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How to Make a Cloth Ball

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Handmade Cloth Ball

Felt ball next to a baseball.

Felt ball next to a baseball.

How to Make a Cloth Bath

Ready to make a cloth ball? These step-by-step instructions will show you how to create a pattern and then handstitch your own beautiful and fun cloth ball from non-woven material, like felt, fleece, or oilcloth.

Once you get the hang of it, you can then use woven materials like denim or canvas, and adjust the size of the pattern to your liking.

Materials Needed

Materials to make a cloth ball include: nonwoven fabric, polyfluff, pins, needle, embroidery thread, tapemeasure, paper to draft a pattern, and scissors.

Materials to make a cloth ball include: nonwoven fabric, polyfluff, pins, needle, embroidery thread, tapemeasure, paper to draft a pattern, and scissors.

Step 1: Gather Materials

To make a cloth ball, you will need:

  • Non-woven fabric, like felt, polyfleece, oilcloth, or similar. I used 12"x12" felt and felt remnants.
  • Polyester filling, either fluff or leftover batting, enough to make a fluffy ball that is 10"-12" in circumference.
  • Embroidery thread, any color
  • Pins
  • Large-eyed needle
  • Paper, for making a pattern
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

Cloth Ball Pattern

General measurements for a softball sized cloth ball. Adjust measurements as desired.

General measurements for a softball sized cloth ball. Adjust measurements as desired.

Resulting cloth ball pattern, using 3" diameter circles and a 9" x 1 1/4" rectangle.

Resulting cloth ball pattern, using 3" diameter circles and a 9" x 1 1/4" rectangle.

Mark small circles at the ends of the pattern, and dashes at the middle of the pattern. These will help remind you how to line up the fabric pieces when you assemble the ball.

Mark small circles at the ends of the pattern, and dashes at the middle of the pattern. These will help remind you how to line up the fabric pieces when you assemble the ball.

Step 2: Make a Baseball Pattern

This cloth ball is made out of two pieces of fabric, cut from one pattern piece. The pattern follows that of a baseball.

  • Looking at the pictures above, draw a rectangle that measures 9"x1 1/4". Draw a circle that is 3" in diameter at each end of the rectangle. It's not critical that the circles be perfectly round, though I used a drawing tool to help me draw the pattern.
  • Using the above images as a guide, smooth out the pattern by drawing curved lines to smoothly connect the circles to the rectangle. The resulting "bone shape" makes the pattern for the ball.
  • Finally, mark small circles at the round ends of the pattern, and dashes at the center of the pattern, following the image above as a guide. These markings will help remind you how the pieces line up when you assemble the ball.

Cut Pattern Pieces

Cut one piece from pink fabric

Cut one piece from pink fabric

Cut one piece from green fabric

Cut one piece from green fabric

Two pieces, cut out and ready for ball assembly.

Two pieces, cut out and ready for ball assembly.

Step 3: Cut Pattern Pieces

  • You will cut two (2) fabric pieces using the one paper pattern. I used two colors, but you can use one if you prefer.
  • Pin the paper pattern to your first fabric and cut. Then pin the paper pattern to your second fabric and cut. You now have two pieces that you will use to assemble the ball.
  • Optionally, you can transfer the small circle and dash markings to your fabric pieces, which will help you to line up the pieces when you assemble your ball.

Assemble Cloth Ball

Make a ball of fluff about 10"-12" in circumference.

Make a ball of fluff about 10"-12" in circumference.

Fit pattern pieces around ball of fluff, matching end dots to center dashes.

Fit pattern pieces around ball of fluff, matching end dots to center dashes.

Pin pieces to fluff to make it easier to handle and sew, and to keep the pieces lined up correctly.

Pin pieces to fluff to make it easier to handle and sew, and to keep the pieces lined up correctly.

When the ball is sufficiently pinned, it is ready to sew.

When the ball is sufficiently pinned, it is ready to sew.

Step 4: Assemble Cloth Ball

  • Take a wad of polyfill and make a round ball about 10"-12" in circumference. You can make the ball as soft or as firm as you like.
  • Wrap the cloth ball pieces over the polyfill, matching up circle markings to dash markings. Looking at the above assembly images, the round ends of the green piece match up to the straight centers of the pink piece. Likewise, the round ends of the pink piece match up to the straight centers of the green piece.
  • Butt the edges of the fabric pieces together and pin to hold in place. This will assist you when sewing, though you will need to be extra careful so that you don't get stuck by a pin.

Sew and Finish Cloth Ball

Butt together edges and sew with overhand stitch all the way around. Remove pins as you stitch.

Butt together edges and sew with overhand stitch all the way around. Remove pins as you stitch.

Shape ball when done to give it a more rounded shape.

Shape ball when done to give it a more rounded shape.

Congratulations! You are ready to play ball!

Congratulations! You are ready to play ball!

Step 5: Sew Cloth Ball and Finish

  • Thread a long length of embroidery thread onto a large-eyed needle. Knot one end. Stitch seam using an overhand stitch, about 1/4" in from each edge. Pull thread so that fabric edges abutt snugly. Continue stitching until the seam is fully stitched. Hide any knots on the inside of the fabric where it won't show.
  • Once the ball is stitched, and all pins removed, shape the ball with your hands so that it is more evenly round.

Enjoy your new cloth ball!

Comments

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on January 13, 2019:

Thanks Sallie! Sounds like a great idea!

Sallie Brockman on January 13, 2019:

This pattern also makes a great balloon ball for indoor use. Just add a buttonhole to one end of either pattern piece to enable the balloon to be inserted. Once inserted blow up the balloon, tie off, and tuck into ball.

Can be either hand or machine sewn.

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on September 20, 2018:

Thanks for your comment, Terri! Glad to hear your snowballs came out well!

terri on September 20, 2018:

this made great snowballs

Georgina Crawford from Dartmoor on March 08, 2015:

I'm not the best sewer, but this makes me think I could give it a go!

I on January 03, 2015:

I plan to make some with white fleece for my grand kids so they can have indoor snowball fights and not freak out Mommy :)

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on January 06, 2014:

Thanks Just Ask Susan! If you make one, let me know how it turns out!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on January 06, 2014:

Awesome tutorial!

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on March 23, 2013:

Thanks Alison!

Alison Graham from UK on March 23, 2013:

I love this hub, your illustrations and instructions are spot on - shared on my Pinterest board http://pinterest.com/pin/119204721359711656/ and voted up!

wordwineandfood on March 10, 2013:

I give it a try. It looks great !

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on March 09, 2013:

It's pretty easy to do! If you like to sew, it takes about an hour to make the whole thing.

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on March 09, 2013:

I have never thought of making a ball. The tutorial you gave makes it look relatively simple. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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