cloth balloon ball

finished cloth balloon ball

Download this free pattern and make your own!
A friend of mine was given two of these for her kids and they are heaps of fun. They’re a cloth cover that you insert a balloon into and inflate so it becomes a ball. I decided to have a go at making one and my 2 year old loves it because it bounces softly (great for indoors), she can roll and sit on it, and use it in the pool.

Because they’ve been so popular as gifts, I’ve made a cloth-ball-pattern for download. Please let me know how you find using this pattern, I’d appreciate knowing how well it works.

If you don’t want to make one, you can visit Livipur’s site (Germany). At first I thought these balls were Livipur’s invention, but friends have told me they’ve seen them in other shops also.

What does ‘not for resale’ mean?

In the last 4 years, many people have asked if its ok to use this pattern to make small quantities to sell and raise money for worthy causes. Yes it is, and I am humbled and very happy to help your cause in this small way. Please do not sell my pattern, publish it, or use it to make cloth balloon balls for commercial purposes.

Notes:

top of balloon ball
finished top panel, reinforced.

I sewed the top panels together first, like in this photo. I trimmed all raw edges underneath with pinking shears.

Next sew the side panels together, and remember not to sew into the seam allowance at either end; this will make attaching the top and bottom panels easier.

Finally attach the top and bottom panels to  the side panels. This is the fiddly bit. I pinned each corner of the pentagon to each side seam as best I could. When sewing, I had the side panels on the top so that I could see to sew exactly from side-seam to side-seam and keep the seam-allowances flat.
To make the corners sit flat, I trimmed the corners off the pentagons and clipped the corners where the sideseams intersected with them.

Lastly I trimmed all raw edges with pinking shears then turned the ball out. I wasn’t super precise but am still happy with the result.

To inflate the ball, insert a balloon, inflate it, tie it, then tuck the knot inside the flap.

 

27 thoughts on “cloth balloon ball”

  1. I just made one of these for a friends 3 year olds Birthday! Fantastic! I’m no professional sewer by any means and I was able to piece this together! Thank You! Your instructions will get much more use I’m sure!

  2. I love these! i “believed” i had designed the balloon balls with a physiotherapist last year, and this year i was in production and sell them in conjunction with my other products at nic-nac.com.au THEN after all of this, found that there are lots around – and i’ve seen them for as much as $60 on a vintage fabric website, and $6 USD on etsy… was a lot more than this when you consider postage! anyway, for those who can’t/don’t sew, find them on my website – they’re a realistic price and they’re in some really fun colours. cheers, and good on you for posting the instructions – they’re fantastic!

  3. Hello Emma,

    The ball is a great idea, would love to make one and what material would you recommend? Best wishes, and thanks,
    Tanya

  4. Hi Tanya,
    I find that strong cotton fabrics without much stretch in them work best. They wash well too. Try cotton drill, light denim, light corduroy, or any good quality woven cotton (not knitted) will give the balloon a strong structure so it will hold its shape and not burst. Thanks for the question, its a good one. Emma

  5. use any cotton poly mix or 110 % cotton i have made many of these and i even add water to the balloon and it makes a wobble ball and makes it harder to catch too

  6. Hi – Noel, great question! I’ve designed them to print on A4 paper. I set my printer to print borderless, but it doesn’t matter because it would just make a smaller ball that would still work well. I’ve read that you can also fill the balloon to about 25% of water and the rest air to make it wobbly. haven’t tried it though.
    My apologies for not replying sooner. Thanks for your question.

  7. Hi Chris, apologies for not replying sooner. I hope you haven’t given up and have maybe even figured it out. They overlap to make a pentagon shape. So with the top (over) piece, fold as shown and then the fold line will sit where the two widest points on top (under) are. If you look at the printed pattern pieces, the dashed ‘fold’ line would go just under the words ‘top (under)’ on the other piece.
    I hope this helps. Good Luck!
    Emma

  8. Hi Emma, this is brilliant, thank you, I’m not a sewer but about to have a go.

    Just wondered what the reason was for not creating 2 hexagonals and putting a slit or button hole in one side, rather than the overlapping method?

    Thanks
    A

  9. Hi Ange,
    I hope it works out for you. I think this way makes it a stronger structure. Because the hexagon with the overlapping bits is small, the overlaps don’t gape. if you put a slit along one side it would gape and make it easy to burst the balloon. This is a design which I copied, and I find it works well and after more than 3 years my cloth balloon ball is still going strong.

  10. I cant wait to make this and a few more my friend is going to bali and visiting some orphanages so will be great to give her some to take and a packet of balloons 🙂

  11. Thanks Emma for your brilliant pattern. I’ve made several as Christmas presents for the grand kids and I’m sure they will be big hits!
    I’ve also given your website to several friends who loved the cloth ball!

  12. wow – I’m humbled and glad to be contributing in a small was to what will be a wonderful adventure for your friend, thanks for sharing, Mel.

  13. Thanks for a great pattern! Have made about 10 in the last week (some for charity fundraiser and others for presents) and love them all…our son who has visual impairment is getting 2 as part of his birthday present and I’ve put some pom-pom trim over the outside seam, so its got a bit of texture with it. Looks good! Our other son loves kicking his around as only a boy can do and it doesn’t pop. Thanks for sharing this with us

  14. Thanks heaps Emma. I was given one of these for my son- he loves it, and now i’m making them for my friends kids- it’s nice to give something different (and so easy to make!)

  15. Hi Emma, Thank you heaps for the use of your pattern. I have made two balls for my two small grandsons (using scraps of material) to put in their Christmas parcel. They turned out great. I really like the way you made the top with two pieces overlapping instead of the large buttonhole. It makes for a very neat finish. Cheers. Colleen

  16. You know what would be a great idea also, would be to make each panel with different textures so it’s a sensory ball.

  17. Hi Emma, thank you so much for posting this pattern. I’ve just made my first ever balloon ball. It’s to go into my shoebox I’m packing for Operation Christmas Child, an annual project for Samaritan’s purse which sends shoeboxes packed with gifts to needy children throughout the world. Have posted a photo on my website and facebook with links to this site.

  18. Hi Emma,
    Well it’s almost 7 years since you posted this pattern and still new people are finding and using it. I made one of these for my son about 28 years ago, and he still remembers playing with it, so when he asked me to make a couple for his sons, I found your pattern. I’m just about to post them interstate and I’m sure the grandsons will be delighted. Your pattern works well and the instructions are easy to follow. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Hi Christine, Thanks so much for the feedback – I’m glad it’s still being used and I can’t believe it’s seven years already! I have a whole bunch of new people in my life who would enjoy them too, so I’d best get busy over the holidays. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *