing! :)

Unknown said...

the beautiful hand craft...i will try it soon,thank you so much was share^^.....

Melanie said...

Love em can't dwnload any suggestions?

Jessica Jones said...

Hmmm, all the files still work for me. If you're unsure, google "how to download pdf from internet" and follow the instructions for your particular browser.

Bulles & Perles said...

Thank you !!!

Anonymous said...

thank you for the printable I will make these with my little one x

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