Paper Ball Ornaments for Your Christmas Tree




About: Food Chemist, bug lover and enthusiastic crafter with a passion for papercrafts, specially origami

IMPORTANT:  It's been a while since I did this instructable and now that I reviewed it, I agree that some steps are a little bit confusing.

So if you cannot figure out some of the steps, or you want to learn how to do it quickly, then just read steps 1 to 3 and skip steps 4 to 9. Instead watch the video on step 10. Then follow the instructions on steps 11-12 to finish the ornament. The video shows the whole proces of making the medallion.

Of course if you like challenge, follow up all the steps and just skip step 10 :-)

Recycling paper is one of the many things we can do to protect environment, so instead of dispose our old magazines and the tons of catalogs and paper junk we receive, why don't use it to make some nice ornaments for Christmas? They are original, cheap and safer for your children than the traditional glass balls.

I'll show you how to do it, using origami techniques
You only need some magazines or catalogs, glue and a little bit of patience to make it.

Step 1: Materials

First gather the following materials:

Old magazines, catalogs, or any kind of paper you want to reuse. I recommend you to choose paper with nice colors.


Scissors (optional, if you have practice you can cut the paper with only your hands).

Step 2: Preparing Our Sheet

Fold your sheet in two, then again fold it by the middle and fold it by the middle one more time.

Unfold it, look the crease pattern: the creases are dividing our sheet into eight rectangles.

Now cut the sheet following the creases (if you are origami lover maybe you want to do it with nothing but your hands, if not, use scissors)

You should have eight rectangles now. We are going to use 6 of them to make our paper ball.

Step 3: Squaring Our Rectangles

Now that we have 8 rectangles of the same size we need to square it.

To do it, fold one corner to the other side of the rectangle. It should look like the one in the photo (if you want nice results, try to do it exactly), then turn it over and fold the remaining paper to make a crease and cut it out carefully.

Step 4: First Steps (pre-creasing 1)

Now that we got our square, fold it by the crease we already have, then fold it by the middle so now we have divided our triangle in two smaller triangles.

Step 5: Square - Rectangle -square (pre-creasing 2)

Unfold it (see the simple crease pattern we have) and fold it by the middle (now we have a rectangle), fold it in two again so we are going to get another square shape.

Step 6: More Pre-creasing

Unfold it again (the crease pattern is growing).

Fold it like in the photo, so the edges meet in the center (did you notice that we have a rectangle shape again?). Now repeat the above step, and fold it so that the flaps meet in the center (the difference is that now we got a square again)

Step 7: Almost There... (pre-creasing 4)

Unfold it and fold one corner to the other side (now we have a triangle shape on one side); fold it again by the middle, so you are going to get a smaller triangle; unfold it and do the same with the other side (see the crease pattern, it is more complex now. Important: at this point you don't need to unfold it, I just wanted to show how the crease pattern changes as we make more foldings)

NOTE: If you don't understand this step, then watch the video on step 10.

Step 8: Now, We Are Folding...

a) Now, pull up the flaps, spread to the side and flatten the paper. Do the same with the other side

b) Bring one triangle flap to the top and flatten it to form a little square. Repeat with the other flaps.

NOTE: If you don't understand this step, then watch the video on step 10.

Step 9: Final Steps

Last but not the least, here we go:

Fold the flaps of each square to meet in the center

Open the triangles and flatten

Finally, fold the corners back and we are done (look at the final crease pattern, is beautiful, isn`t it?).

Step 10: So You Don't Understand the Steps? Don't Worry... Watch the Video

As I said before, It's been a while since I did this instructable. Nowadays I'm a little bit more skilled with origami and I agree that some steps are confusing...

So if you are stuck on any step, then watch the video. I feel that it is easier to follow than the pictures. Of course, If you like challenge, skip this step.

Step 11: Making the Ball Paper

Now to form our ball ornament, we'll need six medallions. So repeat steps from 3 to 9 and make your six medallions.

When you are done, you only need to put them together by the corner flaps using a drop of glue on each flap. I think the images are clear enough to describe the process. So here they are.

Step 12: The Reward to Our Efforts

Congratulations, you have made your first paper ball. Now make as many as you want of the sizes you want, and recycle as many paper you can. Is August, so you have enough time to have them ready for your Christmas tree.

Enjoy! and thank you for looking.



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    57 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

     What is hard about this people? Just click on the pictures and use your BRAIN to do a little thing called critical thinking. Sure the written part doesn't spoon feed it to you, but it's still a great instructable. 

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    a magazine with the pages folded down individually makes a great tree but too small for the balls


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Check out the hard cover book tree.  Maybe a super large book like an atlas would work !    : )


    8 years ago on Introduction

    use last years wrapping paper.also make a wreath with the balls for the one who gave you the gift that the paper was wrapped in.or even a ball from that paper

    I aman active tap dancing 80 and a free lance craft designer for craft magazines since 1976.  I love these "flowers" but can't figure out how on earth to attach five of them to make a ball???  Anyone out there that can explain?  Crafting with Claire


    9 years ago on Introduction

    These are addictive! I made two for teacher's gifts and they were a huge hit! Thank you for the tutorial!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I've added an extra step which shows the making process on video. You can watch it on step 10. Hope it helps those who are frustrated trying to understand the photos.


    9 years ago on Step 12

    I love this!! yesterday i was looking at these kind of ornaments in google and today i finally know how to do them :3 thank you so much!!

    Just one question.. are you from Hermosillo? 'cause of the magazine XD i've seen it here XD

    Anyway... Beautiful ornament! :D

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Step 8

    Step 7, I was cruising...transition to step 8, I crashed...seems like a small critical step or explanation is missing.  Fun to fiddle with, but I am stuck.  I'll hang onto my many scraps of magazine page and look forward to a bit more info!

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    The video is uploading. Once it is ready, I'll add it to the instructable. Hope it helps.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm surprised and happy that my instructable became popular after a half and a year I published it  ^_^

    I'll make a video to help those who have trouble understanding the photos.