Recently I hosted a swap at Lisa Vollrath’s site, Go Make Somthing. It was for trading a “surprise ball.” I’d seen the idea online before, and Lisa has posted great instructions on her site with step by step photos.
Basically, what you do is gather up a bunch of small sized presents and oodles of ribbon, yarn, string and fabric. Start with the largest sized items and wrap them up, adding more of the presents with each layer. Here’s a shot of mine, during its various stages:
Lisa suggests that you use a tin with goodies inside it in one of the layers in order to make a nice rattling sound. She also mentions that it’s helpful to end with thinner fibers and ribbons in order to mold the lump into a more ball-like shape. I would add that it’s a good idea to use a safety pin or something similar to pin the end of the ribbon on each layer. It makes it easier to see where to start if you’re the recipient. Also, when adding small doodads, wind the fiber around the ball a few times, then slip the doodads in, and wind some more to cover them up. Jaylene suggests that you write a note to the recipient letting them know that it’s a good idea to open the surprise ball over a box lid or something like that in order to catch the goodies as they fall out. She’s the tidy one in the family!
This would be a great stocking stuffer or gift for an exchange. A themed surprise ball would be fun too as would a color coordinated one.