How to Make a Surprise Ball Gift or Special Invitation

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Brighten someone’s day with a surprise ball – a ball of crepe paper with small gifts wrapped inside with every wind of streamer. We show you how to make a surprise ball gift or special message.


The Surprise Ball was popular in the 70s, but you don’t really hear much about them anymore.

A surprise ball is an exciting way to send little gifts to someone special of any age.

Fill it with little trinkets and candies that they love, all wound inside a crepe paper ball.

Mail it or leave it somewhere for them to discover.

Surprise balls are a fun way to send a secret message.

Send a party invitation, an I Love You message – maybe even a wedding proposal with the ring in the middle!

Surprise ball invitation or gift idea

How a surprise ball works.

how to make a surprise ball gift

A surprise ball is crepe paper little prizes wrapped inside as it is wound into a ball. Each little gift is discovered as you unwind the ball.

You can make the ball as big as you wish – and you’d be surprised to see how many prizes you can wrap inside. Just one roll of crepe paper can hold 20 prizes, depending on the size and shape of the items.

Why send a surprise ball.

There are all sorts of occasions for a surprise ball:

  • I miss you – grandmothers & aunties can send one to kids, lovers can send one to their special someone, mothers can send to daughters. Include their favorite little things & collectibles or a big thing like a ticket to a movie, play or concert.
  • Get well soon – wish someone best wishes when they’re ill with herbal tea packet, little goodies and trinkets
  • Goodbye winter blues – cheer someone up with happy little things or ticket invitations.
  • Will you marry me – this is the BIG surprise in a surprise ball. Send wonderful little things at first with the ring tied at the end.

How to make a surprise ball

Discovering the trinkets you want to include is the most time consuming part. Winding the crepe paper streamer is the fun part. You will need at least 2 crepe paper streamers, and maybe more depending in how may trinkets you have, and how big you want the surprise ball to be.

Step 1: Whatever you want them to read last is the first items attached to the crepe paper.

surprise ball step 1
Whatever you want them to read last – like who it came from – is first in the ball. In this case the name is spelled backwards for Backwards Day

The first thing you attach to the strip of crepe paper is the message you want to send. This is what they will see last, after they have received all the trinkets.

  • tell them who sent the surprise ball
  • put the party information if it is an invitation: time, date, place
  • send your birthday or love wishes

Wind the crepe paper around the message a couple of times to cover it up.

surprise ball step 2
Party details or secret message is next.

If you are making a gift invitation, the next thing you add is the details of the party.

surprise ball step 3
The last info you wrap is the first they will read – the reason for the surprise ball: You’re invited, Get Well Soon, I Love You.

Then add the name of the party they know it’s an invitation. (When they continue unwinding they will get the details of the party that you just put on the crepe paper.)

If it’s not an invitation, attach your message such as Get Well Soon, I Miss You, etc.

Wrap the crepe paper around your message a couple of times.

Step 2: Add your trinkets or gifts

surprise ball step 4

Start adding your trinkets with the smallest sized gift. Put it on the crepe paper, roll the paper around a couple of times to hold it in place.

Put the next sized gift on the crepe paper, roll the paper around . . . and so on wrapping the gifts from smallest to largest.

After a couple of prizes, when your ball has some bulk, start wrapping in a criss-cross pattern to create that distinctive ball shape. Don’t add too much crepe paper between prizes because the idea is for the trinkets to drop out as they unwind – just a couple of circles to cover it and ensure that it will stay in place.

If you need to use another roll of crepe paper just tape the two ends together and keep wrapping gifts inside. (We started with green and ended with yellow!)

Step 3: End with a message so they know what it is.

Your message should be bigger than the width of the crepe paper so they can get a firm grasp on it.

(We’ve used the Sur-prize note that matches our Backwards Party theme.)

Cut the crepe paper strip and firmly fasten message to the ball.

surprise ball step 5
Attach a label so they know what it is!

You may want to include a gift card or instructions explaining how the surprise ball works – assuring them that it’s not some prank or terrorist plot!

Mail it in a box or courier envelope or leave it somewhere for them to discover and wait for the excitement to begin.


Need ideas for surprise ball surprizes:


I hope you feel inspired to give it a try and put joy in someone’s day with a surprise ball.

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