Making things out of paper has been an art form for centuries. The Japanese consider it a wonderful form of art and in fact dictate a name to the practice: origami.
While this is a fantastic way to celebrate the form, for most of us in the west, making things out of paper has mainly been relegated to the realm of bored students sick of early morning lectures.
However, the things those students have learned to make are absolutely stunning. From paper frogs that hop when you push down in the right spot to paper airplanes that drive a teacher potty as they try to figure out who threw it.
There is one item that students love to make above all others, though, and that is a paper football.
Making one in the class is not just good fun, but can make for a bit of a status symbol as they appear hard to make. We say they appear, as they are actually quite easy and can lead to a game of football in a class, where the actual sport is not allowed.
So, without further ado, let’s get into how you make a paper football.
Step-By-Step: How To Make A Paper Football?
1. Start with some thin paper, plain or lined, either one is fine. Some people use plain white paper, while others prefer to use colored ones. Colored ones look great on the field and add color to your project. You could also use fabric if you want to make something more durable.
2. Fold the strip in half lengthwise. Then fold in the middle again. This will form two layers of material that meet at the center.
3. Now take each layer and fold them back towards the center, creating a cone shape. These folds should be made evenly to ensure a nice round object. If you mess up here, then the end result will be lumpy and uneven.
4. Once you’ve got these layers folded correctly, there will be four corners sticking out from the sides of the top layer. Take the side edges and bring them over to the other side of the material, so they stick to the bottom layer.
5. Now you’ve got a nice little football shape! It doesn’t need any more shaping yet. However, now you’ll notice that there are two holes in the front of the ball – this is because the first layer was pulled through the second. To fix this, simply cut off the excess material around the edge of the hole and smooth it flat.
6. Now comes the tricky part. You’re going to use a pair of scissors to poke a small hole in the ball. Make sure you do it slowly, so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself. You only need to poke the hole once. When you’re happy with the size of the hole, gently pull the ball apart and remove the needle.
7. You’re almost done! All that needs doing now is to give the ball a final shape. Cut a few slits along the edges of the ball, starting about 2 inches away from the base and working outward. Do this until you have three or four cuts. Each slit should be no less than 1/8 inch thick.
8. Finally, cut a slot between the two layers of the ball. This is where the string will go. Take the two ends of the ribbon and tie them together so that they sit inside the slot. Your new football is ready!
9. Don’t forget to write your name and date on the ball before you roll it across the classroom floor. It makes an excellent conversation starter. And hey presto, you’ve created a paper football that will last forever.
Here’s another idea for making a paper football. This time we used a piece of cardboard instead of paper.
Again, the key thing to remember is to start by folding the paper in half. Then fold it in half again. Repeat this process twice more. The resulting shape looks like a triangle.
Now you need to open it up and lay it flat. Press down firmly in the top left corner of the triangle and peel back the rest of the material.
You may find it easier to hold one corner and slide the rest of the material backwards. Be careful not to tear the material as you do this.
Now you can see how the material has been rolled into a cylinder. So it’s just a matter of pushing the two sides of the cylinder together and rolling the whole thing into a ball.
Once you’ve finished rolling, you can either leave the shape as it is, or you can cut a line down the middle of the ball. Once you’ve done this, you’ll get two halves which can be joined together.
If you’d rather not use a string, you can easily cover the ball with some tape. Simply press the tape onto the surface of the ball and carefully peel it off when you want to play.
Playing Games With A Paper Football
Even if you have an idea of how to make a paper football, thinking of a game to use it in is somewhat difficult on the fly.
Therefore, we have created a couple of little games below you can use your paper footballs in:
1. Place the paper football on the ground and stand back. Choose a partner and pass the football back and forth between you. Use all the skills you’ve learned so far to keep the ball flying.
2. If someone drops the ball, try to catch it before it hits the ground. If you fail to catch it, then you must return it to its owner.
3. One person stands at the center point and throws the ball towards their partners. They must catch the ball without letting it touch the ground.
4. Play continues until everyone has caught the ball. Alternatively, if you prefer to play alone, throw the ball against the wall. Try to hit it as hard as possible.
5. If you are playing with children, you might consider using a smaller, softer version of the ball. When teaching young children, it is important to explain what the game is all about. For example, you could say: “This is called ‘paper football’. We each take turns throwing the ball around”.
6. To encourage good passing technique, place a small amount of confetti under the ball as it is being passed. As it flies through the air, the confetti will scatter.
7. If you feel comfortable enough, you could challenge other schools to a match. Just don’t tell anyone else what the rules are. You can even set up a competition between different classes. Make sure you include teachers and students who are willing to play.
Making a paper football isn’t that hard, in fact, it is relatively easy once you know what you are doing. If you just follow the steps above, then you should have no problem creating a fun little activity that you and your classmates can enjoy.