diy wednesdays: paper ball ornament

now that december is here, ‘tis the season for fun and crafty holiday ideas. these paper balls are a simple way to pretty up any gift, tree, or apartment. we got our supplies from a gift wrap kit, but you can use any paper you’d like to create an endless array of festive colors and patterns. In fact, this is a great (guilt-free) way to recycle last years holiday cards. click here for the full project or just click “read more” below.

have fun!
derek & lauren

here’s what you’ll need:
a stapler
something round to trace
glue (or crafter’s glue dots)

1. trace and cut out 9 circles from your paper (or papers) of choice.
2. fold each circle in half, then place them in a stack. staple them together at the top, center and bottom of the fold.
3. one by one, glue the outer edges of each piece together alternating top and bottom. the glue should be placed about a third of the way from either side. when you’re done gluing, your stack of paper will be in the shape of a sphere, ready for hanging on your xmas tree or decorating your holiday table.

  1. Tara says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing. Now my bare tree will have some bling. :)

  2. lette says:

    cool beans! thanks for the craft! can’t wait to work on it — may i link this to my site as well? cheerios!

  3. heather jane says:

    These would be so darling hanging from a mobile in a child’s room (or in my sewing room) :-)

  4. Stefanie says:

    I love paper ornaments! A tip for those of you less inclined to create in 3D: In the past, Martha Stewart has published a book full of paper ornaments to pop out and glue together. They’re beautiful as is, and you can use the patterns for inspiration in your own design!

  5. Shannon says:

    When I click on “click here for the full project” it gives me an error saying the page I’m looking for cannot be found. Help! :)

  6. Laura. says:

    yay! i can’t wait to make these!

  7. Oh how cute! I love paper ornaments.

  8. Kristan says:

    Yeah, this is a pretty cool way to decorate any space, regardless of holiday season!

  9. HLM says:

    This is exactly what I needed. This is our first year putting up a tree and it is bare!

  10. Laura says:

    My favorite Christmas decorations are paper. For 3 years, I’ve been cutting Christmas cards into 3 and 1.5 in circles, then pasting them back to back (3″ to 3″, and 1.5″ to1.5″) on embroidery thread . It’s a great way to reuse old cards and it’s a really fun look!

    1. Mary says:

      You read my mind :)

  11. simplygrove says:

    What a great idea and it looks fabulous!!

  12. lisa jackson says:

    so cute and perfect for the holidays. thanks for the project derek/lauren!

  13. Erena says:

    Clearly it’s just me, maybe it’s coz it’s been a long day at work, but I don’t follow the instructions..
    Any chance you could maybe put a few ‘in construction’ photos up?
    I feel like a right dork.. but I really like the finished product!

  14. Vantiani says:

    Oh such a cool idea! Love it!
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Denise Smith says:

    This is a PERFECT project for my 11 year old who loves paper crafts. We have reams of scrapbook paper, but we don’t scrapbook. Now we have another use for it all!

  16. Love these ornaments! Now I have to get going on making some of my own :)

  17. mayaluna says:

    There are a bunch of complicated paper ornament tutorials out there. Thanks for sharing something so simple with gorgeous results. At such a busy time of year, this is the kind of craft we all need! Looks like you might be able to string them (with a thread and needle… maybe even a thimble) into a garland.

  18. Erena, you’re not the only one. I’m an architect, build models and craft all the time and I can’t follow these instructions either. I want to make this ornament for our tree, but I can’t figure it out just yet!!! I must not be concentrating. Grace, can you please help with some “in construction” photos as Erena suggested?:)

  19. Elizabeth W says:

    this is why i love derek and lauren – clever cute easy projects with recycled paper! i find this project to be a great way of re-using the business envelope paper i’ve been saving – the colors and patterns make for great decoration!

  20. denacho says:

    i added 1 item to this. after stacking the circles, and before stapling them together, put a piece of ribbon in between the circles about half way down the stack – so like between circle 4 and 5. staple as instructed and when you finish gluing them together, you already have something to hang them from. i went a step further with my ribbon and folded the end (top) over and sewed it in place to create a loop!

  21. Maria says:

    Ditto on the more detailed instructions please :)

  22. grace says:

    process shots were added :)


  23. Emily says:

    Oh, I get it. Thanks for the extra pics!

  24. Erena says:

    Thanks so much for the extra pics!
    It now makes much more sense to my poor over worked Chrismas panic brain!
    That’s so going to be my weekend project! :)

  25. Sue Mann says:

    I have been saving those beautiful holiday catalogs (snow, stars, gorgeous reds and greens) made out of heavier stock and am going to try a variation of this along with some decoration by way of watercolor pencils on the paler shades.

  26. Raffie Reed says:

    I mkae larger versions of these, sans the staples. My black and white are pretty cool. Check them out.
    I do two and three teired hanging globes, and the small ones if you are too busy.

  27. Genevieve says:

    Wow this is a great project! My kids made snowflake ornaments for most of the day yesterday. Today, we’ll try these!

  28. Cate says:

    oooh lovely! i love craft that I can do at work :)

  29. She Runs says:

    So simple yet so effective. Thanks.

  30. Ellie says:

    I have a question… how do you hang these? The directions stop when the paper has formed a sphere- there’s nothing about where to attach a string or hook. And what if the paper is one-sided? Is there a specific way to alternate them before they’re stapled?

  31. Raffie Reed says:

    I can answer part of your question. Before you attach the very last circle, put your string, floss, or whatever down the center and glue down with a bit of Elmer’s. Then finish attaching the circle. I guess if paper is one sided, just make sure the plain side is to the inside where it won’t show. Hope this helps.

  32. saumya says:

    its really nice my sweet little tree will now have something to look carefully on….

  33. misbah says:

    simle , easy, and marvellous

  34. Gladys says:

    Fast and nice tutorial.

  35. what a fun and simple tutorial, the possibilities are endless – I will be posting it on my FB fan page tomorrow! thank you!

  36. Ossygirl says:

    Saw similar ornaments in Pottery Barn this year. Who needs to buy from them? This is so great!
    We’ll be making a bunch of these for packages, and of course our tree. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  37. Marvinet Abrasado says:

    I love d idea of making paper balls! for xure my students will enjoy making one for their project, at d same tym it will be a nice classroom christmas decor!


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