TUTORIAL: Paper Ball Chains

I originally thought these would be fun for a baby shower or birthday party.
But now I think they’re fun for anything!….even just to hang around the house and brighten your day.
Have you made these before?
I was inspired by this colorful version (found via pinterest I’m sure. Can’t remember now).
Isn’t that a fun blog?

There might be a better name for these but all I could think was: Paper Balls (Casey wanted to go with Orbs. Any other names you can think of?). Whatever you want to call them, they’re super easy to make, especially if you have a large hole punch.
• Decide what size balls you want. You can use any round object to trace circles and cut with scissors. But a hole punch is much faster. I used this 3-inch wide diameter punch from Michael’s (about $8).
• Select shades and amount of paper. I found that 6 pieces of standard-weight paper per ball works well. Less paper is too sparse. More paper is fine and will make the balls fuller but it all depends on your sewing machine—how many pages can it handle at once? Six seems pretty good.
• Arrange the colors in a cascading/ombre order if you want that effect.
• Then punch punch punch. Keep them in groups of 6 circles.
• Sew them all together. Start with a long tail of thread (so you can hang them from the ceiling) and sew a stack of 6 circles right down the middle. Then sew another stack of circles after that, then line up another stack and sew, etc.
• Starting with the top circle, fold it in half around the sewn line. Do the same with all the circles, folding the last circle toward the back.
And you have a pretty paper ball chain of color!
Hang them up or decorate a table. They’re hard not to look at—almost hypnotic. Sometimes they even twirl.
And the colors remind me of dusk and dawn (from Tucson and our backyard in Austin):
Have a great weekend!

  1. 1) Carina Garcia

    Hermoso!!

  2. Cute! Now I need to keep an eye out for a large circle punch!

  3. oh these are so perfect. love splashes of color!

  4. Um I love these. Maybe this is the sort of sewing project that I could actually attempt to tackle these days. :) Baby keeps me busy, I know you know that feeling too!

  5. 6) Laura * Suman

    I love a paper project! I have 5 different circle punches….even scalloped edge ones. Possibilities are endless :)

  6. So cute! Makes me wish for a circle punch!

  7. Soooo beautiful – Dana seriously I love these colors together! And hey, I have that circle punch! :)

  8. Ooo love this. Perfect for the next baby shower I host! Gotta go find a paper punch now!

  9. 11) Katie

    Oh thank you!! I’m trying to get my Halloween/Fall decorations made, and I’m totally adding these to the lineup.

  10. 12) Leigh Anne

    these would be awesome for a party! Thanks for the inspiration! Your photos are always so lovely to look at :)

  11. 13) Sahara

    I would call them “Paper Marbles” – they remind me of those cats-eye glass marbles

  12. Love the chains, Dana! I think I might have to make some to match my apartment!

  13. 15) Jackie

    I can see me making these for my daughter’s room. Maybe some for my son as well…superhero colors? Hmmm.

  14. 16) Erin S.

    I love these! Do you have any idea how to do these without sewing? (Ha, believe it or not, I love your blog and cannot sew a stitch, nor do I own a sewing machine. It was your paper wall flowers that led me here almost 2 years ago!! :)

  15. 18) Theresa

    Really good idea…I am going to try this and hang them in the sunday school room. I thought maybe using all white and put a little bit of white glitter on them to make them look like snowballs!!

  16. 19) Gongy

    My Great Granddaughter Allie would love to have these in her room.
    I’m going to ask her mom what colors she likes and the next time they
    come down for a visit I will give them to her.
    Colorful, bright and inexpensive. Thanks
    Another great idea….

  17. I love your site so much! And these paper chains are way too cute!

  18. Your colours are really pretty. With a different colour scheme these would be really pretty for a simple, old fashioned, non-glittery Christmas tree.

  19. Wow, so simple and beautiful! What a great party decoration!

  20. 24) kitty

    You have the great gift of creating beauty out of the simplest things! Thank you for the tutorial and, of course, your wonderful pictures!

  21. 25) Deborah Jennings

    I do love these. I have a 2-inch paper punch that I am going to try and make some with. I can see them done one at a time and hung on the Christmas tree. Really cute if you want an all handmade ornamental tree. Can’t wait to get the punch out and get started. Wouldn’t these be awesome with either a printed paper or photos? The ideas are endless.

  22. 26) Charity

    Dana, did you use a normal weight thread? Or something heavier? Great easy idea! I have loads of colored paper!

    • 27) Dana

      Yea, just standard white thread.

      • 28) Charity

        Thanks!

  23. Very cute, Dana.

    Don’t you love it when the hubs gets involved in the naming? Best.

  24. 31) berry

    I love these! The perfect complement to my daughter’s newly redecorated bedroom. Her main fabric is Lizzy House pearl bracelet in purple, so these will be fun accents. Thanks!

  25. Very cute! Great tutorial! I will for sure be trying this out! Thank you!

  26. 33) ruth

    I adore these! Pardon my paper ignorance, but is standard weight like printer paper?

  27. 34) Louise

    Wow I love these..I’m just making an orange and black version for a Halloween party. Thank you.

  28. Oh, so cute! And you can use these in so many different places.

  29. 36) Joyce

    Did you use any special type of string to sew them with? Would a nylon string make them stronger? What about the sewing machine needle? Does a very thin needle work best for sewing paper?

  30. 39) Geo

    I love this idea! My sewing machine’s broken so i stiched them by hand, cut them by hand, and used an old magazine for the paper!
    They look amazing round the house,even when made of old recycled paper!

  31. 40) Bettie Hammock

    With the quilting craze of Hexagons I think I am going to use my Hex punches and make one of Hexagons.

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