When I was little, a visit to Peggy's Dolls and Toys in Rochester was ALWAYS a welcomed trip in my family. If I was really lucky, the store would have surprise balls: crepe paper-wrapped balls packed with small, inexpensive toys. The drive back to Birmingham felt like it took hours as I dreamed of what might be hiding underneath all those yards of crepe paper.
Crafty bloggers have been providing tutorials on how to make these easy gifts for years. Even well known designer Kate Spade put her spin on the tradition, offering up a grown-up version this past holiday season.
If you're looking for something a little different this Valentine's Day, you and the little crafters in your house can make your own surprise balls, packed with favorite treats you know will be sure to please. Armed with a pile of goodies and a few rolls of crepe paper, a surprise ball can be made in under 15 minutes!
- 3 large rolls of crepe paper (I chose pink, white and red)
- 9-10 small toys
- Clear tape
- Stickers (optional)
1. To start out, select the toys you want to be in the ball. I paid a visit to the Doll Hospital and Toy Solider Shop in Berkley and found everything I needed for mine! When selecting your toys, smaller is definitely better. Pick a few things, like erasers, that are small and a bit bendable. But don't feel like you have to rule out larger items, like the LEGO and Playmobil surprise packages I picked up – those are actually great for adding shape to the ball as you build.
2. Once you've got your toys, select the toy that's the most unusually shaped. For me, it was the tub of glitter dough (too bad I didn't make this for me!). Pick your first color of crepe paper and start wrapping it around the item. Pull directly from the roll. Wrap several times in one direction; then switch to the other direction, so that it looks like you've almost created a plus sign. Once you've done that, wrap in any areas where the item is still showing through. Cut off your crepe paper from the roll.
- Advertisement -
3. With the base created, pick your next color and item. I used one of the packaged toys and cuffed it around the base. Repeat the same steps for wrapping the crepe paper around the item.
4. Continue this process for each toy you have. Remember: new toy, new layer and crepe paper. As you continue to build the ball, it will slowly grow larger and larger. Feel free to tape down the end of the crepe paper to the ball with a small piece of clear tape as you build.
5. Once the ball building is complete, you may finish it however you like. I wrapped some additional crepe paper around mine and added some heart-themed ribbon on top. Try adding stickers if you like, too.
If you make a surprise ball, make sure to send it my way. I'd love to see what kind of treats you put inside. Send your photos to me, firstname.lastname@example.org. We may feature it in a future Make It blog!