Tutorial: How to Handsew a Patchwork Ball

Yes, it’s time for a tutorial, don’t you think? I promised this one when I made balls early this summer and quite a few of you were interested in learning how to make this pretty toy! I have had it on my to do-list since then but haven’t come around to actually sitting down and creating a tut start to finish, mostly because it takes a few hours to do it. But yeah, today I finally did it!

Do you have some balls?
Playful – a toy ball for my cousin Jennifer.

Tutorial I’m doing this today not only because I’ve promised to do this tutorial but as a gesture of thankfulness for what you give to me. It’s free to download, print and use – right now! I bet you have all the “ingredients” at home already!? Also as a part of the August crusade with the theme: Pay it forward:

Think about what you are grateful for – a kindness of some kind that has been directed your way, and then think about how you can honor that kindness by paying it forward to someone else.
Michelle Ward

I’ve already expressed some gratitude this month by sending off small gifts in the mail. And today I’ve scanned, worked in InDesign and tried to find words to correctly describe how to make one! Please let me know if it’s confusing or if you have some tips! I used the layout that I created for my first PDF tutorial How to make decoupage magnets, but with some modifications (improvements). I had fun until it was time to save it and it said dash argument invalid, but that’s fixed now! I hope you like it!? Let me know!

Do you have some balls?
My 1970’s brown ball, that I’ve made since my last post about balls; Hand sewing is my new meditation! Yummy fabrics!

Here is the rest of my bunch:
Do you have some balls?
Once you start hand sewing these you won’t be able to stop with just one!

So to get started, download and print the tutorial: How to sew a patchwork ball pdf!

Edit: Just after I’d posted this I saw similar tutorial on the same kind of balls but with more images, please go there too if you need more tips and hints! Even easier to make are the Fabric Beach balls that you can sew in a machine and don’t need paper-piecing for! Have fun, that’s all I’m asking! [found via whip up]

This entry was posted in Fabric & Sewing, Quilting, Tutorials and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Tutorial: How to Handsew a Patchwork Ball

  1. cute toy! pdf links to the decoupage magnets tut btw

  2. Jazmin says:

    That is such a fabulous idea! I can see a few of them thrown casually in a white wicker basket. Gorgeous!

  3. Kristi says:

    Thank so much for sharing this tutorial! I know lots of little ones that would love to roll these around, and I agree that they would look so sweet in little bowls around the house!

  4. Oiyi says:

    Awesome! Thank you so much. They look great.

  5. Robyn says:

    Let us know when the link is fixed, they look really cute to make!

  6. Sister Diane says:

    These are utterly charming. Now I’m dying to make one. Thank you for the great tutorial!

  7. My daughter is just learning to sew, and so (no pun intended!) these tutorials are just what she needs. Plus, these are very cute and would make great gifts for her little cousins. :)

  8. JeriAnn says:

    A gift for everyone — what a great way to pay it forward!

    The balls are beautiful and I’d bet they’d look good piled in a large bowl on a coffee table. A good use for all those fabric scraps we can’t part with.


  9. Rachel says:

    That is so cute! I want to make a bunch of tiny ones for my cats. Totally linking to this in the Daily DIY today!

  10. jojoebi says:

    Ohhh I really want to try this! :o)

  11. suzy says:

    Hi Hanna,
    These balls look great… I will come back later to download the PDF when the link is fixed.
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. TJ says:

    Hello Hanna!
    These are so beautiful. I can’t wait to try make one from my little boy. I’m having trouble finding the .pdf however. It brings me to a magnet tutorial. (Although that looks fun too!) xoxoxo tj

  13. eugenia gina says:

    Hanna, love it, so simple and soo pretty, gotta make one!

  14. iHanna says:

    Hey everyone!
    I couldn’t find the link myself so it’s not strange that you didn’t see it – it was wrongly linked and I’m so sorry! I hope you can get it now because I’ve fixed the link! Let me know what you think when you SEE it (use it/read it)! ;-) XXO

  15. Lix says:

    Thanks for the tutorial!

  16. Janine says:

    What a wonderful gesture Hanna! These will make gorgeous gifts for little ones! Thank you!

  17. thanks for sharing your tutorial, great way to use scraps. and thanks for playing on the team again.

  18. TJ says:

    Your tutorial is awesome! Thank you for re-linking for us. I’ve never paper-pieced so I appreciate a project that is achievable and fun. xoxoxo tj

  19. inge says:

    hello Hanna,

    the balls look so cute ! I can image they are very calming to make and afterworths seeing the smile on the face of the child that gets it…

    thanks for the tutorial, I printed it out, cause it looks tempting !

    Inge from belgium

  20. tinker says:

    These are all so cute! Your handstitching looks so neat and tidy too.
    This would make a lovely project for autumn and winter evenings, to make just in time for a Christmas present for a little one – well if I could get at least one whole one finished :)
    Thank you for the tutorial!

  21. iHanna says:

    Thanks for your comments, so happy you liked this project! i did too!

    If you give it to a child please send me a picture – I’d love to see the smiles too! :-)

    A pile of balls on the coffee table is my kind of fun, since I don’t have any kids but love toys anyway! :-)

  22. Robyn says:

    Thanks for fixing the link! I want to try to make some!

