Learning how to make a string ball took me right back to my childhood. I remember making paper mâché balloon lanterns with my mother and how much I loved the process…especially when it came time to pop the balloon!
In this post I will show you how to make a string ball using a flour paste and then how to substitute tissue paper for the string to make a paper mâché ball. I’ll also share some different ways you can use these for holidays throughout the year!
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How to Make a String Ball
Age Appropriateness: 6+
Adults may want to pre-cut the string. Younger kids may need some assistance with wrapping.
- Balloons Water ballon size are the best.
- String We used embroidery floss but you can also use yarn
- Mixing bowl, spoon, tray
- Push Pin
- Cooking Spray Optional but recommended
- Optional: Mod Podge and brush
Time needed: 1 day.
Learn how to make this classic art project with a popping surprise!
- Cut String
Gather string and cut into 24″-36 lengths. Set aside.
- Blow up balloons
Blow up balloons and have them ready at your work area.
- Mix your paste
Combine 1 cup flour with 1 cup water in a bowl. Mix until you have thick paste.
- Coat a balloon
If you have it, coat a balloon in cooking spray. Then dip it in the paste to coat the outside.
- Coat the string & wrap balloon
Take one length of string and dip it in the paste. Remove from the paste, unfurl, and wrap it around the balloon.
Continue wrapping the balloon with additional lengths of string. The more string you add, the more strong your final ball will be.
- Let Dry
When you are satisfied with the string layers, let your ball dry for 24-48 hours. We hung ours from a rack to dry.
- Popping time!
Once the string balls are dry, it’s time for everyone’s favorite step: popping the balloon! Take a push pin and pop the balloon. It will lose air and begin to deflate slowly.
- Remove the balloon
Once the balloon has completely deflated, gently remove it from the inside of the ball.
- Optional: Coat with Mod Podge
To make the string ball even more durable, coat it with Mod Podge and let dry.
You’re done! These look beautiful on display!
Alternative: Paper Mache Balls
An alternative to making string balls is to substitute the string with tissue paper. Here’s how to do it:
- Cut tissue paper and/or newspaper into small pieces.
- Coat the balloon with paste before adding paper.
- Instead of dipping the paper in the paste, apply tissue paper to the outside of the balloon and paint paste on over it. Continue adding layers of paper and paste until the balloon is covered
- Let dry and pop the balloon.
- Coat with Mod Podge if desired.
Here’s how you can use your string & paper mâché balls for the holidays:
Halloween: Use a full sized balloon. Leave an opening at the bottom. Once dry pop and remove the balloon. Have an adult use an exact blade to cut eyes and a mouth to make a jack-o-lanterns. Paint the jack-o-lantern then add a flashlight in the hole at the bottom to light it up!
Christmas: Use smaller sized string or paper mâché balls as tree ornaments.
Easter Use these as table decorations. Display string “eggs” in a large bowl in the center of your table.
Summer These would look lovely with fairy lights inside as outdoor decorations!
If you enjoyed this string craft be sure to check out these two string art ideas: