I love decorating a Christmas Tree for Christmas and this year these lantern balls have been a nice addition to my tree. And as promised, here is a tutorial on how to make them. They are pretty easy to make, kinda similar to the paper strip ball ornaments. They work best with thick paper – card stock, scrapbooking paper. I have used scrapbooking paper – 2 coordinating patterns in my tutorial.
What is needed:
1. 4 strips of paper, 1.5 cms by 21 cms (0.6 inches by 8.25 inches) – scrapbooking paper or card stock. 160 gsm works great. I’ll call this Strip A.
2. 4 strips of paper, 1 cm by 20 cms (0.4 inches by 8 inches) – scrapbooking paper/card stock in a coordinating colour/design to the previous strips. This will be Strip B. Very creative, I know!
3. 2 circles cut from similar paper – 1 inch diameter. Circle cutters, punches are perfect.
4. A strip of paper, 15 cms by 5 cms (6 inches by 2 inches). Just plain white paper is good. This need not be as thick as the strips, but not as thin as regular printer paper. I use 120 gsm white paper for this. It is going to be hidden inside the ball, so colour does not matter.
5. 2 beads – I have used square glass beads here.
6. A piece of wire – about 15 cms (6 inches) in length.
7. Wire cutter, Round nosed pliers.
8. Round hole punch – I use 1/16 inch punch, but regular paper punch (1/8 inch) also works fine.
Now onto the steps..
1. Fold the 4 strips A in half and crease lightly. We are just trying to find out the centre of the strips, so no hard creases.
2. Use the round hold punch to punch a hole on the two open ends of the strip (not the creased end).
3. Unfold. Glue two Strip A bits at right angles to each other. You should have a ‘+’ sign now. Repeat with the other 2 strips.
4. Repeat Steps 1 – 3 for Strip B. You should now have 4 ‘+’ shaped units.
5. Now lay on cross on top of and in between another cross (of the same strips) and glue in place. You now have 2 stars, one of Strip A and the other of Strip B. Punch a hole in the centre of the strips, where the 4 arms overlap. If you feel your punch is not going to be able to handle so many layers of paper, punch the hole on the cross, before you glue the 2 crosses together. But remember that the holes must alight correctly once you glue them together.
6. Now take the star made from Strip A and fold each arm to the centre hole. Fold to the edge of the hole. This will ensure that one of the creased sides is just a tiny little bit longer than the other.
7. This shows all the arms creased to the centre hole.
8. Punch a hole in the centre of the 2 circles. Approximate centre should do. If you want to be perfect, cut out another circle of the same diameter using some waste paper. Fold the circle in half and then in quarters. The meeting point of the creases gives the centre. Align your good circles with this template and you can punch a hole in the exact centre!
9. Roll up the white strip and glue the ends together.
10. Take your wire, using the round nosed plier, form a loop on one end of the wire.
11. Thread a single bead and a circle, as shown.
12. Thread the star made from Strip B.
13. Then the stars made from Strip A.
14. Finally thread the paper tube created in Step 9.
15. Now we start forming the ball. Fold the Strip A star along the creased centre and thread the wire through the punched corner. You can thread the strips one after the other. But I prefer threading opposite ends together, so that it resembles the other side. If the wire is too long, bend it a little.
16. Now thread the Strip B star arms through the wire. These strips should be placed in between the Strip A arms. Here too, it is good if opposites sides are threaded together.
17. Finally re-crease the Strip A arms, so that they stand out well.
18. Thread the second circle and the bead. Using the round-nosed plier, form a loop at the end of the wire.
19. Thread a ribbon through the loop and hang the paper lantern ball on your Christmas tree