The Paper Sphere Problem

finished

We’re currently learning 3-D shapes – and by that, I mean the basic ones like cubes, and the crazy ones like Octahedron, and Rhombicuboctahedron (say  it, I dare you!)  Apparently the more intricate the name, the more interesting the shape to my crazy little Engineer.

I ended up doing this sphere as part of the project: read more on why below.

You’ll need:

  • 4 sheets of letter-sized paper stock
  • scissors
  • Tape
  • An entire afternoon
  • Clothespins or paper clips
  • This template
  • Patience.  Loads of this stuff.

 

Why did I do this?

I’ve been making a set of paper template for 3-D shapes, and I smashed right into the wall of flat planes when it came to making a sphere.  Oof!  It didn’t go well.  Failure x 3 hurts – and yes, I’m posting a pic of my failures.

fail

So now what?  Our set isn’t complete without a sphere, right?  Or a hemisphere, but I’ll cross that bridge later.  What to do?  Google it, of course.

I found this site about weaving paper that was just amazing.  It looks so cool!  And difficult… no way I could do that.

Well, we had to try something or risk a disappointed 5-year-old.  Off I went to print and cut 24 little squiggly arms of paper.  Cool looking, right?  I can’t emphasize enough: read the directions!  I missed the “print 4 sheets” part and got really frustrated because 12 just didn’t work.

flat

Off and running. Paper clips or clothespins are essential to not tearing your hair out in frustration.

starting

Just keep weaving – over, under, rotate, repeat.  It looks really complicated but it wasn’t all that difficult to weave as long as you understand the over/under concept. Tape the inside down as you go to prevent shifting – you need a tight weave to make it to a full sphere.

Then…getting close to the end. Jellyfish looking critter, right?

almost there

Now what?  This was the hard part, and it wasn’t any more fun because I kept having to deal with small children trying to murder each other while I was trying to tie off ends.  I honestly have no idea how I managed it, and I need to go back and watch the video they posted if I plan to do this again.  Yikes!

The front looks good.  The back…not so much. Double-stick tape covers a multitude of sins.

oops

Now we have a true sphere for our 3-D collection – and if I feel adventurous, I’ll do this again – halfway, for a hemisphere.  Woohoo!  Happy 5-year-old.

 

 

 

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