Surprise Balls

November 29, 2012

By Gabrielle.

If you add the word surprise in front of any project, it instantly becomes joyful. Throw in the opportunity to unwrap said surprise, and it’s a sure celebration.

Surprise Balls. Nothing more than wrapping tiny gifts up, over and over and over again, until the whole endeavor looks like a happy ornament. Think of it as a more sophisticated version of Pass the Parcel. Perfect for excited little hands…not to mention low expectations for a perfectly round ball! The beautiful example above was created by Sandra Juto.

I first heard about surprise balls from my sister Jordan. She prepared one for a family dinner party and we each took turns passing the ball and unwrapping little surprises. (I still have the tiny pink porcelain pig that fell out on my lap as I unwrapped the trail of crepe paper.) Have you ever made one? Or unwrapped one?

P.S. — Here’s a detailed surprise ball DIY, and more surprise balls here.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jillian in Italy November 29, 2012 at 6:32 am

Oh these are great! And beautiful. I’m imagining a tree full of them to give as presents when friends come to visit.

The finished surprise ball actually look like the traditional Japanese temari balls (minus the 200 hours of work that goes into making one!).


2 Grace@ Sense and Simplicity November 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

I love surprise balls – although we call them blobs. They are so much fun to unwrap and see what is hidden. I used that idea to make last years advent calendars for my kiddos. You can see it here:


3 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 6:44 am

Using a surprise ball for an advent calendar is so clever! I’m really glad you shared, Grace.


4 Christa the BabbyMama November 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

This would backfire at our house. As much as P. loves presents, she also gets frustrated when they’re too hard to open.


5 Tracy November 29, 2012 at 8:20 am

Thank you so much for sharing this idea! I love it! I was thinking a bit of doing a 3 Kings-type cake to bring a surprise element to Christmas day, but this is so much more fun. And, this is my first secret board on Pinterest!


6 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

Yay for secret boards!


7 Sarah November 29, 2012 at 8:41 am

i have been meaning to make one (or some) of these magical things forever! i love the vintage-y theme of the ball in the picture… i’m sure i already have enough little treasures squirreled away for rainy days, now i just need the right paper…


8 Design Mom November 29, 2012 at 8:48 am

Yes! It was the vintage toys that drew me to this particular surprise ball. I would love to get my hands on a magic jumping frog. : )


9 Jennifer Jordan Burns November 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

I love surprise balls! First saw on inchmark and made the Santa surprise balls for my nieces at Christmas.
I think that would be a sweet treat for grandchildren someday. . .a tradition, but not another stocking. My middle daughter’s birthday is always near Easter and we have made surprise (Easter) balls for cousin’s favors. The Advent ball and hanging from a tree for guests are great ideas.


10 Jackie November 30, 2012 at 12:24 am

I have never heard of these before but man do they look awesome! I think I will definitely be making a few and putting them in stockings. Thanks for sharing this.


11 Design Mom November 30, 2012 at 12:38 am

They would be so sweet for stockings!


12 Veronika November 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

I love this! Thank you for sharing…I decided it will be my new Xmas tradition to make one big surprise ball and then take turns unwrapping it. That way I’m not overwhelmed with having to make a bunch!


13 Emily November 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I love love these and just sent a note to some girlfriends that we should have a crafternoon to make them. I read a great article in Anthology about an artist who makes amazing fruit, veggie and more versions of these, they’re almost too beautiful to uwrap!


14 Maryam December 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Thanks so much for mentioning my little blog. Love yours!


15 Sandra December 19, 2012 at 2:54 am

The creator of this surprise ball is Gina Namkung, I only took the photos :) Happy Holidays!!


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