There are so many awesome decorations you can make for the holiday season, but this project is great if you don't want to rush out and buy a load of fancy materials. In fact, you can probably make these decorations with stuff you already have at home. All you need is some tissue paper, glue and scissors to make these stunning paper honeycomb balls. And of course, a dash of glitter for a sparkly end result!
- White tissue paper
- Fine gold glitter
- Glue stick
- Gold metallic paint and paint brush (optional)
- Cutting mat
- Two plates
- 3 A4 pieces of cardboard
- Sticky tape
- Thread and needle
1. Prepare the Paper
Place two cardboard cards on the working surface next to each other. The cardboard cards I used here are A4 size, but cardboard from packages, like cereal boxes, will work as well. Now place a big plate or any other circular object with a diameter of around 26cm (10in) on top of the cardboard. Once the plate is correctly placed in a central position, trace around the outline of the circle with a pen.
Making sure you keep the cardboard in place, remove the big plate and place a smaller plate or another object with a diameter about 20cm (7.8 in) inside the bigger circle. Keeping it steady in the center with one hand, trace around it using the other hand.
Now cut out the bigger circle. You will end up with two semi-circles.
Place one semi-circle on top of a pile of tissue paper. Keep the tissue paper layered and aligned. Holding firmly together the cardboard and the tissue paper, cut the tissue paper in semi-circles. Big sharp scissors are good at cutting through all the sheets of paper at once.
For one honeycomb ball, you will need around 50 sheets of tissue paper. Once the tissue paper semicircles are ready, cut out the inner circle of the cardboard. Then trim along the outer edge of the cardboard circle to give it a slightly smaller outline than the tissue paper.
2. Add the Sparkle
Now it's time to add a bit of sparkle to the edges of the tissue paper, which will emphasize the honeycomb design of the ball. Place the first piece of tissue paper on some cardboard. Gently apply a layer of glue to the edge of the semi-circle. You can either do this with a glue stick or with craft glue and a brush. If you use the glue stick, make sure it hasn't hardened. If you use the craft glue, use a small quantity.
Use gentle movements that go outwards of the circle, while holding the tissue paper in place with the other hand. Once you apply the glue, sprinkle some glitter on top. For a more even application, you could use a paint brush.
When you've finished with the first sheet, shake it over the cardboard and put it aside to dry. Then, place the excess glitter back in the container. Repeat this process for all 50 sheets. When the glue is dry, add some glitter to the other side as well.
Sparkle all around. Nice job!
An alternative way to add some glamor to your honeycomb ball is to paint the edge of the semi-circles with some gold paint. Don't dilute the paint with water as the tissue paper is really thin and delicate. Apply the paint by gently moving the brush around the edge of the semi-circle.
3. Create a Guide
You need to create a guide to help you with the gluing process. Take an A4 piece of cardboard and measure every 4cm (1.5in). Place the card on a cutting mat and cut out seven horizontal thin slots using a cutter and a ruler.
Use a black marker to mark every other slot. Attach the left edge of your card to your working surface with some sticky tape. Now you're ready to glue.
4. Glue the Paper
Flip the card to the left. Place the first tissue paper semi-circle flat on the working surface with the left side lined up against the edge of the cardboard. Make a mark on the cardboard at the spot where it meets the top edge of the semi-circle. By doing this, you can place all of your sheets of tissue paper in the exact same place. The cardboard will help you align the left edge of the tissue paper.
Now flip the cardboard over the semi-circle, and use a soft glue stick to glue the tissue paper through the slots in the cardboard. On the first sheet, just glue along the black slots.
The cardboard not only helps you keep a precise line for gluing, but it also protects the delicate tissue paper from tearing. Overall, it makes the whole process of gluing 50 sheets of tissue paper much easier.
Once you've glued the first sheet of tissue paper, flip the cardboard to the left and place a new sheet of tissue paper on top of the first. Keep in mind to place it exactly aligned to the first one. Using both hands, rub the tissue paper to prevent any creases and to ensure the sheets are glued together along the glue lines. Now flip the cardboard back over again, and this time only glue along the unmarked slots.
Repeat this process, alternating between the slots, for all 50 sheets of tissue paper.
5. Bind and Open
All you need to do now is bind the tissue paper together. First, take the cardboard pieces you created earlier (1, step 3). Securely glue one cardboard semi-circle on to one side of your pile of tissue paper semi-circles, and the other on the other side.
Thread your needle and insert it into the top corner of your cardboard semi-circle. Make sure the loop of thread is loose, so that it leaves enough space for all the tissue paper to open around it and form the ball. Knot the thread and repeat the same process at the bottom corner. Leave one end of the thread long so that you can hang the honeycomb ball from it. Or you might like to attach some thicker thread.
The magical moment has arrived. After all this hard work ,you can enjoy the magic of opening up your ball. Are you ready? Aaaah!
Once open, you can glue the two cardboard pieces together. If you want to store it for next Christmas, you may prefer to just keep the ball open with some paper clips. When you remove the clips, you can fold the ball back to a semi-circle for easy storage.
If you'd like to create some simple honeycomb balls without the sparkling edge, it's best to alter the process. The best way to do this is to first cut rectangular sheets that are comfortably bigger than your semi-circle and glue them together. Once the honeycomb paper is glued together, cut out the semi-circle shape to form the ball. This way, you don't need to worry about being precise in positioning the paper while gluing. Plus, you can cut out different shapes to create honeycomb ornaments.
Deck the Halls with Honeycomb Balls
Once you've made a few honeycomb balls, tie them together to form a garland or a tumbling arrangement. Honeycomb balls look best when they're clustered together. Your house will dazzle with your sparkling new Christmas decorations.
In this tutorial, you learned how to create a smart tool out of cardboard that makes the honeycombing process a lot more fun - and precise. Honeycomb paper decorations can be used for many celebrations, like weddings and parties. You can also make smaller ornaments to adorn cards and presents. Welcome to honeycomb magic!
Did you enjoy this project? If you have any questions or suggestions, just leave a comment below. We'll be happy to hear from you! Have a sparkling Christmas!