Popularized in the 1950s, the surprise ball can be likened to a personal piÃ±ata, but instead of bashing the ball to reveal the trinkets tucked within, you unroll it and unravel the prizes as you go.
These can be used as party favours, stocking stuffers, or to wrap small birthday or other holiday gifts. Kids absolutely adore them, and they are an excellent party game when passed around to music like in pass the parcel.
To make a surprise ball, you’ll need small trinkets and/or treats, coloured crepe paper, fast-drying glue, and something to decorate the outside of the ball with. Here’s how to do it:
- Start by wrapping the largest item first. Wrap the crepe paper in a criss cross pattern to cover as much of the surface area as possible. Wrap another layer or two over the covered item using the same colour of crepe paper. Place a small dab of glue at the end of the strip and seal.
- Place another larger item on the wrapped surprise and continue wrapping following the instructions above.
- Position another item where it might fit and wrap that trinket following the instructions above.
- Continue placing items and wrapping in crepe paper until approximately ten items have been concealed. As you position the small toys, try to create a round ball shape as you work.
- When the ball is completely wrapped, decorate it with thinner folds of crepe paper, ribbon, baker’s twine and/or stickers.
Here are a few tips to help you with making your own surprise balls:
- Wrap the biggest and best toy/prize first so it sits in the centre of the ball and is the last thing that gets unwrapped.
- Save the smaller, flatter items for the last few wraps.
- Look for trinkets and treats at party supply, craft or dollar stores. Or collect vintage treasures and use them whenever you make a ball.
- Position the items as best you can in order to create a ball shape as you cover in the crepe paper. It’s almost impossible to make a perfectly round shape but you can cover them at the end to hide any unsightly bits.
- The ideal size of a surprise ball is similar to a baseball or softball.
For more details, feel free to check out this excellent how-to video.
Have you ever made a surprise ball? I think they would be great for Halloween. You could make them to hand out to trick or treaters or send them into the school for a classroom party.