|From what I’ve read, surprise balls are common in Japan. They are balls of crepe paper strips wrapped around small gifts, when the recipient unwinds the ball the small gifts are revealed one by one. I had one as a child and it was so much fun! Oddly, I mine came from Oklahoma. I decided to make some for Valentine’s Day. In true me form, no one received it until late February.
The shots of these were taken in my pre-digital camera days, please forgive the quality – they were taken with a web cam and we all know how well that works.
|First I tried to find thin crepe paper. No luck. Then I gave up and bought crepe paper rolls and cut the strips in half piece by piece. I don’t suggest this. It wasn’t fun. Try to find crepe paper sheets which you can fold and cut into strips by the bunch. The grain of the paper should run the width of the strip, so that is has the ability to stretch over the round shape of the ball. I bought red and white for guys and light and dark pink for girls.|
|I filled mine with little things I ordered from Oriental Trading Company. I was going for things small and relatively flat.
|Take the main gift, often the largest as well, and wrap around it a few times. Add some confetti, wrap, add a candy heart, wrap, keep going. You can space out the treats as close or as far apart as you want, you basically can set up your dramatic moments. That is unless trying to hold the ball together while you are making it doesn’t drive you batty. When one strip runs out just keep going with another, you can tape the strips together if you want a long continuous piece, but I like the effect of being left with a bunch of little streamers you can use to decorate other peoples’ heads with. I wrapped a short length of contrasting paper around the ball in one direction and secured with a sticker, which also held a little tag (heart shaped of course, valentine’s day is all about cheese) on that simply said “unwrap me”. One thing to keep in mind is the candy. Even I didn’t want to eat the conversation hearts after they came out of the ball because the entire thing was too obviously handled. So use wrapped candy.|
|I really wanted to find a way to use the red gummy scottie dogs or the candy jewelry. I also was thinking about forming the ball around a lollipop and letting the stick poke out one side. I was also eyeing conversation heart tattoos. Or even better, glow in the dark valentine alien tattoos! ha ha! I love this stuff I can’t help it!
This can, of course, apply to any occasion, or no occasion. Carroll Duvall talks about making one for mother on Mother’s Day — and if the entire thing is too intensive, TOPS Malibu sells Bami BallenTM for all occasions, and they have some nice shapes to.