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Topic: Wire Folding Ball Toy from Paperclips  (Read 14311 times)
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« on: March 01, 2010 12:16:05 PM »

Hi all!

This is a version of one of those cool flip-folding wire balls that change into a flower or planet, or tube-like shape. The first time I saw one of these was when my sister's elementary class visited NYC and one of the chaperones had bought her one, possibly from a street vendor. I have since seen them in toy stores and craft fairs.

The idea came to me in a chance sort of way. As often happens, I googled "wire ball folding bead toy" in a fleeting moment of curiosity. I finally learned it was once marketed by Natural Wonders stores as a "Heaven's Orb" and I also found a few pictures of the normal-sized one. I also learned that Natural Wonders sold a smaller "Heaven's Pendant" and that was what got me thinking, "Hmmm.... Little Tiny Challenge... Cousin's Birthday coming up.... Where are those pliers....?"

So I am so excited to show you this!
Modeled by my preschooler:

I used #10 paperclips (the small ones). The main ring structures are made from whole clips and the 'petals' are half paperclips. I used some brass wire to attach the two halves.

I didn't figure out that I should have pre-bent the wires until I did the second half of it... and I'm not a jewelry maker so it's a little sloppy. But I am really happy with it, and that is what matters!

Before it was done it looked like a ball of barbed wire but I tucked in the wire ends  and it is now relatively safe even for my toddler and preschooler to fight over... um... I mean share and play with.

As for a tutorial: I figured someone must have already deposited something somewhere in the vast font of all knowledge (aka the web), so I googled in a more obsessive manner and finally discovered a whole bunch of video tutorials online. They are generally instructions for larger ones, some quite beautiful. The proper term seems to be "Wire Mandala." Here's a rather nice video example: http://www.equinenow.com/video-num-4254527.htm.

Thanks for looking! Can't wait to see what you all did!

« Last Edit: March 07, 2010 06:36:19 PM by JCDillustration - Reason: clarified photo » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2010 12:23:32 PM »

what a lot of research and work you put into this!

It is just more precious than the larger ones because it is so tiny!!

We love tiny things...nice job!

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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2010 01:20:44 PM »

what a fun idea! I have one of the normal sized ones sitting on my desk Cheesy

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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010 04:50:30 PM »

I like the two tone colours! Awesome idea to research it and make your own.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010 04:51:16 PM by Monty » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2010 04:33:40 AM »

Oh what a great idea! So much research, you are very dedicated - and the end result is wonderful. Smiley
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2010 10:01:43 AM »

Great idea! And it really came out well. I can't see any of the issues you said you had because you didn't pre-fold it.

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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2010 10:21:48 AM »

How fantastically skilled you must be!
I'm in awe.
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010 10:45:08 PM »

i used to have that toy!! much bigger of course.

awesome job. i really want to make one now.

« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010 08:00:11 AM »

Thanks so much for all the supportive comments! You guys all rock!! Grin Cheesy
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010 07:09:12 PM »

Wow.  I never thought of those things as a craftable item.  Awesome!  Also, there are still Nature Wonders stores out there?  The one near us closed years ago and I've missed it a lot.

I need a house with a craft room!
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