Gelli Ball Instructions


This just about did me in, to be honest. I had seen some samples using playing cards on a couple of sites and the “instructions” were long the lines of “once you start doing it, you’ll soon understand how it goes together” – yeah, right.  I was determined to figure out a way to explain the steps so it made sense.  The problem is, with a 3D object, all the photos just look so confusing. I’ve done my best to break it down and I HOPE it will at least help – but I d agree, once you DO IT it does start to get clearer.

Start with 30 playing card size rectangles.  Use the template here to cut slashes as shown. My sample is the icosahedron so be sure you use that template.  I made it into an svg but can’t add that here (first, it’s his template, not mine, second WordPress doesn’t allow SVGs to be added as a  file for download) but you can probably do what I did and make your own.  If not, just use the paper template to cut the slashes.

I Gelli printed 20 of them – some of the choices I made here were more to do with being able to explain the construction rather than because I thought they looked pretty.  So 10 of my “cards” are plain black. The rest of them look like this:


A word about paper weight: The first one I showed was on VERY heavy cardstock.  250-300 GSM sort of weight.  THIS one I began with thinner card (more to see if it would work, although I didn’t think it would) and ended up sticking the cards to actual Bicycle cards.  The heavy cardstock ball is a bit … spiky is perhaps the best word, cause the corners aren’t very flexible, like playing cards are.  Sticking the thinner prints to actual cards gave the whole structure a bit more moldability.  I want to see if I can gesso and print actually ONTO playing cards at some point  and that might be an altogether more elegant solution, but this way you can use prints you have and like.

CRITICAL NOTE:  It doesn’t matter which way you turn the cards so long as you turn them all THE SAME WAY. So decide if your top edge slash will go to the left or the right.


MAKE SURE ALL YOUR CARDS ARE THE SAME. I simply cannot say that enough times.

OK, I started with the top of the ball all black – because I felt it would help you see the rows better.  But I actually like how it looks anyway.

1. Create a 5-card unit by interlocking the left card right edge slash with the right card left edge slash. Make sure the corners of the cards are all outside (5 cards)


The hexagon in the top is what you want.  see what I mean by corners on the outside?


2. Now, insert a card horizontally across the  ^   between each pair. Can you see how they slot together? (5 cards)


3. Slot together five pairs of cards, like so. These will be inserted to join the horizontal cards you just added. (10 cards)


It’s a little hard to see, but note that this forms another 5-card unit just like the top



5.  Add another row of horizontal cards joining each of the pairs you just added. (5 cards)


6.  Add your final 5 black cards to join the horizontal cards you just added. (5 cards)


At this point I found it easier to flip the ball onto the first row (top)


and interlock the final 5 cards to close and complete the ball!

For the hanger I punched six 2 inch circles and stuck them in two stacks of three.  I punched a hole in each stack.  I took a long piece of twine, and knotted the ends together then threaded the centre fold thru one stack, thru the middle of the ball, out the top hexagon, thru the second stack then knotted the twine close to the stack. Sort of like this. The red dots are knots LOL! as rubbish as my diagraming is, the photos are actually more confusing, with al the colours…


Here they are side-by-side – it only remains for me to dis-assemble the first one and have a go  with the corners INWARDS instead to see how I like that…


8 thoughts on “Gelli Ball Instructions

  1. Fabulous!

  2. Pingback: Card ball done, but…. | scrappystickyinkymess

  3. Pingback: Another gelli ball | scrappystickyinkymess

  4. Wow this turned out beyond amazing! Truly amazing! The party will be speechless!

  5. Great tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to make it and share!

  6. Amazing. I don’t know how you do it. It looks great!!

  7. You are so clever, and so generous with your time, to share everything. Thank you so much. I look forward to your daily posts in my inbox.

  8. You never cease to amaze me with the unusual unexpected things you come up with! This is amazing….
    Jo x

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you found something interesting and welcome your feedback. If you ask a question, and don't add your email, do either subscribe to replies or check back. I try to answer every question if I can. Cheers!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.