I’ve seen a lot of DIY crafts that involve gluing or taping together a bunch of copies of a folded shape to make a rounded 3D object. Usually I see this technique used to make various home decor items or cards. But I wanted to see how it would look if I tried the same thing but scaled down small enough for earrings. And so from that, I was off to make a pair of 3D paper ball earrings.
Though there is glue involved, all the folded paper gives it a look that reminds me a bit of origami. I’m very happy with how they turned out and am very happy to share this tutorial of how I made them.
What You Will Need for this Project
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When choosing scrapbook paper, I would go with the thinner papers instead of cardstock. It’s a lot easier to fold the thin papers so there are nice clean fold lines. Origami paper would also work well too.
How to Make 3D Paper Ball Earrings
Step 1: Punch Circles
First off, you need to make eight circles of the same size. I used a 1” circle punch to do this to ensure that they are all exactly the same size.
If using a punch like this, I would suggest layering your scrapbook paper with another piece of cardstock. These circle punches are fantastic, but the edges of your shapes can come out jagged if you are using a thinner paper. Layering paper like this makes things a bit more stable.
Now slip your papers into the punch and cut a circle.
The punch should easily cut through the two layers. The other circle that gets punched can either be tossed or saved for another project.
Keep punching until you have eight circles.
If you don’t have a circle punch, you could also cut the circles by hand or with a cutting machine like the Cricut or Silhouette.
Step 2: Fold Circles
Next, fold all the circles down the middle so your paper design is facing inward.
Make sure every circle is folded as evenly as possible. That way it will be easier to line everything up when you are attaching them together.
Step 3: Glue Circles
Now take one of your folded circles and brush one side with glue.
I used a paintbrush and Mod Podge for this, since I use Mod Podge for just about everything glue related. But you could also use a permanent glue stick or any other paper glue.
Before the glue dries, attach another one of the folded circles. Line up everything as carefully as you can.
Do this two more times until you have glued four circles together.
Repeat this again for the remaining four circles. You will have two sets.
Don’t glue these pieces together yet! That will come a bit later.
Step 4: Cut and Fold Wire
Cut a piece of jewelry wire about 3 inches long. I’m using a 22 gauge and I think that worked best. You could probably use a thicker gauge if you wanted, but I don’t think it would work as well if the wire was any thinner.
Using your round nose pliers, make a loop at one end of the wire. I made a fairly small loop but the size is up to you.
Then lay one of your circles on the wire below the loop. This will help you measure how much more wire you need.
Decide how much more wire you need for one more loop and cut.
Make another loop on the other end of the wire. Double check that the wire is long enough so the loops will be outside the circle when glued together.
If things are a bit short, you can cut another piece of wire and try again. Otherwise, you can move onto the next step.
Step 5: Glue Paper Balls Together
Take one of your circle pieces and spread a thin layer of glue across the entire back side.
Now lay your wire in the middle, making sure both wire loops will be sitting outside the circle.
Then line up your other circle piece on top. Lightly press the pieces together so the glue will stick, making sure that everything is lined up properly.
Now adjust all the folds of the paper ball until it looks the way you like and set aside to dry.
Step 6: Make Bead Charm
While your glue is drying you can make the bead that will dangle from the paper ball. I used a glass bead about 8mm wide, but you can use whatever you like. You will also need a headpin.
Slide the bead onto the headpin. Then bend the wire at a 90 degree angle where it meets the bead.
Snip the headpin with your wire cutters so there is just enough wire left to make a loop. Then make a loop with your round nose pliers.
Step 7: Assemble 3D Paper Ball Earrings
Now it’s time to put everything together. Start by opening up the loop on your earring hook with the chain nose pliers. Remember to open it by twisting the loop to one side and not by pulling outward. That keeps the wire from weakening and will make the loop easier to close as well.
Next add on your paper ball and close the loop of the earring hook. Then add the charm to the other end of the paper ball. I find it easier to open the loop on the charm rather than the paper ball to do this.
Step 8: Repeat to Make Second 3D Paper Ball Earring
Now repeat steps one through seven again to make your second earring. You could of course have been making both earrings at the same time. But for the purpose of the tutorial it’s easier to explain for just one earring at a time.
And that’s it! Now your earrings are ready to wear or be given as a gift.
This was a nice easy project that thankfully didn’t take much trial and error at all while I was making it. I was also able to make each earring in just a few minutes, so they are quick too.
There are also so many ways to customize this project to make a pair to suit you. Use different colored paper or different types of beads. You could also try a different size circle or even a different shape altogether.
I have a few other ideas in my head of what I want to do the next time I make a pair of these earrings. If they are different enough I may even make a tutorial for them, so stay tuned!
I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and happy crafting!