Puzzle Ball Ornaments

This project is based on a vintage piece that I picked up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, several years ago. With a little research, I found out that it is called a puzzle ball. I smiled when I heard the name because my first attempt at copying the original turned out square! Eventually it dawned on me that the shape could be created entirely out of circles and the pattern was born. Although it might look a bit complicated, creating the shapes and putting it together is actually very straightforward.


You can find the pattern for the puzzle ball ornaments in my book, Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. The pattern in the book will give you a 5-inch diameter puzzle ball, but for these Christmas tree ornaments I thought it would be nice to make a smaller version. Instead of using a 5.5-inch diameter circular template as recommended in the pattern, I used a teacup with a diameter of 2.5-inches, which gave me finished ornaments that measure 2-inches across. I also added a loop of embroidery thread to hang them from the tree.

For our week of pink and white Christmas projects I used solid pink fabrics from the P+B Color Spectrum, Kona Cotton and Essex Linen and Cotton Blend collections and prints from Cake Rock Beach and Windham 19th Century Reproductions but this shape lends itself to playing with just about any combination of colors and prints!

If you'd like to make your own puzzle ball ornaments, here is what you'll need:

No matter how many puzzle balls I make I am always equally amazed by and satisfied with the transformation of the fabric from something so flat into something with so much dimension! Whether you make these for gifts or choose to hang them on your own tree, I think you'll be amazed too! Merry Christmas --Joelle

10 Responses to Puzzle Ball Ornaments

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  1. Oh I’ve never seen them used as ornaments –how clever! I remember smiling when I saw this pattern in the book (which I like a lot!) I like the colors you chose. Very pretty.

  2. Sharon says:

    These are very cute! I love how cheery they are.

  3. ingrid says:

    Están preciosas. Gracias por compartirlas con nosotras. Besos

  4. ingrid says:

    Estn preciosas. Gracias por compartirlas con nosotras. Besos

  5. Kate G. says:

    I bet these would make great baby gifts as they are infinitely grippable and teethable.

  6. Cynthia says:

    These are really cool and fun ornaments. I love how dimensional they appear.

  7. Jennifer says:

    These are adorable. I remember them from my childhood. Looks like another great book. Congratulations.

  8. Cristina says:

    They are sweet mini! I made one extra big as a conversation piece for my brother.

  9. Martha says:

    I know this pattern as "Baby’s Clutch Ball." Haven’t heard it called Puzzle Ball before. They’re a perfect baby gift because they’re great for little hands and fingers to clutch, plus they’re soft, safe and washable. I’ve seen a suggestion to make them in different tactile fabrics, such as corduroy, flannel, velvet, to stimulate baby’s sense of feel.
    Your ornament interpretation is adorable!

  10. mamypatch says:

    je viens de dcouvrir ce blog, j'admire! Bravo tout est beau;
    j'ai cousu aussi cette balle et j'ai fait un tuto pour les amies…
    Grosses bises

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