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How to Make a Paper Soccer Ball

Through the years in my face-to-face university classes, I’ve always been amused by the many blank stares I get when I pose the question, “How many of which geometric shapes make up a soccer ball?"
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Of course, none of them had the answer right off the top of their head. Back in the days before they could Google the answer on their smartphone in just a matter of seconds, for homework I asked them to research the question and let me know the answer in our next class.

When we discussed the answer the next week… that a soccer ball is made up of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons... I’d show them the graphic below designed by Okai-san, one of my former English students and civil engineer in one of my company classes.

How to Make a Paper Soccer Ball
How to Make a Paper Soccer Ball
(download PDF of above graphic HERE)
(print out on A4 or 8.5"x11" paper)


I told them that if they would cut out this design and then tape it all together, they could make their own soccer ball.

We usually had a contest for the best ball the following week and I told them they could be as creative and colorful as they wanted in making their soccer ball. Below you will see just a few examples of some of those paper soccer balls my students made. Aren't they cute?

So how 'bout you? Why don’t you give it a shot? If you have time in your busy schedule, print out the PDF above, cut it out, decorate it with your own creative design, tape it together, and then send me a close-up picture of it. If the photo quality is good, I’ll even post it on this page.

Best wishes!


paper soccer ball
paper soccer ball
paper soccer ball
chiharu t
by Chiharu T.
keita k
by Keita K.
koichi t
by Koichi T.
rina g
by Rina G.



Paper soccer balls made by my Japanese university students


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