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Paper Strip Bola Tutorial

paper strip ball

I'm obsessed with these balls made from strips of paper. I've been making them all week in different sizes. I ended up with such a collection that I had to make a little flat basket to put them in.

paper strip ball

Like my title? I was trying to avoid saying "strip balls." {snort}

In the beginning... I saw this article. There I was, following along happily until, I dunno, somewhere between steps 3 and 5 suddenly "a great miracle occurred" to get from one step to the next. Well, heck!

Some time (and miscellaneous googling) passed.

[Insert tuneless humming here.]

I discovered that this is a common plaited palm leaf design.

And that led me off on another wander until I found these directions, which helped a bit.

Are you ready? Open the second set of directions in another window, because the diagrams of the weave pattern are helpful.

Start off with two strips of contrasting paper. I cut mine from 12" scrapbooking paper, 1.5" wide. Cut each one lengthwise, but don't cut completely apart. Trim off the corners at the attached end.
Weave the papers together at the attached end to form a square.

paper strip ball

Number the strips as shown. The marks will be on the inside and won't show when you're done.

paper strip ball

Holding the papers with the attached ends pointing toward you, weave 1 over 2 and 4 under 3. Then cross 4 over 1. This is one set of weaving.

paper strip ball

It's already starting to curl up into a ball.

Now weave 2 over 4, and 3 under 1. Then 3 over 2 in the middle. You have done two sets.

Third set: 4 over 3, 1 under 2, 1 over 4.

Last set: 3 over 1, 2 under 4, 2 over 3.

The ball is fully formed. Each strip is now all the way around the ball.

paper strip ball

Each strip comes around a loop, with the loose end sitting on top of the beginning of the same strip.

Following the pattern you've made, continue to weave each strip, under and over, around the ball until you run out of paper.

paper strip ball

(Here the blue strip will go under the x, matching arrows.)

paper strip ball

Compress the ball and gently pull at each strip end, working out any looseness in the loops.

paper strip ball

Trim off any strip ends that are sticking out.

paper strip ball
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