Woven paper baubles
I’ve been collecting pretty glass baubles for our Christmas tree for a number of years. But the closure of one of my favourite local stores and the lack of pretty baubles this year has meant I’ve not added as many to my collection as normal. Everything this year appears to have been attacked with a glitter gun! So I decided to make a couple of baubles.
A few weeks ago I stumbled across some amazing paper weaving work by PaperMatrix and I was determined to give it a try. These fabulously talented ladies have used Rhino software to create 3D woven paper spheres. They make absolutely gorgeous large Christmas baubles!
So I got to work and made up Sphere 1, Sphere 2 and Sphere 3. Actually I made four sphere 1’s, getting the technique right. I tried with paper and with 200 gsm card. And whilst working with paper makes it easier, I didn’t like the finished product as much and so moved to working with card stock.
The process results in some gorgeous patterns! I had to document them; here are the results.
To make these you’ll either need some fabulous cutting skills (as every millimeter counts) or a paper cutter. From the video’s it appears that PaperMatrix use a Cameo cutter very successfully.
I used my Graphtec ce5000-40 and adjusted the templates in illustrator so that they cut quicker (and didn’t require use of scissors to remove the pieces) by joining all of the open ends together, as well as scaling the pieces down a little so that I could cut all 24 pieces out on one A3 piece of card stock.
The written instructions on each post really are quite limited, so I was struggling initially. But then I stumbled across this video and it all fell into place. The video is of the making of the hot air balloons (next on my list!) but the same technique is used for the spheres. The music can get quite annoying after 8 minutes straight but it’s really informative.
The first step is to lay out the 24 pieces into two disks that are adhered together to create the 12 legged starfish-like panels that you weave together. This part drove me crazy, until I discovered that the tabs don’t align perfectly with each-other or with the disk your sticking them to (see last image in this post). Once this was discovered it all got much easier!
Sphere #003 is both easier and harder to weave together. The spacing between the strips allow for more movement, but they also tend to catch on each-other and so care is needed when weaving them together. I also found it easier not to worry about aligning up the circle panels perfectly until after I’d completed the sphere. There’s quite a bit of movement and you’ll never get them aligned exactly all the way along.
Once I’d completed the bauble, I glued some ribbon to a disk and tucked it under the ‘pomegranate’ end of the sphere, this gave me a nice clean overall look to the top of the bauble whilst still leaving the tabs exposed as I quite like the look of them.
I’m exceedingly happy with the results and can’t wait to make some more! I’ve dreams of making a couple of really big one for my husbands office decorations next year.