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Saturday
Aug162008

Fabric Beach Balls

These fabric balls are the perfect handmade baby gift, multicolored, soft and round.....what's not to love!  Sewers of all levels will have fun making these toys that will be worthy of passing down from generation to generation.
 Enjoy! --Page

 

Materials

We recommend 1/4 yard of each fabric to leave room for error. 

These are the fabric I used:

Large Ball

Medium Ball

Small Ball

 

Other Materials

 

 

The Pattern

Finished Measurements

  • Small ball: approximately 5-inches diameter
  • Medium ball: approximately 7-inches diameter
  • Large ball: approximately  9-inches diameter

Download this template for the small and medium balls, and this template for the large ball.

You will need to cut eight fabric pieces total to make each ball.  We used two each of four different fabrics for ours.

Fold fabric in half by lining up the selvages so that you can cut two pieces at a time.  Lay template on the fabric and trace with a pencil.  Cut the fabric on the drawn line.  Repeat this process with the remaining fabrics so you have eight pieces total.

Pin the cut pieces in pairs right sides together, carefully aligning the points and edges.

Chain-piece the pairs, sewing past the points at each end using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.  You don't need to backstitch because you'll reinforce these seams when sewing the pairs together.  Be sure to make smooth curves as you are sewing so that the ball will be nicely rounded.  After chain-piecing, carefully cut the threads between each pair.  Press the seams to the side of the darker fabric.

Pair the pieces once more, aligning their cut edges with right sides together and pin them together.  Sew them together to create two half-sphere shapes with four pieces each.  Press seams to the side of the darker fabric.

Turn one half-sphere right side out, and tuck it inside the other half-sphere, with right sides together.  Align the points and edges, and pin the two pieces together.  You'll want to begin one of your seams 1- inch from the point to leave an opening for you to turn the ball right side out and to stuff it.  Take care not to sew over the nice points you've made at the ends when stitching the previous seams.  Your top seam should just intersect the point where the previous seams meet.

Turn the ball right side out through the opening, and stuff it firmly, making a spherical ball. 

Fold and finger-press the edges of the opening 1/4 inch to the inside to create a clean edge.  Using a blindstitch, carefully hand-sew the opening closed, stitching just inside the fold for an invisible seam.

Cut two circles for each ball to sew at each end.  We recommend using the darkest solid fabric for this since it is a way to cover the part where all the seams come together which isn't always perfect.   We cut a 2 -inch circle for the large ball, a 1 3/4-inch circle for the medium ball, and a 1 1/2-inch circle for the small ball.   Fold and iron the edges of the circle approximately 1/8-inch.  Hand-sew the circles on each end of the ball using a hand stitch.

If the balls have gotten a bit misshapen while sewing on the circles, manipulate them back into a nice spherical shape and you're good to go!

Reader Comments (72)