  23. Alicia says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I just love your blog – so much creativity!

  24. Chris says:

    Your tutorials are so great. Your enthusiasm is contagious, and I love your use of color. Thanks, Hanna!

  25. Pingback: iHanna’s Creative Space » Blog Archive » A giddy girl’s enthusiasm at work

  26. toni says:

    These. are. precious. I don’t have a crafty bone in my body, and boy I wish I did have it. I want to make these!

  27. rein says:

    These are great!

  28. iHanna says:

    Toni, the “crafty” does not come from your bones but your heart, I feel it in your comment already that you have it, and if you have the wish to make… you should absolutely try it out, I think you can make these! Good luck! :-)

  29. Lucy says:

    omg! adorable. i love the brown 70’s one….brown and white polka dots!

    thanks for the tut!

  30. Serena says:

    Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial, Hanna! :)

  31. Oh my, these look amazing, really great :D

    How did you get the ball stuffed so full? I’ve tried stitching juggling balls before, but a full fill was so hard to achieve. Any help?

    How does the finishing/closing stitch look? I had problems with that too :S

    Great tutorial and stitching

  32. iHanna says:

    Jason the Juggler,
    how on earth did you find this my wee blog?! Anyway, I stuff everything with little chunks at a time, not a bit load at once. In this way you fill it out slowly and it gets to be very hard. Maybe you did you filled yours with big bits and had “air holes” then? I don’t know. On the sewing I can’t explain it in word and I think you should ask someone to show you, your mom or a friend that knows sewing!

    Good luck!

  33. Hehe

    I certainly don’t think this is a wee blog, look at the comments! If you want to see a wee blog, see mine :P (shameless promotion)

    I’m not sure what you mean but I found out some ways to get a tight fill since, but thanks anyways.

    I think I could make some more of these balls, they look pretty cool, definitely should try my hand at it.

    Here are some juggling prop sites, have you seen these balls? They look pretty nice, but I don’t think the quality is as good as yours, what do you think:


    You could be serious competition :P

  34. iHanna says:

    I was looking for a tutorial online on how to close the balls with a stitch for you and now I’ve found it by looking for something else. The stitch is called “ladder stitch” and you can see how to sew it here:


    Great tutorial site by the way!

  35. Thanks for looking at it for me, it was most helpful and definitely gave me an insight, this will help me finish on my balls :D

    Now let’s find some fabric huh :D Ultraleather perhaps?

    This is going to be tough, I’ll contact you again with results XD


  36. Tee says:

    These are beautiful. I have been searching for a long time for a simple pattern to make a stuffed ball. This one seems to fit the bill for me. I looked at many of those 6 piece beach-ball type patterns, and every picture I saw of them.. did not look round at all. i’m not sure if the makers did not stuff them fully, but yours do seem to be beautifully round. The corners of the pentagons do not even protrude. I have a large project that I need the perfect ball pattern for.. and I think this may be it ^_^ thank you so much. P.S. what are your thoughts about how well this would work if I did it about 10x the size?

  37. iHanna says:

    Tee, glad you liked the pattern and will use it. I think it would not matter how large the patches were as long as you did the proportions right! Good luck, let me know if your big balls work!

    Thanks for commenting here!

    Have fun!

  38. Pingback: iHanna’s Creative Space » Blog Archive » Craft Accomplishments Report (part II)

  39. Jana says:

    Thank you very much for tutorial. I never sew, but when I sew this your ball i decided to change and yesterday I created ball for my little allex. Is not best, but is my first creation.:o) So thank you!

  40. iHanna says:

    Jana, your son is so cute and looks so happy with the ball, thanks for letting me know that you made one.

    You did a great job with the sewing, I’m so glad I inspired you try it out. The look on Alex little face is priceless!

  41. Pingback: iHanna’s Blog » Blog Archive » Valentine Self Love

  42. Fay says:

    the tutorial link for the Patchwork ball is broken and I so want to make one. can you fix it? :)

  43. pam says:

    A reader in Japan just told me she is making these for family members this year and linked in her e-mail. I totally missed these the first time having just started blogging and getting to know everyone in November of 2008.
    I just pinned it! I love this idea for Christmas ornaments! Great PDF. thank you Hanna.

    • iHanna says:

      Thanks Pam, so glad you’re finding gems in archive of my blog and leaving me comments! :-) Thanks! Let me know if you make some Christmas balls, I love the idea too!

  44. Sue says:

    Hi Hanna
    I’m having trouble opening the PDF for your lovely patchwork ball. I can see the picture of it, but get this message when I attempt open. Any ideas, I’d love to make one. Thanks.
    Error 403: Forbidden
    You don’t have permissions to access this page. Please check file and directory permissions and .htaccess configuration if you are able to do this. Otherwise, request your webmaster to grant you access.

    • iHanna says:

      Sue, the file is there and I can see it and access it without being logged in to my blog. I don’t know why you can’t get it, maybe it is the settings of your browser, or you need to update your pdf-reader-program on your computer. Ask a friend to try from a different computer, perhaps, and see if that works. Let me know if you need any further help.


      • Sue says:

        thanks Hanna. I think it is something to do with using Chrome on my iMac, even though other pdf files open OK in this browser. Have managed to open your tutorial using Safari. So will now be able to sew the ball for our grandson’s christmas present:)

        One last question – did you use synthetic stuffing used for toy making or something else? Thanks and regards – Sue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *