Do you remember the magic of your first surprise ball? If yes, just skip on down below and get your make on. Or are you wondering what a wadded up ball of paper is doing not in the garbage? Let me explain. The surprise ball is a baseball (softball? other sports ball?) sized crepe paper ball full of little toys, candy and other twee little surprises that fall out as you unravel the colorful streamer strands. When I was a kid, this was the best little gift, stocking stuffer, or party favor I could receive. I’m usually a staunch supporter of the “no crap” rule of gift giving, but I’m gonna go loophole on this and call the surprise ball an experience gift. Because just like the recent mystery/surprise box fad would indicate, the mystery and surprise is most of the fun. Not to say the insides still can’t be cool. Just lil. This is a perfect gift for kids or really anyone, and makes an awesome stocking stuffer. And very importantly, it’s a cheap and easy DIY gift! No special skills required. It will only cost you the price of some trinkets and crepe paper. Let’s do it.
All you need: - Scissors - Glue - Different colors of streamers (I ordered this variety pack of streamers (13 for 10.99) that you can use for infinity surprise balls as well as your general streaming needs)
Now you want to gather around 10 little toys, stickers, temporary tattoos, pins, candies whatever. This is the fun part. Make ‘em personalized, random or give them a theme depending on the giftee. But overall they should be small and pretty flat. You’re going to use the biggest object, preferably roundish, at the center and work out from there. If you really want the ball to be perfectly round, use something spherical like the lip balm (see below), and all flat objects like stickers and tattoos will be easiest. But I kinda like my DIY gifts looking a little homemade (ahem), so I play it fast and loose with the shapes of some of these surprises. Most of all, just make them fun! Above are the little gewgaws I used for this surprise ball. Not to get all Martha on you, but I do randomly pick up cute little trinkets and keep them stashed away for gifts like this. But I do order a few things to have on hand for surprise balls or other lil gifties. Here are a few:
Fortune Telling Fish $5.37 (72 pieces): An old school classic. Slap this little red fish-shaped cellophane on your hand and depending on how it curls up, you can read what your future holds. These are just fun and cool and retro, and also are great to stick on top of gifts..
eos Lip Balm $2.99: I love this lip balm. But more importantly, it makes the perfect center trinket for these balls.
Plastic Balloons: $5.59 (8 pieces): K, do you remember these little tubes? You put a little of this goo on the end of the tiny straw and then you blow it into these weird plastic balloons. It’s probably hella toxic, but I mean, I’m great, so don’t worry about it.
Grab your variety pack of colored streamers. The most efficient (and colorful!) option is to halve the number of objects you’re going to wrap and use that many colors. So if you have 10 trinkets, use 5 different colors of streamers. It will make sense I swear. Now…
Easy right? Now just have your giftee start unraveling and watch their head explode with glee!