briana snyder photography » wedding and portrait photography in dayton, ohio and beyond

A Birthday Surprise Ball

It just so happens that many of our friends and family have birthdays right around this time of year. (Doesn’t it seem like it works out that way for many people? It’s like a few weeks end up being “birthday season.”)

One of those birthdays was that of a dear friend, and also happened to be on the same day as the Mister’s–which also happened to be the Saturday before Easter this year. This friend also just became a mommy a few weeks ago, so I wanted to do a little something fun just for her. I decided on a surprise ball, and–knowing that these couple weeks right before Easter would be pretty busy–started a few months ago collecting things here and there.

surprise ball tutorialPin It

Also, inspired by Not Martha, I wrote a birthday message, cut it into puzzle pieces, and spread them out through the ball.

Usually a surprise ball contains lots and lots of little trinkets and gifts (there are some amazing ones here). The only other one I have made was for a little boy, and I filled it with water balloons, little animal and dinosaur toys, candies, among other things (the party favor section card-and-party stores are great for these things). For this surprise ball, though, I wanted it to be more of a decorative way to package a few smaller gifts.

Basically, you just cut strips of streamers or crepe paper–I used regular rolls of party streamers, cut into strips about a foot and a half long, then cut them in half again longways, so that they wouldn’t be too bulky. You choose the item you want to be the last, final surprise, and start wrapping!

surprise ball how toPin It

That’s it! Just keep wrapping, starting with a new strip of crepe paper where you left off with the last, adding items and smoothing out the shape as you go. I wrapped this one entirely in plain, beige paper, until the very end, when I wrapped one layer of colored paper to make it prettier.

birthday surprise ballPin It

You can secure the loose end to the ball with a sticker, or attach a “Pull Me!” note and leave it loose (being careful it won’t just unravel!) In this case, I had to be sure to warn the recipient that there were a couple items inside that could be fragile, so that she could open it carefully. I also pre-warned her about the confetti–it’s super fun, but I imagine it would be a bear to clean up if you weren’t prepared and didn’t open it over an easy-to-clean surface.

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