How to Make a Stress Ball

Man squeezing stress ball
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A stress ball is a fun and malleable toy that's roughly seven centimeters in diameter. 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.

How to Make a Stress Ball

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 gather a small round balloon, a funnel, and about 1 cup of cornstarch for this recipe. 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.

After you've gathered your supplies, you can follow these nine steps:

  1. Blow up the balloon until it is about 4-5 inches around. Do not tie it.
  2. 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.
  3. Place a funnel inside the opening of the balloon while still pinching the balloon closed.
  4. Fill the top of the funnel with cornstarch using your free hand (or, enlist a helper).
  5. Slowly let go of where you're pinching the balloon so that the cornstarch can slide into it.
  6. Continue adding cornstarch to the funnel until the balloon is filled to a depth of about 3 inches.
  7. Pull up tightly on the opening of the balloon and pinch out any extra air.
  8. 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.
  9. Decorate the stress ball with stickers or permanent markers as desired.

Extra Tips

When making a stress ball, you might need to tap the funnel or stir the cornstarch occasionally to keep it moving into the balloon. Additionally, if you decide to decorate the stress ball, use permanent markers so that it won't leave stains on your hands when you squeeze it.

Other fillers, besides cornstarch, are suitable for stress balls. For example, flour and baking soda can make a firm one. For a looser stress ball, use fine play sand or split peas.

Finally, if the rubber of your balloon seems thin, pull a second balloon over the stress ball you just made. Then, you can simply tie it off and trim the excess, just like you did with the first balloon.