These are great!!! Thanks for adding a fun cute project.
August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKatEyez Co
These are so lovely! It makes me want to make 20 and hang them from my ceiling.
August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoyful Abode
These are so cute. A while back we made one from felt and it came really nice. we hand sewed the whole thing with the seam on the outside. we have to try these ones too. thank you for sharing
August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterManija Ansari
Wow! These are adorable! Thanks for sharing!
August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah
These are adorable! As a pastor's wife I go to tons of baby showers. This is a perfect special and unique gift to give. Thank you so much for sharing this!
August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDrewe Llyn Jeffcoat
These are so cute, I need to get started right now. Oh, but what is the seam allowance? 1/4in? I love your projects and enjoy seeing what you're all up to!
August 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAnn/Ca
Hi MaryAnn,
Thank you for your comment, the seam allowance is 1/4-inch. I'll add it to the pattern right now!
August 16, 2008 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These are exactly like the ones my grandma used to make. I can't wait to put some together!
thanks
August 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Kids Are Alight
What an adorable project! Can't wait to try this one. Thanks for another great one!
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAshley H.
I LOVE these... they are super cute... and really would make a GREAT baby gift! I think they would also just be fun for families in general! :o)
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
You know, I just stitched one of these up with scraps from the Party Garland and now my gift to the new mom will perfectly match the party! I'm helping host a baby shower and these will be the perfect gift for a new baby girl with two older brothers. I think I will leave off the circles on the ends, though, and I'm thinking about adding a jingle-bell in the center of the stuffing... What a wonderful project!
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
So cute and they couldn't have come at a more perfect time. My friend's baby is discovering balls. They definitely look like they'll be quicker to sew up than the Puzzle ball in LMPG. Thanks for the great projects. So inspiring and making me want to sew more!
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commentererica
wow, those are almost identical to the felt ones i make. i do all my stitching by hand though, but i really like the circle over the "ends". i usually just satin stitch the area to make it neat. very nice work!
August 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLucybug33
How cute!!! Another great project to add to my list of projects to do!
August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
Thank you so much for this pattern. I have been racking my brain for the perfect shower gift for a little baby boy... I have so many scraps... These should be perfect:)
August 20, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShelly G.
Just wanted to add that this is a great toy for kids to grow with. My 7-year-old son plays basketball in the house with a similar ball that I knitted up for him years ago. Great way to get around the "no balls in the house" rule!
August 20, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermccsp
I have too many of those special remnants, I'm going to make me one of these! How about a bell in the middle for extra fun?
August 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBellgirl
Hello everyone!
This is my first post year. I'm a bit challenged in this area. I've never really tried sewing anything and I certainly don't have a machine. In fact, I just ordered something similar on Etsy from a lovely woman using Amy Butler's Baby Gumdrop and Mama Gumdrop Ottoman.

I'm just hoping that I can actually find some throw pillows that I can figure out on my own and be able to make without the need of a machine. If not, I'll just start collecting fabrics that appeal to me and I'm sure I can always find someone who would be interested in making some pieces for a fee.

I'll bet my 2 year old little cousin would love one of these...something very girly, I hope!

Looking forward to learning as much as I can here. Thanks ever so much!
Nancy
August 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
I love it! I am going to make one tonight. My best friend's son is turning one next week and this will be the perfect gift. Thank you so much for the great tutorial!
September 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
Adorable!
September 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLula Dahl
Wow, thanks for this tute. Great for xmas gifts. x
September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterestee
Great project. Would you mind if I used one of your pictures on my blog? I will give you proper credit and link to the post. I just wanted to show my readers what I want to make my son for his birthday

Thanks
September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngie
Me encanta todo lo que haces. Very, very beautiful. congratutation
October 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterloli
Thank you for this idea. I am going to adapt it to make sorority balls (pillows) since I am always looking for unique ideas for handmade sorority gifts using fabrics that reflect the particular sorority's color.
Julie
October 14, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSorority Gifts
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I made one today and am putting it on my blog (http://tingaling.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/ball-ey-ball/) with a link to this tut and blog. Again, thanks so much!
October 19, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTing
Hello, I'm Paola. Our blog is a young, we would be able to put your work, citing the obvious source, products used and your link. We were impressed by the creativity and beauty of the work, and we'd love to have you as our amci. The site, and 'staff http://elisina.wordpress.com/
sorry for my bad english
November 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpaola
oh, this is love. i think it's the fabrics you picked, though, that makes them especially nice.
January 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermaya
I am having trouble understanding this step:
"Pair the pieces once more, aligning their cut edges with right sides together and pin them together. Sew them together to create two half-sphere shapes with four pieces each. Press seams to the side of the darker fabric."

How do I pair them? Do I open up the pairs I just sewed?

I am sorry, the rest of the tutorial is very clear, I am just having a very hard time visualizing this particular step.

Thank you!
april
schaumburg, IL
January 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterApril
Hi April,
Yes, open up the pairs and then sew the two pairs together along one edge. This will give you a set of 4 and the shape when you open it up will be a half sphere.
Let us know if you need more clarification!
January 14, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
this is wonderful!
i have an old red satin bridesmaid dress and i was thinking of making these as christmas ornaments! i think it will work perfectly.
January 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkerensa
These are addicting! I've already made three and can't wait to make more. Thanks for the great pattern!

