Learn how to make juggling balls with this step by step sewing tutorial with photos. There’s even a free pattern!
All of our schools are closed, so the P.E. teachers really have to get creative with assignments right now! My 7th grade son’s teacher decided to start the year with a juggling unit.
The problem was, we didn’t own any juggling balls! We tried socks, but they weren’t very satisfying. I wound up buying one set and then sewed more, so that everyone who wanted to juggle would have a chance!
If sewing curves intimidates you, check out my bean bag sewing tutorial. You can juggle those, too!
Learn How to Make Juggling Balls
Juggling balls are fun to play with and easy to make! I do recommend sewing these on a machine, if at all possible, because
What Do You Make Juggling Balls Out Of?
Poly-Fil generously sent me the stuffing for these juggling balls! They actually sent me extra – as you can tell from the above photo – and I’m thrilled to say I have some fun plans for that too, so watch this space!
Here are all of the materials you need:
- Fabric. I recommend fleece, because it’s durable, washes well, and doesn’t fray. It’s a tiny bit stretchy, but not too much. If you have an old fleece blanket or jacket that you don’t need any more, this is actually a great way to upcycle it!
- Sewing machine, or a lot of patience with a needle and thread. If you want a solid, not-too-expensive sewing machine, I recommend the Janome HD1000. I’ve had mine for over a decade now, and it’s been amazing.
- Stuffing. Poly-Fil stuffing really is fantastic stuff.
- Poly-Pellets. These make the balls heavier than they will get with just stuffing.
- Clover wonder clips (recommended) or sewing pins.
How to Sew Juggling Balls
- Download the pattern. The balls in the photos are the larger size, but you may want smaller ones to start off, especially for a child.
- Cut out four pattern pieces for each ball.
- Stitch two pieces together along one side. Repeat with the remaining two pieces.
- You now have two ball halves. Pin them to each other.
- Stitch nearly the entire way around, but leave a small opening for stuffing.
- Turn the ball right side out.
- Stuff with a mix of Poly-Pellets and Poly-Fil. Use more Poly-Pellets for a heavier ball and more Poly-Fil for a lighter ball. These are not going to be evenly weighted balls, unless you are very careful to weigh everything and work to distribute Poly-Pellets throughout the ball.
- Stitch the opening shut with an invisible stitch. This is a good invisible stitch tutorial:
I stitch mine all the way down this way and then again back up, since juggling balls see a lot of wear and tear.
If you don’t like hand stitching, skip the turn it right side out step, and leaves the seams on the outside of the ball.
Now you are ready to juggle!
Learn to Juggle
Now that you have some juggling balls, it’s time to learn how to juggle! Now, I DID learn how to juggling in drama class in high school, but I wasn’t very good at it! So I’ve collected some videos to help:
Here’s a great video on learning how to juggle 3 balls:
A few simple tricks once you have the basic three ball juggling down:
I’d love to see photos if you use this DIY juggling ball tutorial to make some juggling balls of your own!
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MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
2 thoughts on “How to Make Juggling Balls”
What a sweet idea! Not only are they good for motor skills, they are soft and will not break things around the house :-)
That is definitely an added bonus!
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