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Fun and Festive Surprise Balls

Lesson 5 of 6

Exterior Variations

Robert Mahar

Fun and Festive Surprise Balls

Robert Mahar

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Lesson Info

5. Exterior Variations

Lesson Info

Exterior Variations

Another way I love to decorate the exterior of the surprise balls. Once I've added a layer of the nicer crepe paper for a solid color is using a paper punch. These are standard crafting items you can find in any craft supply store. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes on dh. Once you punch out you're shapes, you get a siri's of really uniforms, looking shapes to cover the exterior of the ball with which I think looks really great. I found some of this beautiful sort of silver crepe paper. Now, one thing to note when you are using a punch with the crepe paper because of its almost fabric like qualities, if I were to stick it in just as is and punch it, this one actually punched out pretty well. Often they will get stuck and jammed in there because it has that sort of like fabric stretchy quality it's easy for them to get tangled up, sort of in the mechanism of the punch. So one thing that I found that's a great workaround for that is taking a sheet of standard copy paper, just fol...

ding that in half and then taking your piece of crepe paper and sandwiching it in between you want, um or less line up one of your edges and then you can take your punch, feed it in and punch it out, and it comes out nice and clean. It's a quick and easy way to get a clean shape. This is going to vary, of course, according to the thickness of your crepe paper. Now. Also, when you are dealing with these teeny tiny pieces and sort of a very thin crepe paper, it's easy to bend them and could be a little bit of a challenge to would hear them to the exterior. So I've often found that a little pair of tweezers are a nice, handy tool to find these most likely in the cabinet in your bathroom, eh? So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the star, and I'm going to place it shiny side down, you can't see it on dh, so we're basically have back side of it facing us. I'm taking my tacky glue. I'm just putting the tiniest, tiniest little dabs of glue onto the back you don't over, saturate it, or you run the risk of the crepe paper becoming a little soggy and a little too malleable. So I'm picking it up with my tweezers, positioning it on my star, and then just pressing it down. Now, I will say an alternative to this, especially if you're working with kids in most office supply stores, they sell the sheets of for colorful foil stars especially if you're working with a star shape that could be a really easy way to go because they already have in adhesive back on them but I loved this particular silver and I like the little bit larger size so for here again I'm just positioning it and pressing it into place I love the particular combination here of the almost midnight blue with the stars think this would be maybe a great surprise ball for new year's eve gift um or some sort of evening event or occasion I want to show you another variation of this technique that I use with polka dots so what I've done here is I've covered the exterior of the ball in sort of ah maroon pink color and then I used a circular hole punch using the same method where I folded the copy paper and half placed the crepe paper inside and use that sort of is a buffer as I punched him out and then finally here just sort of is a little cherry on top of the cake I happen to find this vintage cake topper I've got a lot of collections that I keep hearing the studio in the boxes behind me and on one particular occasion I came across a gentleman at a swap meet that had bought out the contents of a bakery from the nineteen thirties had all sorts of little toppers like this they've been sitting there and I've been trying to figure out what kind of project would be appropriate for super excited it worked on this, and the nice thing about this in particular is because the train is segmented, it fitted really nicely so the way I had here due to the top with just a few dots of hot glue, and it gave it a nice, secure fit. So I'm going to set those aside, and I want to talk about another possibility for your surprise balls, and that is creating different types of characters and animals because it is spherical it's, a very common cartoon shape, and you see just about any animal or figure you could create their heads or bodies with a surprise ball. So this panda I love he's a little bit animate. What I did is, I just googled cartoon pandas through a search engine, came up with some imagery and free hand. I cut out the eyes in the years I'm going to show you a simpler method that if you feel a little bit afraid of doing anything freehand, we'll help you out. Uh, just to accompany him, I made a little stick, a bamboo super simple all I did was cut a rectangular segment of the crepe paper. Crepe paper that comes in the large roles has these machine marks that actually looks like bamboo segments, and while this is just a roll of the crepe paper, I was thinking, you know, it would be a really nice pairing with a panda bear gift if I were to take a role, a candy, roll it up in this and have it just sort of as an added bonus gift. But let me show you how to create a character where you don't necessarily have to worry about free hand cutting, and so we're going to create another bear sort of giving him a little start here and what I have done, I've pre cut pre punched some elements out here. I have several sizes of round paper punches, different diameters, and I used the same technique where I took some of this brown paper. I wrapped the exterior and then I took a sheet of it. I placed it between the folds, much like I did with the stars, placed it on the inside, then went ahead with my paper punch and punch them out and you can create a bear using only circular punches. It's actually really simple for the year you take one of your round pieces. And you can see with the one that I've already adhere to his head. I gave him a little bit of pink for the interior of the year, so I'm going to take my pink piece and I'm going to dot some glue around the edges on the back now because I'm dealing with a little bit larger piece than with the stars that I used on the previous one. I'm going to use a little wooden sandwich pick kind of like a toothpick and just going to spread the glue a tiny bit um, it's going to make it here a little bit more evenly, and then I'm going to take that piece and I'm going to center