Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fabric Soccer Balls

Both of my children played on various sports teams from the time they were in kindergarten through high school. Although they both love playing and watching many different sports, soccer holds a special place in my son's heart. Therefore, it really shouldn't have surprised me when David said he wanted to  create a soccer themed gift for his girlfriend's twin nephews. The boys recently celebrated their first birthday, so regular soccer balls may be a bit too much for them to comfortably handle just yet. David came up with the idea of creating "stuffed fabric" ones, and I must admit, when he first presented the idea to me, I didn't think it would be something we could do. However, with his encouragement (aka "persistence"), I decided to attempt it, and purchased the fabric and stuffing.. The first step involved creating hexagon and pentagon templates. We measured the ones on a regular soccer ball and created similar sized ones for this project. I then used a rotary cutter to create 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons for each soccer ball.

We honestly had no specific plan when I began sewing the first ball together.David kept one of his soccer balls nearby for reference and would place the cut out shapes in a pattern for me to pin together before moving over to the sewing machine. I wish I could tell you the project went smoothly, but there were a few times that we had to rip out a a seam (or two or three) as the ball was under construction because I joined the wrong sides together. Once we finished the first ball, we were sure there had to be a more systematic way to join the shapes. David ended up finding a pattern on line that we decided to try to follow before beginning the second ball. I don't know the site that this pattern is originally from, so I can't give credit to the source. This is unfortunate as I would love to thank the creator of the pattern, because the second ball came together without one seam needing to be redone! 

I'll be the first to admit that the pattern was a bit overwhelming at first, but I began to number the shapes and mark them off on the pattern as I joined them together. I also kept the first ball we made nearby as a reference.

It gets a little tricky as the ball starts to take shape, but I kept referring back to the pattern before pinning more sides together.

Before long, the second soccer ball was complete...

The twins haven't been given their new handmade toys yet, but  Uncle Dave was sure to "test" each one out by dribbling the soccer balls around the house a bit. Although far from perfect, they were sort of cute when they were complete...and much softer, safer, and easier for toddlers to handle than real soccer balls.

Linking up with: Tabler Party of Two: Sunday Features Link Party
Love of Home: Sundays at Home Link Party,
 The 36th Avenue Best DIY and Recipe Party
The Enchanting Rose Roses of Inspiration Link Up
Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer
The Creative Exchange Link Party

Addendum 10/9/15:
Here are the dimensions of the template I used for the hexagons and pentagons in this project


  1. oh my goodness this is such a fun project! Hugs

  2. So glad you like it Katherine. That means a lot coming from someone as creative as you. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment.

  3. Good morning, Dorene! First of all may I just say "Thank you" for joining Roses of Inspiration this week....what a joy to have you at the party and I hope you join us again :)

    And secondly, what darling soccer balls! My young son loves soccer, football, and baseball and often I will "catch" him running through the house with a ball. These fabric soccer balls would be perfect for inside {{smiles}}

    Have a beautiful day! Hugs!

    1. Hi Stephanie
      My son is now 21 and I can still find him dribbling a soccer ball through the house at times , so these fabric ones were a joy compared to his "real" ones. Luckily as he got older, he kept the baseball, basketball and football practicing outside....but somehow soccer is an activity that still manages to sneak it's way through the house ...especially with the World Cup excitement that was recently televised. Enjoy the love your young son shows for his favorite sports. I have many happy memories of times I spent watching my children play on their favorite teams, and they made great friends along the way.
      Thanks for hosting a great Link Up party.

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  5. Hi Dorene, I am really wanting to make this!
    But I was wondering what the dimensions are for each hexagon and pentagon?

    1. Hi Jade, Thanks for your interest in making this project. To make the template I used, I traced the hexagons and pentagons from an actual soccer ball and then took that paper tracing and enlarged it slightly (about 1/4 inch) to allow for a seam allowance when creating the final template.
      Each side of my hexagon template is 2 1/4 inch long. Each side is 4 inches apart and the distance between the farthest opposing corners is 4 1/2 inches.
      The side of each pentagon is 2 1/4 inches long. The distance between each flat edge and the opposing corner is 3 1/2 inches apart and the distance between the two farthest opposing corners is 3 3/4 inches apart.
      I have tried unsuccessfully to download an actual sized template to this comment section (but I am going to keep trying), however if in the mean time you would send an email to seasonalchapters@gmail.com I will send you an email with a scanned attachment of the actual templates that I used. These make really cute gifts and I want to assist on Fabric Soccer Balls

    2. Hi, thankyou so much for replying.
      Thankyou for that, I don't have an actual soccer ball so I was unsure of what the dimensions are.
      I will send an email now.
      Yes I agree and am making it to give as a gift.
      Thanks again.