Not Martha

new thing to make – surprise balls

I’ve posted a new(ish) tutorial for how to make Surprise Balls. My original project page for these was from before I owned a digital camera, ages ago, and the picture were from a webcam. The idea is pretty straightforward — insert small present, wrap strip of crepe paper, insert present, wrap, continue — but they are super fun to open.

The ones shown here were made to give out when I spoke at The Lab at Velocity, and I was tickled that Jessie from Cakespy was one of the raffle winners.

· comments [25] · 07-31-2008 · categories:craft ·

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rachel // Jul 31, 2008 at 10:07 am

    These are FANTASTIC! What great favors or gifts! I’ll be including these in The Daily DIY. Awesome idea!

  • 2 megan // Jul 31, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Thanks Rachel.

  • 3 whitty // Jul 31, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Oh, where did you get the gun pins?! I had a gun pin for the longest time that I wore almost everyday until the metal tab snapped off. I would love to find myself another one!

  • 4 megan // Jul 31, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I found them at Trophy Cupcake here in Seattle, they were vintage reproduction pins and I really liked them.

  • 5 jenney // Jul 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    I liked the original tutorial. The updated one is even better–great pix!

  • 6 We’re All Mad Here » Freegan Findings (ish) // Jul 31, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    […] You: – Gift Balls: For those special gifts. A gift ball with seed packets from my […]

  • 7 prasti // Jul 31, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    too cool! what a great idea. i think i should throw a party just so i can hand these out :)

  • 8 Cakespy // Jul 31, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Oh, they are so fantastic!! Danny and I had so much fun unwrapping it, and he still plays with that mini gun. I am not kidding. I’m so happy to have the link to how to make them!! Archie McPhee here I come for the goodies!

  • 9 Karrey // Aug 1, 2008 at 4:25 am

    How do you have your four leaf clovers preserved there? Are they between two sheets of contact paper?

  • 10 megan // Aug 1, 2008 at 8:19 am

    Karrey – I bought business card sized self laminating sheets (really just adhesive) from an office supply store. I cut them down to fit inside the ornament balls. I think I fit two clovers to a sheet. The sheets are very stiff and worked pretty well for the purpose.

  • 11 Tiffany S. // Aug 1, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    We used to get these as kids from The Nut Tree, and we LOVED them. I was thrilled when they came back.

    The Nut Tree was not so lucky.

  • 12 Janee // Aug 1, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I loved this idea. I made one for a boys birthday party. I put $1 bills, erasers, and video game themes pins. The center I put a $20 inside a vending machine toy cup.

  • 13 ModernGearTV // Aug 2, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Those are fantastic! My niece and nephew would just love them…did you print your own labels?

  • 14 Asianmommy // Aug 2, 2008 at 8:14 pm

    I bought some for Xmas from etsy. They were so much fun for the kids.

  • 15 Anne-Marie // Aug 2, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    What a fun idea – I can see smaller children really loving this present and the pets getting in on the action after all the wrapping is on the floor. =)

  • 16 megan // Aug 3, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    ModernGear – I did print my own stickers, just inkjet onto sticker paper, and cut the circles carefully. Not something I’d recommend if you’re doing a dozen or more since the circle cutting was a little tedious.

  • 17 Tessa // Aug 5, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Beautiful ballons!! WherEVER did you get them?!?!
    Love the polka dots.

  • 18 cindy // Aug 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Hehe. I remember these from _American Girl Magazine_ circa 1995! Good times.

  • 19 megan // Aug 5, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Tessa – the balloons were found at a pretty standard party shop called Display & Costume here in Seattle. I think they might have had polka dotted ones of the usual balloon colors.

  • 20 BrendaJ // Aug 10, 2008 at 7:18 am

    I have absolutely no crafting experience, but I thought these would be cute for goodie bags at one of my kids birthday parties. Anyway, just wondering how you printed the stickers…they are a great idea for the top of the balls. Also, how do you find all of your ideas???


  • 21 megan // Aug 10, 2008 at 10:04 am

    Brenda – I simply printed the stickers on full sheet sticker paper and cut them out. This isn’t my own idea, I had one as a child that I always remembered, and later found that Tops Malibu sold them, but I like being able to put my own prizes inside.

  • 22 Judy // Nov 26, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I love your site. We have gotten much business sent from you. Thank you. We makeand sell Surprise balls and people can send us photos, notes etc or we can hide 2.00 bills inside- whatever you want in the balls.
    We enjoy customizing and can ship quickly. Thank you again for your site.

  • 23 julie mcfarland // Jun 29, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    thanks for the inspiration! where do you get the plastic ball that you use for the foundation? i can only find ready-made surprise balls.

  • 24 megan // Jun 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Julie – They are snap together plastic christmas ornament balls, click through to the tutorial to see what they look like. I found them in a party store, and have also seen them in craft stores.

  • 25 66+ Classic Crafts Roundup — Bohemian Revolution // Mar 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

    […] Make a very cute gift package by wrapping it as a Surprise Ball. […]

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