Introduction: Origami Juggling Ball

Picture of Origami Juggling Ball

Here's how to make a nice, sturdy juggling ball (or hacky sack) out of cereal box cardboard.

This design is based off of Jennifer F's video "Greek Paper Football".

I used regular cereal box cardboard, which is something like .25mm thick...

Step 1: Make the Strips

Picture of Make the Strips

Cereal Box Cardboard (or any thin cardboard, I suppose. You could probably also use thick paper, or thin plastic)
Paper Cutter (optional)

Cut six (6) 20cm x 1.1cm strips
which is about 7 7/8 x 3/8 in

Step 2: Bottom Half

Picture of Bottom Half
Weave five of the strips together, to form an interlocking star. Once you've done that, check out this video for adding the sixth strip.

Step 3: Top Half

Picture of Top Half
Ok, this part is the most difficult: You need to weave in the final strips, with increasingly less space to work with.

A few tips:
When in doubt, make sure the strip alternates over and under
Keep the pentagons tight, and make sure the sides of each all go in the same direction.

The video's probably more help than the pictures :D

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches
To complete the ball, slide all the strips around until the joints are covered by other strips (see video) this makes the ball more sturdy.

Now you can make some more to juggle with, or play hacky sack with, or just throw at the people nearest you.


Me robot (author)2017-07-21

thanks this was so cool! I made one. Totally awesome!

rkin5 (author)2011-08-25

do we need the corn flakes?

facilitator476 (author)rkin52011-09-16

Of course, cornflakes are the majority of cardboard in the cereal box package.

haha nice joke?

semisolidbeast9 (author)rkin52011-10-04

no u dont r tard

rkin5 (author)semisolidbeast92011-10-12

it was a joke yew pheg

Cheezpaper (author)2010-11-12

Please change the title to paper juggling ball.

Origami is the art of paper folding (as you say in the first paragraph) with out cutting/tearing the paper in any way.

malachus (author)Cheezpaper2011-01-21

While I respect your right to define origami for yourself as you see fit, I have to disagree that origami, by definition, absolutely precludes cutting or tearing the paper. There are some old origami traditions that require cuts to be made.

DUO0037 (author)malachus2013-09-13

Aren't they called "Kiragami"? Not "Origami" if you're cutting paper.

malachus (author)DUO00372013-09-13

This is a point of contention. The modern purist idea that origami does not allow cutting (or gluing, or using more than one sheet, or non-square paper, etc.) is more an invention of Westerners who were trying to make it seem more Eastern. In traditional origami there are plenty of models that require cutting or gluing yet they are still origami.

To get your your "kirigami" vs "origami" point, the words literally translate as "cutting paper" and "folding paper". However, kirigami usually requires some folding of the paper and, as i have already pointed out, there are origami models that require cutting of the paper. To try to differentiate between the two by lumping something with any cutting in the kirigami category requires a special kind of hypocrisy because one could just as easily, based on the roots of the words, lump any model that requires folds and not just cutting in the origami category.

I think a more useful distinction would be to categorize based on where the majority of the structural and design elements come from. If it's mostly cutting, I would say it is better classified as kirigami, but if it is mostly folding then I would say it is origami.

To go one level deeper, the fact that we use the word "origami" to describe paper folding was somewhat arbitrary in the first place. An American in the 1950's decided that was a good word because it sounded pleasant and exotic (after she had rejected the Chinese phrase for paper folding).

To look at this model specifically, there is a way of constructing an equivalent structure without cutting the notches in the ends, but it is less stable. Basically the cuts are a convenience that do not even figure in to the external structure of the model.

Finally, what is the point in trying to make this distinction in the first place? Does it enrich anyone's experience to say, "oh, you're not in the origami club because you made a few little notches in the paper."?

Sorry to rant, but this is one of my pet peeves in "origami".

Me robot (author)malachus2017-07-19

thanks soooo much for the clarification (I love reading) I totally agree with you

With Malachus's perspective...origami is also most peoples way of saying that the "piece" there making is made of paper or in this case cardboard...

DUO0037 (author)2013-09-13

Awesome and cool. It looks fun!

chubawabu (author)2013-04-12

cool instructable

enguerrandm (author)2011-11-23

Awesome, was quick and lovely result Thanks

instruct39 (author)2010-04-30

Great job! I like this and I will make 1 tomorrow.

instruct39 (author)instruct392010-05-01

I made 1 and I took me forever! I finally got it though and I still think it is cool, I just need a bit of practice, thats all.

jabapyth (author)instruct392010-05-01

 awesome =) congratulations.

origamianything (author)2010-03-25

:) This is great! I'll finally be able to make a hackysack/juggling ball faster than it takes for me to make 30 units and put them together(for hackysack unit)!!! :D
Awesome tutorial/instructable, by the way. :)

After I do ten of these, then I'll probably be able to do what I said xD


slinngr (author)2009-11-26

Thank you SOOOO much for posting these instructions! 

We had an emergency here, and it's come in VERY handy!

We have a friend who has an elderly bird who is VERY bonded with a specific toy. He's had it all of his life. When his toy went to tatters, and daddy came home without a replacement - because it's no longer being made and sold! - the poor bird is in bad shape.

The Greek ball toy made of palm leaves was his absolute FAVORITE, and his "best friend." Now that mommy and daddy couldn't find a replacement, he is stressed to the max (which is affecting his health and starting to make him ill - and it could kill him.).

I've been searching for two days straight on how to make one of these, with no luck until now.

Now I can put together a toy for Mr. W and hopfully he'll recover!

Who'd have thought your instructional video on making a BALL could mean life or death - literally, right? lol

jabapyth (author)slinngr2009-11-26

I'm glad to have been of service ;) Good luck with the bird.

Shadow_Force (author)2009-11-24

 Nice instructable! Very well written and very rewarding results! Have 5*

krazipanda (author)2009-09-18

i finally finished it. it was difficult to make out of a pops box cause the tape wouldnt stick well to it....oh, and my cat just ripped it apart -.-

jabapyth (author)krazipanda2009-09-18

congrats ;) yeah, I probably should have put "keep away from small children...and pets"

krazipanda (author)2009-09-18

whups, i mean step 2

krazipanda (author)2009-09-18

I'm still stuck on the first step..... how does it hold together when you're making it, and how do you make it so tight?

noah1r (author)2009-04-02

good idea I like it :p

Pryo Chain (author)2009-02-22

Sweet. Seems like it might be a bit too light... but I'll give it a try anyway.

1thadeaus1 (author)2009-02-03

i just figured this out, but if you wanna glue the overlaps together to make it stronger, put glue where u want it and you can blow up a small balloon in the ball, tie it off, then take a hot hair dryer and blow the hot air on the balloon and the balloon will expand making the overlaps connect with the underlaps and do that for a while 'til the glue dries...there ya


jabapyth (author)1thadeaus12009-02-04

wow, that's a really neat idea! I'll have to try it out. I'm curious, did you leave the balloon inside? That might look cool...or you could fill it with something...

1thadeaus1 (author)jabapyth2009-02-04

you could leave the balloon inside to give it a different look...i think i might experiment...

Sandisk1duo (author)2009-01-06

Seems like it would be a little too lite

jabapyth (author)Sandisk1duo2009-01-07

It's lighter, but more bouncy. It's not *exactly the same* as a hacky sack, but works surprisingly well.
--make it yourself and find out ;-)

jabapyth (author)jabapyth2009-01-07

or maybe you meant for juggling >.< I've found they work great :)

choji (author)2009-01-06

that was a nice one :P :D

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