http://kundhicreative.com/lincolnblog/?p=795
February 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjulie
Thanks so much for sharing this pattern, My grandkids and I have had so
much fun making these. They are good at stuffing, it is such a fun project.
March 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterangie
I'm going to make a bunch of these as party favors for my daughter's third birthday party, but I'm going to put a big buttonhole in them so you can put a balloon inside instead of stuffing. If I can find the time in the next 3 days!
May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Quiero agradecer por el tutorial de la pelota de tela. Hace mucho tiempo que quería hacerla. gracias!
May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbuela Creativa
Just finished sewing my first fabric ball! Mine turned out a little lumpy, but your tutorial was awesome!
June 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErin
this is so awesome! thank you for documenting and sharing!!
August 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarah g.
What a fun project - Already I can see making these beach balls for my granddaughter's third birthday! Thanks for adding to my ever-growing projects file. Your website is spectacular and I am very thankful for your inspiration and creativity. I look forward to every email from you! You are awesome!
August 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetty
Your tutorial is great, so easy to follow, and your balls look wonderful. My use for this project is, um, a little unusual, to say the least. We just adopted a seriously abused Border Collie. In five years, he never was played with and is afraid of balls (we are sure he had hard balls viciously thrown at him by a cruel person). So, in an attempt to teach him to play, I'm going to make your fabric ball and cover it with real sheepskin pieces that were left over from a project. I think this will be a gentle way to introduce him to a fun ball that won't hurt him. Thank you for your ball instruction!
September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary Huber
Hi Mary,
That is so sad for your poor dog! I hope he or she enjoys the fabric ball. Just a thought, if you aren't familiar with Patricia McConnell, you might be really interested to read her books, visit her site or read her blog. She is an amazing animal behaivorist and also has several border collies. Here is a link to her main site:
http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/
Let us know how it goes with your dog!
Joelle
September 11, 2009 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, Joelle,

I spent the entire day making the ball, and Raleigh is showing a little interest. This dog is a project in himself, and we are making progress, albeit slow. VERY slow, but progress, nevertheless. I have some of Patricia McConnell's books; she is a genius. Thank you so much for your very kind words; I really appreciate your post! This dog is a love, and we'll do our very best to ease his fear and bring out his playful side. I know it's in there, somewhere!
Mary
September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMary Huber
Thanks so much for the fantastic free pattern! I made two of these balls over the weekend.
January 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHollyLynne
i just made one of these, and i'm planning on making some more as gifts. they are so cute!

http://reedreeder.com/whitney/?p=1104
June 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwhitney
I just made one for my son - he got the biggest smile on his face when I tossed it to him fresh out of my craft room! Thank you so much for sharing such a fun and easy projest with us!
July 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaine
These are great!!! I made some for my kids and they LOVE these. I linked to this.
August 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Hey, these are so awesome. I've made some for both my kids, and I even just made some for my Little Man's Birthday Party. They were perfect because my Little Man's friend is allergic to so many things, and this was something he could actually have.
If you want to check it out: http://sandtopearl.blogspot.com/2010/08/little-mans-birthday-party.html
Thank You!
P.S. I put the link to this page on my blog where I showed the balls I made.
August 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeth at Sand to Pearl
Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. I would like to make these as gifts, and I was wondering if you can wash these, either machine or by hand. Has anyone tried? Did it work? Thank you for sharing your experience!
September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHelen
Love, love, love this pattern! I think I'm going to stuff mine with cellophane for my baby girl. She'll love it! Thank you so much!
October 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarisa Jean
Thank u so much! THANKS!!!
I was looking how to create a pomkin- head 4 my kids(son)
October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRadha
I was looking for a pattern to make a fabric ball-- like a peach--
and I happened upon your blog-- yipppeee
:)
I am going to use your pattern and tweak it a little,
I am using peach colored micofiber handtowells... for my fabric
Instead of the round piece on the top I'll make a green leaf...out of some green satin I have...
This will be a baby toy, for a girl called Georgia... hence the peach...
I am going to make it crinkly by adding a Sunchips compostable bag on the inside before I put the stuffing in...
IF IT turns out cute-- I'll post pictures of it on my blog and send you a link!
December 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterStacey
Hi! This is so fun! Just one thing... I'm REALLY bad at blindstitching....do you know of any good tutorials?

Thanks!
xoxo
Janee
yellowbirdyellowbeard.blogspot.com
February 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanee Lookerse

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