Paper Strip Balls

Made ya look to find out what strip balls were, didn’t I?

bola 1

These little balls are traditionally woven from palms. I don’t generally have access to palms, and I’m all about paper, anyway.

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.

bola 2

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

bola 3

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.

bola 4
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.

bola 5

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

You’ve completed one ball of weaving. Now you’re going to repeat the same weaving, in the same position, making a double layer. So strip #1 will be on top of strip #1, etc.

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

bola 6

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

bola 7

Compress the ball to tighten the weaving, gently pulling at each strip end, working around and around to push out any looseness in the loops.

bola 8

Trim off any strip ends that are sticking out.

bola 9

If you prefer to watch a video, here is one that I think is good. Not my video!


How cool are these??

What a neat project! This would be a wonderful way to use paper that you loved, but couldn’t seem to find another use for. It also seems like something that could be done with slightly older kiddos.

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I can almost these made in different style wite-ish , hanging on my christmas tree…