A Creative Dream

A Creative Dream

A little blog about the life of a somewhat lost dreamer....looking for my grace in this crazy world.

13 December 2016

Spiky ball tutorial...

Originally published in 2012, this is one of the most viewed tutorials I have on the site (more than 15,000)... here it is again, just in time for the holidays... (these are great made out of wrapping paper y'all...)

I was wondering what in the world I would share with everyone to start the new year off right, and then I opened my email. Y'all seem to really like my spiky balls... at least judging by the number of emails asking how I made them and requesting a tute. Honestly, I didn't share these earlier because I thought everyone knew how to make them. I remember doing them with my grandmother when I was little, so they're not something new. I was wrong... who knew? Always one who likes to give my readers what you want, seems the perfect thing to share to begin this new year. So here we go... the first tutorial of 2012...You know I use some really technical tools to create what I do, so let's hope you all have them... ready? You need:
Something round, about the size of what you want your finished ball to be. I used a blank cd (actually the spacer you get when you buy a mega bunch of cds). I have also used jar lids, the tops of cans, small plates, and even, from time to time, a drafting compass, although very infrequently. A sheet of white copy paper to draw the pattern on, a pencil, scissors, old book pages, and glue. You will also need some heavy thread, I used perle cotton, a needle, two sequins or tiny plastic washers (use a hole punch to punch them out of a plastic lid, and make a hole in the center) and two beads slightly larger than the hole in the sequin or washer. And, of course, my favorite handy-dandy-all-around-tool... the bamboo skewer.
First, you make the pattern. Using your circle, draw around it onto the white paper. I also drew inside the circle at the center of the cd just to give myself a reference point for later.Cut out the circle. You need to fold it so that you have 8 equal sections. That means you fold it in half, then fold that semi circle in half. Open it, and do it all over again so that you have eight folds. I marked the lines with a pencil, and then marked each line 1/2" out from the center fold. When I'm cutting the book pages later I won't go any farther down than that mark, leaving a solid center. You've now got your cutting pattern.Stack a few of the book pages and use whatever you made your original circle with to make a circle on the pages.

You can either cut them out now, or you can use your pattern to draw your cutting lines, then cut out the circle and the lines.

And, ta-da, there you have it... the beginning of the spikey balls.... Now, let me reassure you at this point, if your circle wasn't cut out perfectly... you're doomed. But... not really. The circles do not have to be PERFECTLY round. And, the cutting into the circles doesn't have to be perfectly even, just close. One thing I would caution about, if you stack too many of the pages, when you cut, especially the straight cuts from the outside of the circle toward the inside, you may well get very unevenly spaced sections. Trust me on that one... been there, done that. Should that happen, you have to toss that bunch and make new ones. Otherwise, you know I always encourage you to embrace the minor imperfections... it will all work out just fine.
Here comes the time consuming part. Grab your circles (you need about 17 for each ball you want to create), your bamboo skewer, and the glue, settle yourself in and turn on something entertaining on TV. Position your skewer so that the tip is almost in the center of one of the sections of paper.Wrap the paper around the skewer to create a cone shape. The sharper the point the better, and glue. Be sure to hold the paper for a few seconds so that you know it has adhered, trying to re-glue them later is not fun. Learning to make that really sharp point takes a bit of practice, probably took me making four or five balls before I became pretty consistent, so don't get discouraged, just keep going.When you have all of your points rolled, use the sharp end of your skewer to put a hole in the center of your piece. Once you have them all ready, it's time to string them.Completely ignoring the glue on my fingers, thread your needle with what you have chosen to use as thread. I used a neutral colored (832) perle cotton. Insert your needle into the bead, then through the sequin or washer.String seven of the stars, all with their "open" centers facing the same direction. Then string the remaining eight stars with their open centers facing the other direction. Be sure to not let everything fall off of your thread. It happens... and if it does, just restring... won't take that happening many times to make sure that it doesn't again.When you have all the stars on, load the sequin or washer, then the bead... then take your thread back down through the sequin/washer.Run your threaded needle all the way back through the stars and come out where you originally.Bring your needle up through the sequin/washer and through the bead (along side the thread that is already there).Position a knot, and gently, but firmly, tighten it. Be sure to double or triple tie it... making sure to not get any of the points caught in it...And there you go... a spiky ball. Simple, huh? If you want to get really fancy, as we did when making them for our tree when I was little, you can put glitter on them... just do it after you roll the tips and before you thread them... and be sure to let them dry completely before you string them.Personally, I love the simplicity of them, all stacked in and around a container on the table.

Note... Because the final steps can be a bit of confusing... it can be a bit tricky if you aren't watching it done.  I've created a little diagram below that might help.

 Use the same beading technique for the top, and the bottom of the ornament.


jinxxxygirl said...

Love these June... and i think i could make them ... that is up until the last four pictures of your tute... You lose me somewhere in there... Trust me .. its me not you...lol I don't understand how it gets from the third pic from the bottom to the second pic from the bottom.... Hugs! deb

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I still think the way these are put together is amazing. Loved this tut the first time around and still do today.
xx, Carol

ACreativeDream June Crawford said...

Thanks, Carol... I love them too, but you know me and my little paper "problem".

Deb, see if the diagram I added helps... I can see where it could be confusing.

jinxxxygirl said...

Oh no! The part you explained is the part i 'get'.... the part i don't get is how do you get it from being flat on both ends to the end product of a round spiky ball.... ? In other words how do you get it to look like the last two photos from the third photo from the bottom? Third photo doesn't look like a ball the other two do....? I'm a little thick ...lol .. so if you can't explain it any different don't worry about it.. I sure do appreciate the diagram June... Hugs! deb

ACreativeDream June Crawford said...

Ohhhhhhh... well, that's simple to explain. All those points that you roll have depth, but the center of the ball is flat. When you stack them, run the thread through and pull it REALLY tight, that pulls all those flat middle portions together, and the points just spread out that way.

In other words... it's magic.

Megan Wallace said...

I pinned the picture for this on Pinterest way back when. For a long while it was my most popular pin! I'm adding a link to the tutorial now. Thank you, and have a Blessed Christmas.

ACreativeDream June Crawford said...

Thanks Megan, I appreciate the link back!

jinxxxygirl said...

Alrighty then! Thankyou June! I'am SO going to give this a go ..just don't know when. Hugs! deb