A stress ball is a fun and malleable toy that's roughly seven centimeters in diameter and is a great tool for portable stress relief. Both adults and children squeeze the toy in their hands, moving their fingers around to relieve muscle tension, stress, and to exercise the hand. Beyond being a toy, stress balls have been known to make people feel relaxed and lower blood pressure.
If you're feeling stressed out or have seen other people having fun squeezing their stress balls, you can make your own DIY crafted one at home. Creating your own stress ball can be a creative way to release pressure and have fun making a squishy and playful item. Toss one in your bag before you start a busy day or keep one at your desk for convenient stress relief. You can even customize your own by choosing your favorite color (or a calming one, like blue) and adding stickers or colored patterns.
Gather Your Supplies
It's a relief that you don't need many supplies for this craft. While many stress balls are made out of a variety of materials, you can easily gather these supplies:
- A small round balloon
- A funnel
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- Permanent marker (optional)
Grab a friend to help you with this project, and try to stay away from using water balloons, since they can be too thin for this type of craft. Doing this DIY alone is difficult, but it can be done. Just use clips to keep your balloon pinched close, or try filling your balloon with cornstarch without blowing any air into it beforehand, avoiding the need to keep it carefully pinched and inflated.
After you've gathered your supplies, follow these steps:
Blow up Your Balloon
Blow up the balloon until it is about 4 to 5 inches around. Do not tie it, but keep the balloon inflated as best you can.
Pinch It Closed
Pinch the top of the balloon shut, about an inch or two from the opening, to leave room for the funnel to be inserted into the neck of the balloon. If you don't have an assistant to help, use a clip to pinch the balloon.
Insert the Funnel
Place a funnel inside the opening of the balloon while still pinching the balloon closed. You may need help securing the funnel inside the balloon. Don’t worry if your balloon deflates a little, which tends to happen during this step. This DIY will still work.
Fill Your Balloon With Cornstarch
Fill the top of the funnel with cornstarch using your free hand (or, enlist a helper). It works best to add a small amount of cornstarch at a time.
Slowly Release Pinched Fingers
Carefully begin replacing the air with cornstarch.
Slowly let go of where you're pinching the balloon so that the cornstarch can slide into it. If you go too quickly, the air leaving the balloon will blow the cornstarch into the air and make a mess.
Finish Filling Your Balloon
Continue adding cornstarch to the funnel until the balloon is filled to a depth of about three inches. Continue adding small amounts of cornstarch to your funnel, moving slowly, and swirl the cornstarch around with your finger to help work it into the base of the funnel and into the balloon.
Squeeze out Excess Air
Pull up tightly on the opening of the balloon and pinch out any extra air. In order to have an effective stress ball that won’t pop, it’s important to eliminate any extra air that’s inside your balloon. You want all of your stress ball’s contents to be cornstarch.
Tie It Closed
Tie the balloon closed, as near to the cornstarch as you can.
Use scissors to cut off any excess balloon, and make sure not to cut too close to the knot on the balloon.
Decorate the stress ball with stickers or permanent markers as desired.
Choose your favorite colors to make your new toy your own and add fun patterns to show off your artistic skills. Now you’re ready for stress relief on-the-go with your very own DIY stress ball!
All images by Lauren Murphy