TUTORIAL: Paper Ball Chains

by Dana on September 14, 2012

I originally thought these would be fun for a baby shower or birthday party.
But now I think they’re fun for anything!….even just to hang around the house and brighten your day.
Have you made these before?
I was inspired by this colorful version (found via pinterest I’m sure. Can’t remember now).
Isn’t that a fun blog?

There might be a better name for these but all I could think was: Paper Balls (Casey wanted to go with Orbs. Any other names you can think of?). Whatever you want to call them, they’re super easy to make, especially if you have a large hole punch.
• Decide what size balls you want. You can use any round object to trace circles and cut with scissors. But a hole punch is much faster. I used this 3-inch wide diameter punch from Michael’s (about $8).
• Select shades and amount of paper. I found that 6 pieces of standard-weight paper per ball works well. Less paper is too sparse. More paper is fine and will make the balls fuller but it all depends on your sewing machine—how many pages can it handle at once? Six seems pretty good.
• Arrange the colors in a cascading/ombre order if you want that effect.
• Then punch punch punch. Keep them in groups of 6 circles.
• Sew them all together. Start with a long tail of thread (so you can hang them from the ceiling) and sew a stack of 6 circles right down the middle. Then sew another stack of circles after that, then line up another stack and sew, etc.
• Starting with the top circle, fold it in half around the sewn line. Do the same with all the circles, folding the last circle toward the back.
And you have a pretty paper ball chain of color!
Hang them up or decorate a table. They’re hard not to look at—almost hypnotic. Sometimes they even twirl.
And the colors remind me of dusk and dawn (from Tucson and our backyard in Austin):
Have a great weekend!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It FacebookTwitter

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carina Garcia September 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Hermoso!!

Reply

2 Jenelle W. September 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Cute! Now I need to keep an eye out for a large circle punch!

Reply

3 Hannah Elise September 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

love this idea!

Reply

4 anna September 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

oh these are so perfect. love splashes of color!

Reply

5 Lynette September 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Um I love these. Maybe this is the sort of sewing project that I could actually attempt to tackle these days. :) Baby keeps me busy, I know you know that feeling too!

Reply

6 Laura * Suman September 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I love a paper project! I have 5 different circle punches….even scalloped edge ones. Possibilities are endless :)

Reply

7 Palak September 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm

So cute! Makes me wish for a circle punch!

Reply

8 kristin September 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Soooo beautiful – Dana seriously I love these colors together! And hey, I have that circle punch! :)

Reply

9 Brooke September 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Ooo love this. Perfect for the next baby shower I host! Gotta go find a paper punch now!

Reply

10 amanda (simplemittens) September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I’m definitely going to make these! The hardly look handmade, rather high quality :)

Reply

11 Katie September 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Oh thank you!! I’m trying to get my Halloween/Fall decorations made, and I’m totally adding these to the lineup.

Reply

12 Leigh Anne September 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

these would be awesome for a party! Thanks for the inspiration! Your photos are always so lovely to look at :)

Reply

13 Sahara September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I would call them “Paper Marbles” – they remind me of those cats-eye glass marbles

Reply

14 Amy September 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Love the chains, Dana! I think I might have to make some to match my apartment!

Reply

15 Jackie September 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I can see me making these for my daughter’s room. Maybe some for my son as well…superhero colors? Hmmm.

Reply

16 Erin S. September 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I love these! Do you have any idea how to do these without sewing? (Ha, believe it or not, I love your blog and cannot sew a stitch, nor do I own a sewing machine. It was your paper wall flowers that led me here almost 2 years ago!! :)

Reply

17 Lau September 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Beautiful! Thanks!

Reply

18 Theresa September 15, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Really good idea…I am going to try this and hang them in the sunday school room. I thought maybe using all white and put a little bit of white glitter on them to make them look like snowballs!!

Reply

19 Gongy September 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm

My Great Granddaughter Allie would love to have these in her room.
I’m going to ask her mom what colors she likes and the next time they
come down for a visit I will give them to her.
Colorful, bright and inexpensive. Thanks
Another great idea….

Reply

20 Tiffiny Felix September 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I love your site so much! And these paper chains are way too cute!

Reply

21 Lepäävä esteetikko September 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Your colours are really pretty. With a different colour scheme these would be really pretty for a simple, old fashioned, non-glittery Christmas tree.

Reply

22 Emily September 16, 2012 at 12:09 am

So pretty and mesmerizing! :)

Reply

23 Sunae September 16, 2012 at 3:20 am

Wow, so simple and beautiful! What a great party decoration!

Reply

24 kitty September 16, 2012 at 4:40 am

You have the great gift of creating beauty out of the simplest things! Thank you for the tutorial and, of course, your wonderful pictures!

Reply

25 Deborah Jennings September 16, 2012 at 10:54 am

I do love these. I have a 2-inch paper punch that I am going to try and make some with. I can see them done one at a time and hung on the Christmas tree. Really cute if you want an all handmade ornamental tree. Can’t wait to get the punch out and get started. Wouldn’t these be awesome with either a printed paper or photos? The ideas are endless.

Reply

26 Charity September 17, 2012 at 8:47 am

Dana, did you use a normal weight thread? Or something heavier? Great easy idea! I have loads of colored paper!

Reply

27 Dana September 17, 2012 at 9:27 am

Yea, just standard white thread.

Reply

28 Charity September 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Thanks!

Reply

29 Griet De Smedt September 17, 2012 at 10:37 am

Absolutely love the idea!

Reply

30 k a t y September 18, 2012 at 3:20 am

Very cute, Dana.

Don’t you love it when the hubs gets involved in the naming? Best.

Reply

31 berry September 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

I love these! The perfect complement to my daughter’s newly redecorated bedroom. Her main fabric is Lizzy House pearl bracelet in purple, so these will be fun accents. Thanks!

Reply

32 Christine C. September 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Very cute! Great tutorial! I will for sure be trying this out! Thank you!

Reply

33 ruth September 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

I adore these! Pardon my paper ignorance, but is standard weight like printer paper?

Reply

34 Louise September 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Wow I love these..I’m just making an orange and black version for a Halloween party. Thank you.

Reply

35 Meredith September 22, 2012 at 10:59 am

Oh, so cute! And you can use these in so many different places.

Reply

36 Joyce November 19, 2012 at 5:46 am

Did you use any special type of string to sew them with? Would a nylon string make them stronger? What about the sewing machine needle? Does a very thin needle work best for sewing paper?

Reply

37 marta December 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

Hi Dana!
I’ve just used your tutorial to make some necklaces for my daughter’s birthday party. The girls just loved them! Take a look at http://doguincho.blogspot.pt/2012/12/colares-de-papel-paper-necklaces.html
Thank you for such a great ideia!

Reply

38 Roxi December 7, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Dear Dana,
I love your tutorials and so I linked you on my blog. I made some christmas trees with the same technic of your paperball-garland.
Thank you very much for the inspiration.
You can find it here
http://wandelroeschen-diy.com/uncategorized/advent-advent-meine-deko-mit-kranz-diy-papiertannen-und-riesenspekulatius
Regards
Roxi

Reply

39 Geo December 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I love this idea! My sewing machine’s broken so i stiched them by hand, cut them by hand, and used an old magazine for the paper!
They look amazing round the house,even when made of old recycled paper!

Reply

40 Bettie Hammock September 11, 2014 at 12:23 pm

With the quilting craze of Hexagons I think I am going to use my Hex punches and make one of Hexagons.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 6 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: