Yo-Yo Ball

My kids each have a yo-yo but they’re not able to work them yet.  So I tried to think of something that could provide a more toddler friendly yo-yo experience.  I used some Paul Smith sock material scraps and some cotton canvas to sew a ball.  Then attached a length of elastic string.  So far, the kids are loving them!

I’ve never sewn a ball before, but it was actually very easy. I used four panels. Then I left an inch at the top open to turn it inside out. I filled them with some stuffing and beans (for a little extra bouncing weight). On one end of the elastic string I tied a round wooden bead, which I hand-sewed into the ball, so the string won’t come out during enthusiastic bouncing. Then I tied one of my large vintage buttons on the other end of the string for a handle. That’s it!

You can buy supplies for this project below! (Made by Joel Shop is powered by The Saturday Market Project)


  1. Kate Bruning
    March 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Fantastic - my boys are obsessed with yoyos but have a lot trickiness with them. I might have a play with it later on in the day when they are sick of having feathers sticky taped to their fingers and toes...

  2. Sarah
    March 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    You are a toy genius! I might make some of these for school-or even for me as I am not that good at yoyos and always used to find them very frustrating!

  3. Kickcan and Conkers
    March 13, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Brilliant -again. These look fun to play with and are beautiful objects too.

  4. modernmaam
    March 13, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Good grief! These are the luckiest, happiest kids on the planet. How on Earth do you come up with this stuff? :)

  5. Amanda Thebe
    March 13, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I wish you were my Dad!! (forget that I am nearly 40!!) these are cute. Will make these too this weekend along with the handmade books - but please slow down with these wonderful creations as I can hardly keep up with you!!

  6. Golubka
    March 13, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Look at them - they are loving it! This is great, Joel.

  7. Jolene
    March 13, 2010 at 10:24 am

    What a great idea. I'm going to have to make these for my kids who really haven't got the hang of yo-yos but love the idea.

  8. Lia
    March 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    You are amazing. Those look like so much fun. What a simple and beautiful toy.

  9. morso
    March 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Wow. Your kids are sooo lucky to have a father like you. I wonder if they will ever really understad how fortunate they are! I am jealous! - at the age of 47. ;)

  10. craftevangelist
    March 13, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    This is a great idea! You're full of them! I'm sure my kids would totally love one of these.

  11. my sisters and me
    March 14, 2010 at 10:59 am

    what a great idea!! love them!

  12. Simone
    March 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Love it!

  13. Natasha
    March 14, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    I love this and all your ideas. I swear, when I need to find things to do, especially on a blustery/rainy day like today, I come here and presto! Our day is set. Thank you.

  14. Joel Henriques
    March 14, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks so much everybody. I feel like I've got to live up to the hype now. I better get to work!

  15. AG Ambroult
    March 15, 2010 at 12:19 am

    ohmygoodnessthisisgenius! (to be said very fast, as in one word) I could use one, too, as I have never been able to master a yo-yo.

  16. Bulles de Lune
    March 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

    wow i'll try this wenesday for my daughter, i'm sure she will love it!!!!!! thanks joel!

  17. Amanda Pedro
    March 16, 2010 at 2:51 am

    1st thing came to my mind was Brilliant. but then, someone else beat me to it. then genius. Yep, I'm late on that one too.
    LOVE LOVE LOVE your stuff.
    I cut out a bunch of circles today and put them in little containers for my kids to glue on a very long car ride tomorrow. Best part is, they will be happy glueing and then I'll finish the project with the slits and bam... another attention grabber when they start making shapes from them. See, you da bomb!
    thanks so much for sharing.

  18. Tanya
    March 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    thanks so much for all the inspiration! i've just made one of these little guys, as a bouncing rocket! i'll add photos to your flickr group soon!

  19. Shannon
    March 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    My 3 year old has been asking for a yo-yo after seeing one on TV. I don't think she's ready for it yet - but she'd LOVE this. Thanks!!!

  20. josie
    March 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    So good. Everything on your site. I just read through all your archives, I was so inspired. Congratulations on your book deal...I can't wait to buy it.

  21. Christina
    March 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Fabulous! I love all your creative ideas and can't wait till my little one is a little older to appreciate them too! Congrats on the book!!!

  22. Maryrose
    March 28, 2010 at 2:54 am

    I made a bunch of these as part of my son's birthday party gift box.

    Check them out...


  23. isabelle
    April 6, 2010 at 9:02 am

    fun and fashionable yoyos !!

  24. Anonymous
    April 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I'm going to make these for the gift box for my almost 2 year old birthday too! Except, instead of beans, I'm going to use the round glass rocks in the craft section (already have some) so that the entire thing is washable! Thanks for the idea.

  25. Corinna
    August 21, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I just made 10 of these for giveaways at our boys' birthday party...they were a hit! Great ideas on here, love them!! One of the boys' gifts was a fishing rod, Joel inspired. Thanks for the inspiration.

  26. tifmarkir
    January 29, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    They are so darn cute!

  27. Marja-Leena
    February 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Super kiva!

  28. May 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    [...] make a ball with some of the fabric. It was really easy to make – very similar to my yo-yo ball from awhile back. This time, I cut the panels a bit too wide though, so the “ball” [...]

  29. July 11, 2011 at 10:16 am

    OMGoodness! I love love love this one!

  30. Karen
    July 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Joel Do you think this would be hard to do handstitched? I don't have a sewing machine but would love to try them. Or - could you make some for me and I'll buy them haha. Karen

    1. July 27, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Hey Karen. You could totally do this hand stitched. It requires very little sewing. I bet if you made one out of felt (maybe get two or four colors of felt for the different panels), then it would be super easy to sew. It might not last as long though, but I bet the felt would hold up for a lot of yo-yo-ing. (I might be wrong though, and the felt could be totally strong.) But yeah, hand sew for sure!

  31. Anna Cornelia
    August 5, 2011 at 6:38 am

    Thanks a lot for the idea! I've just made yo-yo for my little boy, it seems he loves it)))

  32. September 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    [...] going to have it toss paper balls but thought it would be cool to sew some instead. (Similar to the yo-yo balls I made awhile back.) It worked really well. The kids both had a real kick trying to make a basket. [...]

  33. September 8, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    [...] clothing line.  I’m a huge fan of his, and often repurpose my Paul Smith socks in crafts. (Yo-Yo Balls, Doll clothing…) [...]

  34. December 19, 2011 at 8:20 am

    [...] signifient aussi faire des cadeaux maisons. Cette année, j’ai été tentée par les yoyo balls de madeByJoel. Elles sont très simples à réaliser. J’ai un peu modifié le tutorial en choisissant un [...]

  35. January 22, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    [...] is another project that was quick and fun to work on. These Yo Yo balls from Made by Joel made it into the kids’ stockings and they have had so much fun with them! They worked up [...]

  36. June 3, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Again me, I mentioned this post as well in the same article: http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/scented-drawer-socks-spare-sock-deas/

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