how to make a stress ball

The Ultimate List of What to Put in a Stress Ball

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I made a post about how to make a stress ball, which you can read here. Today I decided to follow up that post with a list of what I’ve tried in stress balls and some comments about the filler.

If you can’t decide what to put inside your stress ball, or if you’d like some ideas, hopefully this post will give you some inspiration.


Flour is the typical thing to put in stress balls. When I have a stress ball people often say “I know someone who made/has one of those with flour in it.” I personally like some of the less typical things better, but flour is still pretty cool. Stress balls made with flour are pretty soft, and you can poke and mold them, and they will usually hold their shape pretty well.

Slime, Cloud Dough, and Floam

Slime is one of my favorite things to make stress balls out of, and it’s also the first thing I did. It’s kind of hard to get in the balloon – I usually stuff it in or oil the funnel first – but I think it’s worth it. If you add fake snow to the slime it makes cloud dough, which is a similar texture to slime but more dough like. If you add foam beads to the slime it makes floam, which is also a similar texture, but kind of crunchy and mold-able.

Water Beads

Water beads are super fun to put in balloons. If you add a lot of water the water beads float around, or if you add no water they get all crushed up into a cool texture. If you add just a little bit of water they usually stay whole, but you can still feel the water beads. I like to put a few water beads in a balloon and then fill it up with water and let them grow, then see how it turns out, but for more control you can grow them in a water bottle and then add water if you want, and put them in the balloon from there.

Fake Snow

Fake snow, or instant snow as it is often called, feels kind of like warm snow. If you change how much water you add the texture is different.  You can buy fake snow, but it’s also the stuff you can find in clean diapers if you cut them open. We had a few from when there were little kids in the house, and I just cut them open and use that.


Ooblick (Cornstarch and water) is kind of messy to get into the balloon, and after sitting for awhile you have to play with it a bit to mix the cornstarch and water together, but after that’s done it feels really cool. You can squeeze it till it’s hard and then it will return to it’s original shape. 

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are pretty easy to get into a balloon with a funnel, and pretty fun. The texture is hard to explain, but it’s one of my favorites.

Epsom Salt, Salt, Sand, and Cocoa

They all feel about the same, but you can make the salts different colors. The cocoa is more powdery, and it smells really good, but it’s kind of expensive to put in a balloon.

Macaroni, Beans, Lentils, and Beads

They all feel kind of lumpy. They usually aren’t anyone’s favorite, but they aren’t the worst.


When people are guessing what is in a balloon they often guess water. I don’t put just water in a balloon because I think it’s boring, I add it to cornstarch, orbeez or fake snow, or sometimes I’ll do one with water and glitter.

Toothpaste, Shaving Cream, and Aloe Vera

These all made a mess. Some people like the toothpaste ones, but it wasn’t really worth it. The shaving cream was cool, but it deflated after about a day.

Foam Beads

The balloons I made with these were really light and felt like there was only air in them, but when you squeeze them they crunch. My mom wouldn’t touch them, and no one else particularly likes them either.

Pine needles

I made one with pine needles because I thought it would be cool, but everyone hated the texture. The two I made ended up selling at my craft sale actually, (They were the only two left) but no one really liked them. 

Then I made one more because why not, and then I put a yellow balloon on it and drew a bumblebee, so that it “stings” you. It was cute, but people don’t like the texture.

Yarn and Stuffing

These just don’t really work.


I got the idea from a bottle with water and oil in it sitting on my desk. I like to turn it upside down and watch it. So I thought if I put it in a clear balloon it would have the same effect. Well it was really cool, but I had colored the water with tie dye, and when the balloon popped, the oil and tie dye got everywhere and made a huge mess. So it was cool, but I didn’t think it was worth it.

So there’s my list. If you still can’t decide I would start with water beads or chia seeds, which are two of my favorites.

If you have any questions leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it!



The Ultimate Guide To Making Stress Balls

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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!