How to make honeycomb tissue decorations

Written by megan shoop
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How to make honeycomb tissue decorations
Honeycomb balls feature a pattern of open and closed spaces made with tissue paper. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Tissue paper honeycomb balls are hanging decorations featuring a honeycomb pattern created from folds of strategically placed tissue paper. You can hang honeycomb balls from the ceiling to represent clouds or among twinkle lights to cause them to glow. When clustered together around a light source, these balls look like tiny, airy lanterns. Though party stores sell countless variations on these decorations, you can save money and personalise your decorations by making your own custom tissue paper honeycomb balls.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Old cereal box
  • Scissors
  • Mathematical compass
  • Pencil
  • Tissue paper
  • Glue dots
  • Needle
  • Fishing line

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  1. 1

    Cut apart an old cereal box, reserving one of the larger sides.

  2. 2

    Adjust your mathematical compass to a radius about 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than you want your honeycomb ball to be. For instance, if you want 15 cm (6 inch) wide balls, adjust your compass to a 10 cm (4 inch) radius.

  3. 3

    Draw a circle on the reserved cereal box side with your compass.

  4. 4

    Cut out the circle and draw six straight lines radiating around the circle, dividing it into 12 equal wedges; the circle should now look like a pie. You will use the cardboard circle as a template for the tissue ball. Label the end of each line with a number, beginning with one.

  5. 5

    Adjust your mathematical compass to the appropriate radius for your tissue paper ball.

  6. 6

    Unfold your tissue paper, leaving the pages layered on top of each other.

  7. 7

    Using the compass, draw a circle on the first layer of tissue paper.

  8. 8

    Pinch the tissue papers together tightly while you cut out your circles. Cut through all of the tissue at once, working slowly to avoid injury and mistakes.

  9. 9

    Divide your circles into piles of 18.

  10. 10

    Place the top circle from one of your piles into the centre of your cardboard circle. The edge of the cardboard circle should frame the tissue circle, allowing you to clearly see your marked numbers.

  11. 11

    Place a glue dot onto the tissue paper circle at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 markers, dividing your circle into four equal parts.

  12. 12

    Press a second circle down onto the first.

  13. 13

    Place four glue dots onto the tissue paper between 1 and 2, 4 and 5, 7 and 8, and 10 and 11.

  14. 14

    Press a third layer of tissue down onto the second.

  15. 15

    Repeat steps 12 through 14 until you reach the last sheet of tissue paper.

  16. 16

    Place a single glue dot on the last circle at 3.

  17. 17

    Fold the top circle in half, pressing point 6 into point 3. This should stretch the lower layers, revealing half of the honeycomb pattern.

  18. 18

    Flip the ball over gently so you can see the first circle.

  19. 19

    Place a glue dot at the 3 position on the first circle.

  20. 20

    Fold the first circle up as you did the last to complete your honeycomb ball.

  21. 21

    Cut a 90 cm (3 foot) length of fishing line and thread it onto a long needle.

  22. 22

    Thread the needle gently through the centre of your honeycomb decoration.

  23. 23

    Remove the needle from the line and secure the end of the line to the bottom of the ball with another glue dot.

Tips and warnings

  • Mix and match tissue paper colours or shades to create rainbow-coloured or shaded balls. You could also use patterned tissue for this project.
  • Try recycling plastic bags into honeycomb decorations. The plastic is thin like tissue paper, but sturdy and comes in many colours.

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