A Christmas gift to make with your kids that you can personalize for anyone

Bami Ballen: European Surprise Ball

Are you looking for a project you can do with your child that can be given as a gift? Try a bami ballen!

Bami ballen are easy and fun to make, can be personalized super easily, and, depending on what you put inside, can be made very inexpensively as well.

Here’s what you need:

  • crepe paper streamers
  • clear tape or glue stick
  • large sticker or to/from label
  • ribbon
  • one “main” gift (which can be a little bigger if you want it to be) and 10 – 15 other small items

How to make your bami ballen:

  1. Start with your “main” gift or the most round of your gifts. If you can do so without damaging the item, tape one end of the paper streamer to it.
  2. Start to wrap the streamer around the item. Crepe paper is stretchy, so make sure that you pull the streamer tight as you go, and rotate direction so that the paper criss-crosses in different directions. Do your best to keep the crepe paper flat.
  3. Once the first item is fully covered, place a piece of clear tape so that your crepe paper won’t shift or slide. Then start adding in your other items, one at a time, as you wrap. Alternate which side you add your items on so that the bami ballen stays as round as possible.
  4. Wrap the crepe tightly around the items as you go, and tape or glue it periodically so that if your hands should slip, you won’t unravel the whole thing. (Try not to use TOO often though, as this does slow down the fun of unraveling it for the recipient)
  5. When you’ve got a nice sized ball (or have used up all of your gift items) wrap the crepe paper streamer around a few more times to make the ball as rounded and even as possible.
  6. Finish it off with a large decorative sticker or to/from label. Tie a ribbon around and make a bow for decoration.* Note: These can be easily altered to your preference. Usually a bami ballen comes out about the size of a baseball. You can use larger and bumpier items if you want to but keep in mind you will need more crepe paper, particularly if you want the result to still be round!

Bami Ballen Gift Filler Ideas

  • stickers or stick-on tattoos
  • small gift certificates (you can get a real one from a store, or you can make your own with your kiddo, ie good for one free hug)
  • small dollar store toys (a bouncy ball, tiny stuffy or similar toy make a great center item) for child recipient
  • jewellery makes an amazing center item too! (hint hint dads)
  • individually wrapped candy and chocolates
  • a small jigsaw puzzle (each piece wrapped individually)
  • balloons (uninflated, obviously)
  • small arts and crafts or office supplies (eraser,
  • not really a gift, but you can scatter in a little confetti if you want whoever cleans the recipient’s house to hate you (hint: you should not do this if YOU are the one who cleans the recipient’s house)

Think this sounds like great fun but you’ve got two left thumbs and limited crafting time? Let us do the crafting instead! Sign up for Santa’s Workshop and give your kiddos the gift of giving. 🙂

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