Friday, February 15, 2013

Surprise Balls

You guys!! We didn't get hit by an asteroid and I made this surprise ball! (Can you call it a ball when it's a little bit lumpy?)  I spent the better part of the morning staring at the sky and being terrified of what might come out of it. The asteroid that was supposed to fly by was still a little too close for my comfort. Once I got the all clear that it definitely missed us I felt lighter and ready to start making stuff happen. What if today had been the last day?  I don't want to get too into it because it's pretty cheesy but these thoughts helped me wake up a bit and think more and well... finally make a surprise ball. ( :

I have been dying to try one of these. They are pure eye candy.  I found a great tutorial here and after looking it over I felt like it would be pretty easy.

One thing I am not short on in my studio is knick knacks and party supplies, the two main ingredients for making a surprise ball. Since this was just a practice round I didn't use as many awesome treasures as I would like.  I pulled a few different things together and got to work.

The streamers work best when they are 1" wide so I started by cutting off a large section of streamer and then trimming it down the middle.  I learned that it is best to start with your larger items so I started with this noisemaker. Start wrapping until it is completely covered. Try to vary the wrapping angles.

Once that is covered I used a glue stick to hold the end of the streamer down.  Then I took this dino toy and placed it in a way that would help create a shape. I then wrapped it with more yellow. The tail on the toy was a bit difficult to work with. I'll probably stay away from that kind of shape next time.

It's hard to see in the picture but the two items together are in a weird shape once wrapped so I used this finger puppet in the gap to try to start getting a circular shape. I'll admit it was really hard.

Now that I have a tidier "package" I added this bottle of bubbles. Next time I think I would start with the bubbles. (And yes my studio is like one big Oriental Trading Co.).

At this point I was feeling pretty hopeless on getting a good ball shape.

But I kept on and started pulling in flatter items like this little tassel.

And then a feather. I used a few feathers in the process. I also used some balloons and stickers, too, but thought I would spare you the millions of pictures.

Once I got my ball to this point I could have kept on going but was running out of flat things. Next time I'll plan better with my surprises.  This seemed like a good stopping point and I realized I could kind of "smoosh" the ball a bit to get more of a round shape. I wish I had been doing that the whole time.

Since I decided I was done I started decorating the ball with strips of paper. I picked a spot and glued each streamer down end to end.

At the point where all the ends meet you can place a sticker to cover it up. All I could find were these gold stars so I glued them on.

I did it!  It's not perfect but that's okay. I got some ideas for next time.  A couple of things to keep in mind... Pull the streamers as tight as you can without breaking them. That helps keep them smooth. If it does break just glue that end down and start again.  And I can't stress how much it helped to cut the streamers in half.  I tried to cut corners as the ball got bigger and use the full width streamer but it looked really bad.  Do the extra work so it will be nice and tightly wrapped.  

I can't wait to make more and more.  It took a couple of hours for me to make this and that was with very few distractions. I made myself focus and was not allowed to even touch my phone while working. Hopefully the more I make these the faster I will get.

Now I'm off to make animal masks! Cheers!


crackerjaxshop said...


robayre said...

I left a comment here yesterday from my ipod, but apparently it didn't take. I was just saying "did you think of making some of these for the May sale?" I made a surprise ball once, but instead of streamers it was a yarn themed swap so everyone bought someone else a ball of yarn and then wrapped goodies inside. I did a search on my flickr to see if I took a picture of it and found this image:
haha, just kidding, that's not really my ball, but the largest ball of twine. It makes me wonder if people wound things inside that while it was originally being made.

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