it right on top of the brown circle, literally right in the middle. Once you've gone ahead and adhered the pink circle on top of the brown circle, this is the trick to get it to it here nicely as an ear is a three dimensional element. I'm going to flip it over, I'm going to take a straight edge, a ruler, and I'm going to place it so that maybe just a half inch of the year shows below it, I'm going to take a bone folder, which is just a folding tool, you could also use the edge of the utensil or pencil and going toward the back of the paper there to create a little bit of a line and I'm gonna bend that piece of crepe paper up so I've made say, a little flap here what I do then is I can apply glue along the bottom and it creates an instant here super easy, so I'm going to take my tak igloo dotted along the bottom of that piece that I folded up. Now I'm gonna position to him towards me for just one second while I figure out where the year should go, and then I'm just going to fold that flapped down in the back and instantly a little bit of a character starts to appear. I love those years now as you're watching me do this, you can start brainstorming about other animals that would be really easy to do. I can imagine these is bunnies for easter, that would be really sweet you could even make this is one big fat easter chick now to continue with the bear. As I mentioned, paper punches are available in a variety of sizes, and so I used the largest size for the brown, slightly smaller for the pink, and now I have probably the smallest size, and I've punched out some black crepe paper, and I'm going to use thes as an eye now to give the eye a little bit more character. Out of one of the pieces, I kind of cut it into sort of a crescent moon shape very simple to do, just cut it straight across if you want to wide open eyes it's also not a problem, but we're going to go ahead and hear those right onto the bear's face, and so I'm going to take again my tacky glue it's going dotted on the back and take my a sandwich, pick my little toothpick here, and if you cut one of these that's really small, you might want to resort to the tweezers again, but I really feel like this is large enough that I can handle it. Um, I am going to turn it towards me just momentarily for placement and then put that on and now we're going to go to the winking crescent I it's going to go right next to it. Bears air a really common theme at a lot of baby showers. This would be a soup for sweet either gift for the mom to be or as thank you parting gift for your guests. You see that crescent moon looks a little bit like it's winking kind of sweet. Now we're going to add on a little bit of a muzzle, I have cut out another large round piece of the brown paper, which is going to go on the face there but before I glue that on, I'm going to add a nose, and what I've done here is I've cut out yet another circle of the black paper, and I've just cut two little wedges off the side so it's a little bit more, no shaped in a place that down, spread the glue just a tiny bit, and then I'm gonna place that right on top of the muzzle, so I've attached the nose now to the muzzle, and then I'm just going to add a little face and the way I'm doing that is I'm taking that same pink color crepe paper that I used for the years I punched out a hole and I just cut it evenly and a half, so I'm going to use half of that. I'm going to flip it over, apply some glue along the back side and then again using my toothpick, I'm just going to spread that out a tiny bit teo evenly spread it, just going to add that right below the nose is a little happy face, and you can see we've got our muzzle now with a little nose and mouth and now it's time to attach this to our bear, so I'm going to kind of look at it for placement I like when it sticks out. A little bit where it's not flush with the contour of the surprise ball so it looks a little more three dimensional, so to achieve that, I'm just going to place a little blue right in the center of the back, so just enough to it here it to the face of the bear. So I'm going to turn him towards me for just a second while I look at placements press that right into place. There you go. Come on, how cute is he? So, you know, I can imagine doing a lot of these, as I said, for a baby shower, any sort of character kidsbirthday parties, you know, pick their favorite superhero on dh use the surprise ball format to create a simple version of that character's head or body. I think it be really fantastic, so these guys side by side are pretty awesome. So I hope this has given you a couple ideas of a little bit more elaborate but attainable ways to decorate the exterior, the punch method, honestly, really super simple punching out those using this polka dots or stars you could do flowers, hearts, any other shape you'd like for the bears. I think it's even more simplified for the bears because we just used a variety of the round punch tools in order to cut out all of these elements if you're feeling a little bit more adventurous, do some free hand. Honestly, not that complicated. Fold the crepe paper and half when you're cutting out the years, so they're symmetrical, you get a mirror pair the same with all of the elements. If you just fold it in half, cut out your eye shape, you're going to end up with two mirrored pieces that fit perfectly on the front. So now that we have gone through a few ways to decorate your surprise balls, we're going to talk about packaging next.

Class Description

Add an element of fun to your next party favor with handcrafted surprise balls!

In Fun and Festive Surprise Balls with Robert Mahar, you’ll learn how to make easy and unique containers for your small gifts. You’ll learn how to:

  • Set a theme and select the right contents for your surprise ball
  • Wrap the contents to achieve a spherical surprise ball
  • Decorate the exterior in both simple and elaborate ways

Surprise balls infuse a bit of magic into mundane gifts and are a great way to increase the flair of basic party favors. Learn how to make them in Fun and Festive Surprise Balls with Robert Mahar.


Julz P

A natural teacher, great craft idea to add a bit of fun to gift giving!

Anna Butterfield

Really engaging teacher and such a fantastic craft. I've gone on to make a tonne of these with my family and they make such a wonderful gift

user e3c8cf

Love these - a fab idea and a great instructor and class which talks you through step by step without getting boring. I will definitely be making these as little extra gifts for all my loved ones. Thank you for introducing me to them Robert.