Paper Spheres

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Rather than throwing out all those Christmas cards, here’s an idea for upcycling them into beautiful paper spheres. I paid $3 at a local thrift shop for this collection of Christmas cards.

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I was so proud of myself for not buying new and recycling these vintage cards.  Upon closer inspection at home however, I discovered that half of the cards were stuck to their envelopes so were unusable.

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Rather than throw them all away, I decided to upcycle them.   Normally these would have just been thrown out.

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So, now that I had a pile of my thrift shop cards plus the cards that I received for Christmas, I was ready to start.  This project didn’t cost me anything.  My favorite kind of craft!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Any kind of paper ( I found that both heavier cardstock and finer hymnal pages worked equally well)

glue (I like a low-heat craft glue gun.  It glues instantly so there’s no waiting for it to dry)

string, yarn or ribbon for a hanging, if you desire

heavy cardstock for making a pattern (I just used one of the cards)

Something round for making all those circles (20 per sphere)

scissors

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My girls feel that glitter improves everything so the Elmer’s glue and glitter were used for embellishing some of the spheres.  I found that the glass tops worked great for drawing the circles as you could see the images underneath.

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We didn’t need the hole puncher for this craft either but it did keep Greta occupied while I made all those circles.

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Prior to starting this project I did google paper spheres and a ton of options came up.  I did print out some instructions by Jane Walker to help guide me through this craft.

Once all the circles are cut out, you then make a triangle template to fit inside the circle.  Getting the triangle the right size was the hardest part for me.  I tend to like to “eye-ball” things and couldn’t remember how to accurately draw a triangle inside a circle from geometry class (math was never my strength).  Here’s Jane Walker’s instructions, “1. Make a circle template from light cardboard 2. Make a second one the same size from paper and fold it in half and then in thirds. Unfold. Make a dot along the outside edge of the circle at every other crease so that you have three equally spaced dots.  Draw straight lines between the adjacent dots to form an equilateral triangle and cut it out.  Trace it onto light cardboard and cut this out”.  After several attempts I finally got it.  Not perfect but passable.

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Trace this triangle into each of your circles.  Press hard on the paper as you trace the triangle. This will help “score” the paper and make folding easier in the next step.

Fold paper up toward the design that you want to show.

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Next, take five of the circles and glue them together.  This will make the “top” of the sphere.  Glue another five together to make the “bottom”. On one of these caps you can insert a loop of string before gluing your last two pieces together.  This is so you can use the sphere as an ornament if you wish.

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Now that you have a “top” and a “bottom”, glue the remaining circles into a chain.  This is what you’ll end up with:

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Glue all three pieces together and this is the final product:

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Easy! We had a lot of fun making these.  My two girls love watching an item take shape and being a part of the creative process.

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My son, on the other hand, is not so into crafts.   He thought the spheres where cool but instinctively wanted to throw them.  I actually did try to get a decent picture of him holding one but this is all I could get.

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I had a few Christmas photos left over so I also made one sphere using these photos of the kids.

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You could make one of these every year to hang on your tree or give to a grandparent.  I think I also have a drawer full of old class picture that I couldn’t get myself to part with (I always order too much).  Maybe now I have a way to use them.

I experimented with using a lighter weight paper as well.  I love the way this music paper sphere turned out.

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I’ll definitely be making more of these for Christmas gifts next year.  They make great gifts for music teachers.

I don’t know why, but I just love when something beautiful can be created out of something that you would normally cast aside or throw away.

Hope you give these a try!

Elizabeth

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