surprise blobs

Recently I have become obsessed with surprise balls, those crepe paper-wrapped balls layered with little surprises. When I was in Portland my friend Taya and I were lucky enough to find some on clearance at Sur La Table. We snagged them quickly to conduct some research. These surprise balls generally retail for $20 or more. You’d think for 20 bucks you’d get something really great, but our balls contained toys you’d find in a box of Cracker Jacks. I decided I could try to do better …
So today I made my first surprise ball! Here are some of my supplies:
surprise ball stuff.JPG
I had a lot of help from the inifinitely clever Megan and her instructions on making surprise balls. I ordered the crepe paper rolls from Dick Blick and foraged around for some trinkets.
I put a good prize in the center then started wrapping:
surprise ball in progress.JPG
The crepe paper is a bit wide, so I cut it in half as I went along. That was kind of a hassle. For some layers I used squares of crepe paper and just wrapped the whole ball in the square. I layered in stickers, candies, little charms, etc. It was actually kind of difficult to get the thing to resemble a ball, and I wasn’t feeling particularly Detail Oriented, so here it is, the surprise blob!
surprise ball complete.JPG
Oh, and thank you all very much for all the soup suggestions! I may try one of the other butternut squash soup recipes. Yes, I think maybe roasting the squash first will help enhance the flavors, especially since I am skeptical of the natural deliciousness of the squash around here. And yes, I did caramelize the onions, but apparently not enough.

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20 Responses to surprise blobs

  1. karen says:

    What’s inside? OK. Don’t want to ruin the surprise. But what’s inside?

  2. karen says:

    What’s inside? OK. Don’t want to ruin the surprise. But what’s inside?

  3. Mary-Heather says:

    This is one of the cutest gift ideas I’ve ever seen… I love this! Looks fun to create, too.

  4. sequinK says:

    I love pinata balls! I use an exacto knife to cut the crepe paper in half widthwise while it’s still in the roll — much less tedious than cutting it as you go along.

  5. Terri says:

    Hi! I love your blog – it’s so awesome! You are so very talented! : ) The surprise blobs are such a cute idea! I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your tiny Russian nesting doll in the picture – it’s so cute. Thanks, and thanks for providing such fun reading and groovy pictures – all of your crafting and cooking adventures really brighten up my day. : )

  6. Shelby says:

    They are awesome! I’ve seen the idea at Not Martha ages ago and thought about making them. Seeing yours has definitely inspired me.

  7. Lisa says:

    Those surprise balls look amazing! Seriously, you could make and sell those. Too cool! Just another crafty idea to stow away for next year. 🙂

  8. Norma says:

    Yes, what WAS the “good prize”? I like these — a lot like Christmas crackers in England. They, too, often contain rather crappy “prizes” inside, but there are some upscale ones available. I tried making them myself one year, and while they looked like crackers, they didn’t make the essential “popping” or “cracking” noise they were supposed to make when opened. Oh well. But I love your blobs.;-)

  9. sunni says:

    i’ve never heard of these surprise balls but LOVE your photos and description – i’ll be attempting my own very soon and might even get the supplies today! so thanks for sharing another lovely idea!

  10. Silvia says:

    Ooh those are cute, but I have also never heard of them. I would put some of those trader joe dome truffles inside…but that’s me.
    Don’t forget the cream and butter in the soup…then no one cares if it’s made of squash or whatever.

  11. amy says:

    Oh! Those look like the perfect little gifties for my kids to give classmates 🙂 You are so creative.

  12. Susan Dennis says:

    When I was little (the ’50’s) my dad was a traveling sales man. If he was gone for longer than a week, he always brought us a present. Our very favorite was a surprise ball. I haven’t thought of them in years. Thanks for the remembery.

  13. Kay says:

    Go Eggplant! Thanks for Surprise Ball 101. This will be better than stockings at Christmas. All that paper to unwrap. My daughter age almost-8 has taken to collecting tiny animal ceramic figurines–or, in her Santa letter, ‘saramics’– and one of these would be the perfect center to a Surprise Blob.
    I even have crepe paper left over from a baby shower. Thanks and happy hols, xoxo Kay

  14. gaile says:

    those look fantastic and festive indeed! I might have to try my hand at that for my friends back in madison!

  15. melissa says:

    your prizes are way better than what you got in the sur la table ball! nice work!

  16. Gina says:

    sur la table = french for on the table, but has anyone bothered to find out if “on the table” is a french way of saying “picking your pockets”

  17. Laurie says:

    I found your blog while searching on the term “gedifra” as in yarn, what a wonderful site you have! I am enjoying all your projects and ideas. I am planning an “International Espionage Party” for my daughter’s 10th birthday and I will be making these balls with clues inside as well as little prizes – we are going to have a sort of virtual scavenger hunt and these fill fit in nicely. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  18. whitty says:

    You can get sheet crepe at Dick Blick too and then cut it in thin strips while it is still folded and it makes a long, perfect–for-surprise-balls-width strip. I made these (and got the idea from Not Martha, too!) last year and they were a hit!

  19. martha says:

    When my sisters and I were little we got one of those

  20. Sarah says:

    at my husbands office xmas party we had butternut squash soup in tall shot glasses. it was an unusual presentation and the talk of the dinner – plus everyone had a lot of fun doing a “shot” before the main course.

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