[Twelve Crafts of Christmas] DIY Prize Balls

by Kira @ Her New Leaf on December 5, 2011

What is it about the promise of surprise that turns us all into smiling children? Have you seen Kate Spade‘s Prize Balls? (Yes, I’m going to say “balls” a lot in this post. Just go with it.) Great concept, but they totally did it wrong (in my humble opinion, of course, they are probably making boatloads of money off these). First of all, $45?? That’s a pretty large monetary risk for a surprise you might not enjoy. Second of all, they list on their site the contents of each ball, and surprise, surprise, the actual retail value ain’t nowhere near forty-five bucks. But their hardcore marketing campaign illustrates exactly why these will (probably) be very popular gifts these season. Check out this video.

Omg SO FUN! Right?? Until you get to the end and you realize you spent $45 for one balloon, a temporary tattoo, and a bunch of Cracker Jack prizes. You could easily DIY a surprise ball with similar prizes for a kid for only a few bucks, or you could fill it with cosmetics, jewelry, and surprises an adult would actually enjoy, and still maintain the thrill of opening it. I’m gonna show you how to do it!

I picked up these crepe paper streamers at my local dollar store. They come two rolls to a package, and I bought every color they have. I wanted mine to be super colorful but you could also coordinate the colors for the holiday or event.

How to Make a Prize Ball

Cut about three arms’ length of your first color and split it down the middle with your scissors. It is best to halve the width of the streamer so it can better conform to the shape of your objects. Pick your first item and wrap it up. I like the idea of including a little personal note in the middle of the ball.

DIY Prize Balls

Continue adding more crepe paper and prizes, forming the ball shape as you go. I also think it would be fun to wrap in layers that will be fun to unwrap, like confetti, tinsel, or feathers. Once you get to the end, secure the end of your streamer using tape and decorate however you like. I like stickers but you could use some cute Japanese tape or add a label with a personal message to the recipient.

Prizes for Prize Balls

The best prizes are flat and/or flexible items, so get creative! Here are some ideas:

  • For a beauty-themed prize ball:
  • Small hand sanitizer or lotion
  • Nail polish
  • Eye shadow or blush compact
  • Lip gloss or balm
  • Necklace or ring
  • Stretchy bracelet or watch
  • For a child’s prize ball:
  • Super balls
  • Small puzzles or games
  • Deflated beach ball
  • Balloons
  • Action figures or “Army guys”
  • Toy cars
  • Play jewelry
  • Fun for all ages:
  • Growing animals
  • Balloons
  • Candy necklaces
  • Glow sticks
  • Stickers
  • Novelty socks
  • Candy

Go crazy! Prize balls look adorable on their own but I packaged mine up in takeout containers (also from the dollar store). For mailing, I simply wrapped craft paper securely around the container and taped it up well. Wanna see what’s inside my prize ball?

This is a great low-cost gift for gift exchanges and friends or coworkers that you don’t want to spend a ton of money on. What is more fun, a $10 dvd of a movie you don’t really like, or $10 worth of gifts wrapped up in a fun and interesting way? I can’t wait to give prize balls for all occasions!

If you enjoyed this post, click the image above to pin it!

How are your holiday crafts coming along? Share via email (hernewleaf.kira@gmail.com), Twitter, or comment below to be linked in the next Holiday Link Love post!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

hemborgwife December 5, 2011 at 7:37 am

That is so cute! I would love to get one of those!!


Lauren December 5, 2011 at 7:38 am

This is so cute, especially the video!


Kira@hernewleaf December 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Thanks, the boyfriend helped me edit that!


Layla December 5, 2011 at 7:49 am

Brilliant! So simple and adorable, and super fun to open – which honestly, is the most important part of a gift to me. It needs to be fun and exciting to open it! I love this – especially the video!


Hannah December 5, 2011 at 8:03 am

I thought this EXACT same thing! I think it’d be a wonderful favor at a holiday (or any themed) party!


Kira@hernewleaf December 8, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I saw a pic on a blog that made small pink surprise balls and placed them in cupcake wrappers for a birthday party – so cute!


Chance (@mightbesunshine) December 5, 2011 at 8:08 am

I cannot believe they are charging that much at Kate Spade! Great idea to take it to the DIY side. Even I could do this.


Lori December 5, 2011 at 8:15 am

Super fun! I just Pinned it!


Gran December 7, 2011 at 5:31 am

Love these!! I want to make some… ♥♥♥

And, I love your snow flurries! We’re expecting some this afternoon.


Kristin December 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

This is an AWESOME gift! Thanks for the inspiration.


Bri December 8, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Ohmygosh, I love that you DIY’ed this!! I think the Kate Spade one is totally adorable, but like you, my first thought was: “Forty-five bucks???” And on top of the money saved, I love how much more personal your version is. My mind is overflowing with options right now! :)


Kira@hernewleaf December 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I am serious about wanting to give these for every single holiday. They’re so fun, and not that hard to make!


Keelonce December 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm

This reminds me of Pass the Parcel from when I was younger! Played it at parties and such. Similar to Musical Chairs. We would pass a parcel around in a circle and when it stopped you got to take a layer of wrapping off. There were little prizes in between layers and a big one at the end. Super fun!

Love to see that you are enjoying the holidays this year!!


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