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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 (73)

Hi Janee Lookerse-

Thank you for your comment. Here are is a helpful tutorial I found online for blind stitching: http://www.wikihow.com/Blind-Stitch

Hope that helps- Molly
February 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
thanks for this tutorial! i made my own here! :) it was so easy to follow and such fun to make. thanks for the inspiration!

http://littleprojectsinstyle.blogspot.com/2011/06/daily-cushion-challenge-round-up.html

xx,
zhing
June 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterzhing
Thanks for this tutorial :) I just realized my girls really needed a fun soft ball to play with today. I was able to make one during their nap time (1 1/2 hours) and a second later today (much easier and more quickly). They love them. Curious how you feel about this pattern in regards to humanitarian type projects?? Thanks again.
September 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Modify this to leave a permanent opening on one end-instead of stuffing, put a balloon through the opening and inflate. Lasts a long time and can easily be restored to the original shape and brought back to life with a new balloon. Also very gentle on household items.
October 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
I was about to suggest the balloon idea myself.
The best way to create the opening is to replace one of the circles by a circle that is made out of two overlapping pieces, and it should be a little bigger than the ones on the photos. I have a shop bought version and it works great, also for older children, not just babies, the kids love it. Easy to put in a pocket and take to the park.
February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRegina
I just made one of the large beach balls for my son. I gave away a blue ball type stuffed toy that he never played with. Well, now, 2 years later he was crying and missing that toy. (I don't know how he even remembered it!) So I searched for ball patterns and found this one. I made it out of dark blue polar fleece. I made some felt eyes, an embroidered smile, and black Kona cotton stuffed arms & legs. He absolutely LOVES it! Thanks for this fab pattern. Super easy, great pics, and perfect templates. I'll be making more of these for my 3 great-nephews!
February 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
Hi Purl Bee,

Thank you for the pattern and the very easy to follow instructions! I was making some pillow covers and one of them was too small (the other one was too big aaah) so I had to un-stuff one of my cushions and had some left-over stuffing. So I made it into a ball-toy using your pattern & instructions (I can't believe that it was much easier to make than those pillow covers!). I also made some flowers attached with velcro to the ball (the toddler that I made this for loves flowers) so that he can take off and re-attach them. You can check out the ball here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/102791745498718135736/OyuncakTop?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCM6c09net626qgE&feat=directlink

Thanks again!

Ani
March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAni
Thanks! I've made two of these and I used felt for the circles on the poles. It worked really well and I didn't have to turn the edges under.
March 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura B.
Thanks for sharing this tutorial! I made them as a special Easter gift for my son who is 16 months old and he LOVES them! I really enjoyed making them and they came out beautiful!

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/53082034@N06/6913055326/" title="DSC07049 by Apple Noggin, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5276/6913055326_006e773ce4.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="DSC07049"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/53082034@N06/6913057930/" title="DSC07064 by Apple Noggin, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5452/6913057930_54807f4e95.jpg" width="375" height="500" alt="DSC07064"></a>
April 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJody
This is great. Thanks to sewcanshe.com for featuring this tutorial and helping me discover your site. You now have a new follower!
July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie
I made one of these and it just didn' shape up. So i made another by cutting the wedges on the bias. PERFECT. That extra stretch really allows for a nice smooth curve. There is a bit more stretch in the opening left for stuffing, but it didn't seem to affect the closure.
August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcia
This is great! I've searched half the internet trying to find the pattern to create a sphere. in eight sections. If I may, I'm going to use your pattern to cover Styrofoam balls which will become Christmas ornaments.

Thank you!
August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIone
I just love these balls!! I'm planning on making some for my first baby. Can you please let me know how much stuffing I will need to buy for the three? Thanks
January 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I love this pattern, made them for my great nephew and I am going to make a set for my granddaughter!!!
May 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersherrie
Thanks for the tutorial! I made a small ball for my son and he loves it.
You can see it here, if you like: http://thesewingme.blogspot.de/2013/06/soft-ball-tutorial.html
I linked to your tutorial of course :))

Very good job!
Ciao
June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Sewing Me
i love this... can't wait to make this for my 5 month old, will add some ribbon around for more fun... :) thanks for sharing..
July 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdelina
Great tutorial! I'm going to try making this out of vinyl and adding a bit of cat nip to make some handmade cat toys :)
July 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin
I saw these years ago, but instead of being stuffed with fiberfill, they put a balloon in it.
August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Mooreland
Is anyone else balls coming out sort of oval on one end? What am I doing wrong?
October 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ
love these! i'm working on 2 sets - one for my daughter and one for my niece :)
November 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenee
I've made something similar, and instead of stuffing it, I've made a button hole in the end (circle) to push a balloon inside. Once the balloon is inflated, the tied end is hidden inside. This makes a very bouncy ball, which doesn't hurt.
February 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
I loved the idea of fabric beach balls and decided to make one for my son, who is 17 months. Thank you for an easy and clear tutorial. I posted a review on my shop blog and am planning to make more for him.
February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn
I love this pattern - even if I am so late seeing it... I am going to make several and instead of putting batting in it I am going to put scrunchies in them... making a lighter ball for little fingers.
Thanks
July 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSherry Poole

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