Picture of House M.D. oversized tennis ball
All over the web House M.D. fans rack their brains on where to find the mysterious over sized tennis ball also known as BOUO from the TV show.
It can be bought in the official store with a big logo on it, but I wanted to have one that looks exactly like the one on the show. So after a long time of searching through pet stores, I thought of a way how to make it myself.

Btw if you know where to find or how to make the grey saucer, please tell me.

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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
  • red and grey wool roving
  • white Casein paint
  • Styrofoam Ball (the diameter depends a bit on your taste, it grows notably between the first and the second season, mine is 12 cm)
  • olive oil soap
  • white vinegar
  • lighter
  • Felting Needle (If you are not that familiar with felting get more than one because they break very easy)
  • small paint brush

Step 2: Trace the template

Picture of Trace the template
I've attached the template for a ball with a diameter of 12 cm. Simply scale it so that it will fit yours.

Make a stencil out of aluminium foil or anything, that you can place on the ball and trace the outline. Then use a ruler in order to trace the other line.
ball.svg(595x842) 2 KB

Step 3: Needle felting

Picture of Needle felting
Grab a little bit of your roving, place a thin but covering layer on the Styrofoam ball and jab it in with your felting needle, starting with the outline. Make sure, that the area is completely covered, else simply add more wool to cover up any open spaces. You will have to jab many, many times into the ball.
When you are happy with your first side, do the same for the second side.

If the small holes don't bother you (or you are just lazy ;-)) simply skip the next step.

jonnybo1111 year ago
You could get some carpet tiles and make an even bigger one using them
tofuwad3 years ago
My husband found a square dish that looks just like the thing House uses to hold this ball on the show. He found it at IKEA a few years ago, but I couldn't find it on the website, so they might not make it anymore. I think it's supposed to be a candle holder (that's what I use it for), but it could also be a soap dish.
LTMack4 years ago
or you could just buy one on ebay. Search for House MD ball. There's one without any markings on it.
Goodhart4 years ago
Whoa,   are "House" watchers finally coming out of the closet?   I love the show.  I just wish I didn't work such a weird shift so that I have to catch things on the weekend or during "marathon days".

The ball of unknown origin is great,  thanks.
Nicolas M4 years ago
Hey, cool!!! Just a question, where are you from? I noticed your vinegar's bottle label is in spanish.
BrittLiv (author)  Nicolas M4 years ago
I'm from Germany. It is hard to see in the picture.. actually it says "bianco" which is italian, the spanish word is blanco. I bought it in our local supermarket... I speek spanish though because I lived a year in Chile.
oh!, I do know the spanish is "Blanco" since I live in Colombia so when I saw the bottle I just assumed it was "Blanco", anyway thank you so much for this instructable.
Audiyoda4 years ago
That exact ball is sitting in my dog's toy bin.  We got it at PetSmart I believe (or maybe Petco).  They have all red, all purple, pink/yellow, orange/teal, and red/gray.  I seem to recall it costs around $4.00.
Jayefuu4 years ago
52,000 :p
BrittLiv (author)  Jayefuu4 years ago
Your Views Count is an amazing idea. I wanted to post this Instructable a week earlier, to make sure that I get the 50k view. Glad it worked out anyway.

I took me some time to figure out what paint to use. In the beginning I wanted to use Lexan Paint, but I found out that there is actually only one thing that it likes to stick to.... itself.

Kenton BrittLiv4 years ago
I'm confused by your instruction to use casein.  I'm a painter, so I'm familiar with casein, but I wouldn't expect most people to know what it is or where to get it.  I assume acrylic (cheaper and easier to find) will do the job just as well?
BrittLiv (author)  Kenton4 years ago
I tried Acrylic Paint, but because at least the paint I used (I tried two different types) was thinner than the Casein Paint I needed many layers and the end result didn't look as good as the Casein Paint. In case somebody is wondering where to get it I used Plaka Paint from Pelikan.
askjerry4 years ago
I didn't know what you were talking about... then I found this image... but when I try to attach it... it gets corrupted so here is the link.

shadow074 years ago
 It doesn't bounce though....

I want 1 that bounces...
Similar to the comment  BrittLiv mentions above: Peel the felt off of the syrofoam and glue it to a rubber playground ball of the same size. 
BrittLiv (author)  shadow074 years ago
It bounces better than you might think, I was surprised myself.
kidgeek4 years ago
Great instructable!  I can't wait to make one for myself.
casman3004 years ago
wow this is so cool! how big can you make them?

BrittLiv (author)  casman3004 years ago
thanks, you can make them as big as you want, you just need to find a Styrofoam ball in the size.
artquilter4 years ago
I don't watch House, so I don't know what a BOUO ball is for.
BrittLiv (author)  artquilter4 years ago
If you want to know more about it check out this link:
I had several of these. They sold them at Walmart as dog toys, exact colors.

They were .88 each. They were at the registers, on the bottom shelf in a box with other .88 dog toys.
 She wanted one without the logo.
yoyology4 years ago
I had no idea you could needle-felt to Styrofoam.  This opens up many interesting possibilities.  Thank you for sharing!
 I've seen oversize tennis balls sold as dog toys. Do you think it would be possible to dye/paint one of those?
BTW, Great Instructible. 5/5
 maybe bleach it then spray paint it.
BrittLiv (author)  Clayton H.4 years ago
I've tried bleaching it, but it looked very bad because of the nylon.

An other way is maybe to still felt the parts then carefully take them of the Styrofoam ball and glue them onto the dog toy (get rid of the original felt with a cardboard knife).

Btw I just googled "white oversized tennis ball" and the first entry is my Instructable... not very helpfull ;-)
Found both these monsters at local pet stores for about $6each... might just dye the bigger green one. (Hope you can see the scale by hand or by quarter. They is big 'uns!)

Big House fan here too!

and if anyone is interested
The ball is actually a present for a friend I wanted get him a cane, but the shipping to Germany is very expensive :-(
 Hey great instructable... Thanks!
...and yours looks great!