I found this recipe at the rec.crafts.misc newsgroup. Today, Sunday February 22/98, I tried it out and made some for my kids. My 19 year old twins liked them as much as my ten year old. They liked to squeeze them and they also used them to practice juggling balls or just to throw them back and forth. (Due to the fact that I made those stress balls so long ago, before digital cameras, this is the only picture I have of them).
I made mine without any eyes or feet and without cutting the balloons to let the other balloon layers show through. They were easy to make and lots of fun. For the green one I used a balloon (never been blown up) that I had lying around for the outer layer. The other layers and the red ball were made with balloons I bought at a “Dollar Store”.
Here is the listing from the newsgroup: “A great and wacky gift for someone who has everything, or for people who you don’t want to give something really big to. These squishy balls feel great to squeeze and you can make them into people too, by adding faces. You could even try to make them look like the recipient, e.g. hair colour, glasses etc.
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1 T oil
- 1 t cream of tartar
- 1 Cup water (or you can use bought playdough instead)
- Balloons – 3 or 4 for each ball
- Plastic Eyes
- Pipe cleaners
- Mix dough ingredients together it a pot and heat until doughy, stirring all the time. This should only take a few minutes. Remove from pot, knead till smooth then leave to cool for about 1/2 an hour.
- Now comes the fun part! Take 3 or 4 balloons and cut most of the neck off each one, so you just have the round bit. Now take a ball of dough about 2 or 3″ across. The more you pack into one balloon, the less squishy it will be.
- Stretch one balloon over it. This can be a bit tricky. Now quickly (before it all oozes out again) put this inside another balloon, hole first (so that the second balloon covers up the hole in the first one). Put this inside another balloon in the same way.
- After you put the last one one, use your nails to pinch up a little of the LAST balloon only, i.e. go only through one layer. Then snip this using scissors to make a round hole. Do this several times all around the ball so that the previous colour shows through and makes polkadots.
- You are now ready to add a face, legs, whatever with a glue gun if you want to. Or you can just leave it plain so it’s easier to squish.
- If you use water bomb balloons and a ball of dough about 1 to 2″ across, you can make quite a bouncy ball. The more taught the balloon is, the bouncier the ball.
- If you want to make it into a face to sit on your desk, try gluing it to an old film canister lid to help it stand up. “
Note: It is now the end of 2009 and I vaguely remember that I once read that you can also make the stress balls by filling the balloons with flour.