I am still playing with the card balls. This one is the octahedron version – it’s more like a cube, four-card units making 6 sides. Luckily we have a LOT of spare playing cards. But the slippery surface of the cards, and perhaps the construction method, makes the balls fiendishly difficult to lock into place without them all slipping apart. I found the use, at least initially, of painters tape to secure the joins, helped a LOT. I like the fewer cards – although the template says cut 12 cards, mine is def. 24 cards, so not sure if I got the construction wrong or if it’s a misprint on the template – and the fact it actually stands easier because of the near flat base. I also like the fact that it’s easy to “see” a pattern for the 6 units. On mine, the top and bottom and two opposing side 4-card units are the number side, while the two other 4-card units around the middle are the backs of the cards.
I must have a go making a Gelli version to see if it works – I did deconstruct the first ball, but the slots will tend to force the ball concave if you try to join the points with the corners inside, which I hoped might create a smooth ball. I might see if, although the angle and depth of the slits is slightly different in the octahedron version to this one, those card from the deconstructed Gelli-ball can be made to work.
I also (cause I’m obsessive like that) made a version from a stack of old paint chip samples. The ones we get here can be sliced into two 3-colour bits, then the dividing bar cut away. They are ever so slightly narrower then playing cards so I just made sure I lined up the left edge of the paint chip sample with the same edge of the template every time, and cut the slit a little bit deeper.
Like the Gelli-print version, the corners on this one are spiky, although that is surely enhanced by the fact I didn’t bother to round the corners.
I think in the States paint chips can be found without words on them – I have a few in my stash that I think I got on a visit there a few years back – but the length of them may not work as easily. Some are almost square, some only 4 colours in thinner strips. If you fancy making one, see what you can find and play around. Might be fun for a kid’s room, a few hanging from the ceiling in coordinating colours. And as an aside, some of the things I’ve seen online seem to suggest this might be a good “math” activity, in the classroom or for home-schoolers.
Have fun with it – what else can I make a ball from? Tube tickets? Business cards? seen ’em – seen one made into what looks like a light. What else???