Soccer Ball Lamp Shade With Yin Yang Connections




I saw a photo of a paper soccer ball on flicker made like this.

From what I found, this was made by Phillip Chapman-Bell. If this is incorrect please let me know.

The soccer ball shape is made from pentagons and hexagons.

This uses two different colors for the two different shapes, and a unique Yin Yang looking connection.

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Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed


20 8x11 sheets card stock for the 6 sided pieces

11 8x11 sheets card stock for the 5 sided pieces

Some kind of light fixture


Scissors or craft knife and cutting mat

1/4 inch hole punch

Tweezers to help with assembly

The two PDF files to print the modules

Step 2: The Two Modules

These are the two modules used to make the shade, a five sided module and a six sided module.

Use the PDF files to print the modules. Cut them out around the outline and also the half round slits.

You can use a hole punch to make the small holes. The dashed lines are score lines to make the small folds.

Use a scoring tool or an empty ball point pen works perfectly for this.

You will need 20 of the six sided modules and 11 of the five sided modules.

You would actually need 12 of the five sided modules to make a complete ball.

I left the bottom one out to give easy access to the light.

Make a hole in the center of one of the five sided modules, this will be the top and allow the wire to come out there.

Stack all of the modules so that the rounded part of the connectors are going the same way, either clock ways or counter clock ways. Then fold down all of the edges on the score lines. They should look like the photo.

Step 3: Conecting Two Modules

Start by connecting the top with one of the six sided modules

The half round part of each module goes on top of the other module as in the photo.

This creates the Yin Yang shape.

Step 4: Adding the Next Module

The next six sided module is added the same way, keeping the half round parts on top.

Also connect the six sided modules together the same way.

Step 5: The First Six Modules

This is the way it will look after you have added five of the six sided modules to the top five sided module.

The second photo shows what the inside will look like.

There will always be five of the six sided modules around each five sided modules.

The six sided modules will each be connected to three other six sided modules and three five sided modules.

Step 6: Adding the Next Ten Modules

Add the next ten modules alternating five and six sided modules.

A pair of tweezers can be used to help with the interlocking process.

This is half of the ball shape. I decided to add the light fixture and hang it up to finish adding the rest of the modules

Step 7: The Light Fixture

This was the setup I used for the light.

I would recommend a Compact Florescent Lamp because they produce very little heat.

If you use an incandescent light you will need to make some holes in the top for ventilation as they produce a lot of heat.

Lamp cord and socket.

I put a knot in the cord with a small washer on top of that and a clear disk, from a DVD stack, on top of that.

This distributes the weight of the shade over a larger area, and the knot lowers the light so it is in the center of the ball.

The second photo shows the top half of the ball hanging from the cord.

Step 8: Adding the Next Modules

Add the next 5 six sided modules under the 5 five sided modules.

Again I used tweezers to help.

Step 9: Adding the Last Five Sided Modules

Add the last 5 five sided modules.

It should look like the photo.

Step 10: The Finished Ball

Add the last 5 six sided modules to the bottom.

The finished ball will look like this.

This makes a ball about 18 inches in diameter.

Step 11: Light It Up

This is what it looks like with the light turned on.

When you use the card stock as is, this gives off a soft glow. You could get more light from it by using my instructable on making card stock more translucent:

With a low wattage light it would make a good night light for a child's room.

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2 People Made This Project!


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15 Discussions


7 months ago on Introduction

Reposting the following comment from 2 years ago that mysteriously vanished:

I modeled the pdf outlines as svg so I could use a laser cutter to cut the card stock. I'm not sure svg will come through as an attached image, but the files are also available at , including the openjscad source code.

2 replies

Reply 7 months ago

Did you make one? When I made mine I used a cutting machine but I posted just the pdf files so anyone could make this with nothing but scissors. I tried your web link, but it does not take me anywhere.
Thanks for reposting.


Reply 7 months ago

I made two, actually. One for my office, and another for my son's bedroom.

I think the link didn't work because Instructables included the comma after it into the URL. I edited comment to fix: the correct link is


4 years ago on Introduction

Very nicely done -- I will mention that Philip Chapman-Bell may have designed this, but he never actually made one. Well-explained, too.

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

Awesome Instructable! Thank you so much! I am going to try and make one of these. Thank you again. :)


5 years ago on Introduction

Very cool. And it opens up the world of platonic solids for variations of this one.
Have to try it.


Reply 5 years ago

I think it is all friction fit. If you want, you could probably use a glue stick to add a little glue. But use sparingly or test on scraps, it might show up when the light is on. Might change the opaqueness.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

No glue is needed. There is tension, or actually compression, between the pieces. Once this is together it is rather difficult to take apart, that is why I left the bottom open. To give access to the light.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

No glue is needed. After you get the first five pieces together there is tension between the pieces. You will actually have to bend the card stock some to do the interlocking, that is why you will need the tweezers to help put this together.


Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for your comment. This is a rather easy project that only takes a few hours to cut out all of the pieces. The assembly will take maybe an hour for the first one you make. After you do some of the interlocking it gets easier.


5 years ago

Love the design.