Paper Orb Tutorial

Aren’t these paper orbs just gorgeous! They are not difficult at all to make and require no special crafty supplies. Go and rescue that old corn flake packet out of the bin right now and knock one of these babies up in a matter of minutes.

paper orb tutorial

Here is what you will need.

  • Craft knife or scissors
  • A scoring tool, you don’t need anything special, I used a big fat tapestry needle
  • Paper, card or cardboard. I used regular printer paper for my smaller balls, watercolor paper for my larger ones and also an the cardboard from a cereal packet.
  • Tape
  • Template– see below
  • Paint or pens to decorate

The Template

Download the template below.

If you are using paper or thin card stock to create your orb you can print straight onto your substrate and cut them out. For anything you can’t feed through your printer you will need to make a simple template to trace around. When making a template cut out the areas that are to be scored as shown below.

The template can be easily scaled so you can make different size orbs.

Making the Orb

The orb is made of three strips. Cut out each strip and score along the small dotty lines. Once scored gently fold as shown.

paper orb tutorial
Using template to create the three strips you will need

Then flatten out the folds you have made.

Tape two of the strips to make circles, if you are using a pre-printed stock there is a dotted line to help you line the seam up.

paper orb tutorial

Combine your taped pieces as shown. You want to make sure that the scored areas are completely visible

paper orb tutorial

Then take your final strip and thread it through like this

paper orb tutorial

Tape the ends together and rotate if gently to make sure the scored areas are visible.

paper orb tutorial
paper orb tutorial

Then gently push on the scored areas to activate your folds and work your way around the orb. I found working on a side then the opposite side worked best.

paper orb tutorial

Then you can decorate however you like.

I used water color paint and paper for this blue one painting different patterns on each outer edges but tying it altogether with a simple stripe patternon all the other areas

blue and white paper orb
blue and white paper orb

This one started life as a cereal packet and was decorated using white acrylic paint and a navy sharpie marker.

paper orb tutorial

Here is another one made from the cover of my watercolor pad… why waste a perfectly good piece of substrate! I used acrylic paint and a sharpie marker.

paper orb tutorial

They look lovely just together on a side table

paper orb tutorial

or added to my collection of decorative balls.

paper orbs and decorative balls
vase filler paper balls

Here is a fun video where one of my readers used my template to make an orb. It shows how super easy these are!


Love from

Creative in Chicago


P.s if you enjoyed this post then you are going to love this post too where you can download a free template to make an Icosahedron – that’s a 20 sided shape.

icosahedron watercolor 3d shape

47 thoughts on “Paper Orb Tutorial

  1. These are so cool! I’m always looking for ways to upcycle (because who doesn’t want free craft supplies?) so I love that the largest was made from a cereal box!

  2. Question … you cut the semicircles out of one strip, and fold the other two? Just want to make sure I know how to do it … going to try it with my 7 and 5 year old later today. Thanks!

    1. Hi Shelia,

      You don’t actually cut semi circles out of any of the strips. If you are using a thick substrate such as cardboard I suggest making a template… the template would require cutting. Hope that help and have fun making these!

      1. Too bad I didn’t read this question and answer before trying this out. The picture of the three strips is really and the explanation of why one strip is cut out would be helpful right above or below the actual picture. Back to the drawing board for me …

  3. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. I teach art at a school where I only get a tiny budget. My students are going to love this.

  4. These are beautiful ❤️. If I’m not able to print out a template is there a way to make my own? I’m disabled so I don’t get out much, and not text Savvy at all ☺️ by the way I too am from Chicago, actually Evanston. What now in North Carolina. I miss men’s Pizza in Evanston so much ☺️ have a beautiful day.

    1. If you can’t print out you could always hold a thin piece of paper up to the template on your screen and do a simple trace. I am not actually from Chicago at all but have been living here on and off since 2010. I am originally from the UK!

      1. For those of us who can’t print the template, could you give us the strip dimensions and the height, width, and general placement of the circles (ex: 2 inches from bottom)? Very cute

        1. I’d recommend just putting a piece of paper up to your monitor and tracing the template. I could get all mathematical on you and it would be complicated. Tracing is easier!

  5. I’ve been making origami stars and trees and decided to try these. They are my new favorite thing to make with paper now. Thanks so much for the template and very clear instructions!

  6. I am having trouble making these. I think the paper I am using is too thin. I am from Chicago. My daughter lives in the UK. I am going to try it again tomorrow.

    1. You need a weight of paper that when scored will hold it’s shape. I used cardboard and a heavy weight watercolor paper to make mine. Where about in Chicago are you?

  7. It is working now. I used scrape book paper over light weight card stock. Grew up in South Shore; livre in south subs now, Daughter lives in Kent. Small world.

  8. Is there a possibility that you could send the dimensions of the template and it’s inside measurements. I am living in Colombia (country) and have only a phone to work from.

  9. Just came upon these ornaments! They are beautiful! Great way to use scrapbook paper and my stash! From Omaha, NE.

  10. Just made one of these ornaments. I used a fancy pen to make designs before assembling it. Turned out great. How do you adjust the pattern to make smaller orbs ?
    From Mansfield,CT

  11. I finally made one. I made it from the box that held a frozen pizza. My cereal box was not large enough for the pattern. I would suggest you re-word the instructions at the second picture after the template. ( After joining two strips to make one circle, I found that something was not right.) Perhaps you could say, ” Join the ends of one strip to make a circle. Repeat with the second strip so you have 2 circles. ” “Don’t join the ends of the third strip until it has been inserted as shown in the picture.”
    Now my orb looks like your picture. Thank you. I am going to share this craft with my friends as I am sure their children are going to need something to keep them busy while our schools are closed.

  12. To Creative in Chicago, hi. Thank you so much, so very much for sharing your beautiful creations with us. I am Nanny, now I will be “cool Nanny”, I can’t wait to play and create. I am going to purchase a printer to do so. Hugs from ” cool Nanny in Australia. ” Sherie

  13. That is wonderful, I will use it to teach 2d and 3d for my junior students. Thank you, my kids will love it.

  14. Love making these and would like to make some smaller ones. How do I adjust the pattern for different sizes?
    Thanks from Nova Scotia Canada!

    1. I think it would need to be a pretty hefty stabilizer but would be fabulous if you could get it to work and open up so many design possibilities!

  15. Just found this website and just love it! Already tried the paper orb and am looking forward to decorating it. Next I intend to attempt the petal votive bowls.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  16. I made a few of these a few years ago and misplaced my template. So happy to find one here. However, I wasn’t able to link to a downloaded template. Could you please email it to me?

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