Duct Tape Inflatable Ball




     With so many cool things being made out of duct tape these days I decided to challenge myself to make something with it that I hadn’t seen any one else do. When I was a kid I had a toy called a Balzac this was a cloth ball that you inflate a balloon inside of and throw it around. You could also put water or coins in it to make it lopsided and fly around all weird. I remember having a lot of fun with this as a kid so I decided to recreate this toy with duct tape.

     The original toy was pretty light weight and not that great for kicking long distances but the duct tape version is substantially heavier which makes it much more suitable for the impromptu game of kick ball or soccer. Also adding to its practicality it can be deflated folded up and stuffed into a pocket for travel. Now you can take a ball with you where an ordinary ball would be too cumbersome, such as a backpacking trip, bike ride, rock climbing, crowded elevator, F1 car, straitjacket.. I think you get the point.

Step 1: What You Will Need:

     Along with what is pictured you will also need a razor or exact-o knife, a permanent marker, pliers and scissors.

Step 2: The Base Layer

     Begin by wrapping rings of tape around the ball with the sticky side facing out. Overlap about an inch to make sure the tape is secure but not overly bulky. It is also a good idea to take care to make these wraps evenly spaced and seated squarely on the ball. Also don’t wrap them so tight that you are squishing the foam. It doesn’t matter that the edges of the tape are not making contact with the ball.

      Continue wrapping the ball with the rings of tape until there are only patches of the ball showing. Using smaller patches of tape cover the remaining exposed parts of the ball. While you do this stretch the patches over the ball slightly to help even out the contour of the tape rings. Continue this until the entire ball is evenly covered.

Step 3: Outer Layers

     Now that your ball is completely covered you’re ready to add the outer layers. I would suggest applying at least two full layers of tape in this step. To ensure that you are covering your ball evenly you will need some way of telling your layers apart. The easiest way would be to make the first layer with one color then the next layer in another color. If you only have one color like I did, what you can do is, for the first layer rip patches of tape off the roll then on the next layer use your scissors to cut the tape. So then when you’re applying the second layer you can look for exposed torn edges to show you where you need to add more tape. Whatever you do, use the scissors to cut the tape for the final layer. This will give a cleaner look and also be more resistant to wear. Take care to make as few wrinkles in the tape as possible. Patches in two to three inch lengths seemed to work the best.

Step 4: Gutting the Ball

     Now, if you thought cutting all that duct tape was tedious get ready to spend a couple hours plucking bits of foam through a small hole. I suggest getting comfy on the couch with a good movie on the TV. Also this is going to get messy so get a grocery bag to put all the bits of foam in.

      Start by taking your razor and cutting a slit through the tape and into the ball about 1 ¼” long. Make this cut in the middle of one of the patches for added strength. With your pliers cut out a section of coat hanger and bend a hook shape in one end. The overall length should be longer that the diameter of the ball. Then began pushing the hook into the foam ball and ripping bits of it out of the slit that you cut. This will take a while to do but don’t rush it you don’t want to rip the slit. When you think you have it all give it a shake and listen for any bits rattling around in there. When you think you have it all hold the ball with the slit facing down and give it a vigorous squeeze to force out any remaining small bits.

Step 5: Inflation

     Insert your balloon, blow it up as much as you can and tie it off. Tuck the knotted end back into the slit and cover it with a patch of tape. Use your marker to mark this patch so you can find it easily when you’re ready to deflate the ball. Take it outside and give it a kick! Oh and save your foam bits for pillow stuffing.

Thanks for reading! Feedback welcome and let me know if you make one.

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    13 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Mine does not look as pretty but is just as functional! I used a cheap kids inflated ball instead of a foam one, MUCH easier to take out.

    13, 1:43 PM.jpg
    1 reply

    Reply 5 months ago

    That looks great! Glad you made one I still have mine that I made all those years ago. Is yours still around? The inflatable beach ball is definitely the way to go!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    perhaps swap the ball out for another balloon this way rather than pull out tedius amounts of foam you could just pop it and then re inflate as appropriate

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I thought about doing it that way but if I did it wouldn't have ended up being round. Sense baloons are more of an oblong shape it just wouldn't produce a verry good ball. But what would work in a simaler way to a baloon but be more round would be a beach ball. That's what I origanaly was thinking about using for this but they weren't in season at the time.
    Thanks for tbe comment though!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I always see those inflatable kids balls all year round, usually with Disney or similar characters on them. Would be the right size, and a lot easier to remove.


    Yes Balzac! but for the full comedic affect you have to see this!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    A novel idea; though to save the tedium of tearing up and pulling out foam, you could just subdivide a sphere into 8 or 12 (or more if you wish) slices, make a pattern of that slice, and then tape them all together into the sphere shape... much like how an inflatable beach ball is made.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I thought about about doing it that way but this seemed simpler. I think I'll try that method next though. Thanks