The Ultimate Guide To Making Stress Balls

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Stress ball pic for making 2.jpg

I’m sure there’s some science to stress balls, but I just know they are cool. It helps to squish one while you are stressed, or fidget with one during something long, and they are also great things to give people when you can’t think of anything else.

A few years ago one of my friends came up with the idea to put some slime in a balloon and it was really cool. A few months after that we made a few more, and soon I was making a bunch. I love to experiment with things to put inside them. 

Every year my drama group does a craft sale, and for the past three years I’ve sold stress balls. It’s fun to show them to other people, and they are cheap enough that they sell pretty well. 

My friends love to guess what’s in them and they always ask how I made them. So I thought it would be fun to show you how to make them.



First of all, find some balloons. They will have to be actual balloons of a reasonable size. Water balloons or small balloons won’t work. Helium quality balloons are the best.

Patterned or metallic balloons are fun, and I love to use clear balloons, but plain balloons are fine too.


Picking your ingredients:

There is a lot of variety in what people put in stress balls. Flour is the most common, and water beads, slime, sand, and play dough are also popular.

But you can put almost anything in a balloon, just make sure it’s not so sharp it will pop the balloon, or anything that could mold or rot.

Also, the balloon will probably eventually pop, and when it does it will probably make a mess. Stay away from things that will stain or be really hard to clean up, like oil or tie dye.

A funnel or water bottle to get the filler in the balloon.

Sharpies (optional)

How to do it

Blow up your balloon and then let the air out. This stretches the balloon out.

Using a Funnel:

Put the end of the balloon on the funnel. Pour a little bit of your filler into the funnel. Do a little bit at a time so you don’t have a bunch in the funnel when the balloon is full. Hold the funnel upright so the filling goes into the balloon. If it gets clogged you can use a stick (Such as a chopstick or straw) to unclog it. When the balloon is full you can use a stick to push more filling into the balloon if you want.

Pull the balloon off of the funnel. If there is filling in the stem of the balloon either pinch the balloon at the base and pour it out, or blow enough air into the balloon so that the filling goes into the base. Tie the balloon.

Using a Water Bottle:

This is my favorite method. It usually gets the most filling into the balloon, and is the easiest.

Use a funnel to pour your filling into the water bottle. Pour more than you think you will need, but half the water bottle usually is enough for a normal sized balloon.

Blow up the balloon and twist the stem so that the air can’t escape. Put the neck of the balloon on the water bottle, and then let it untwist. Turn the water bottle upside down and let the filling go into the balloon. Tap the water bottle if needed.

When it’s all inside the balloon pinch the neck shut and take it off of the water bottle. Let the air out of the balloon, trying to do it slowly so that the filling doesn’t go everywhere. Tie the balloon.

Using your Hands:

This one doesn’t require any extra tools, but is kind of harder. It only works with things you can hold, like slime.

Hold the balloon open and stuff the filling in. I usually hold it with the first two fingers on my left hand and the third on my right hand, and stuff with the first two fingers on my right hand.

If there is filling in the stem of the balloon either pinch the balloon at the base and pour it out, or blow enough air into the balloon so that the filling goes into the base. Tie the balloon.

How to Double Balloon:

I like to double balloon my stress balls, because they do eventually pop. If they’re double ballooned they pop less easily, and when they pop they don’t make a mess.

When one balloon pops it will pop easier, and will make a mess when popped. If you pop one balloon either throw it away or just double balloon it again.

Cut all the stem over the knot on the main balloon off first. Blow up the second balloon and let the air out. Cut the lip of the second balloon off. Hold the balloon open and shove the first balloon in. Adjust the positioning if needed. I like to have the knot of the first balloon lined up with the end of the second balloon. Tie the second balloon and trim the excess.

How to decorate:

I like to draw faces and things (Emojis, pig faces, duck faces, Christmas trees, smiley faces, etc…) on the balloons. If the balloons or clear or have something else to make them look cool I’ll usually skip it.

I made a chart of all the things I’ve tried making stress balls out of, with some notes about each of them, but this post was getting to long, so I made another post with the chart, which you can read here.

Now go make a stress ball!

If you make a stress ball or think of something new to put in one, I’d love it if you left me a comment telling me about it!


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