Stress is a normal part of the human experience, but you’re not alone if you find it’s sometimes hard to handle. Fortunately, there are many different coping mechanisms at your disposal that can help you cope with those days that test your nerves.
While some significant lifestyle changes, like switching to a healthier diet and incorporating more exercise into your day-to-day routine, can undoubtedly help, it’s also helpful to have some smaller-impact stress busters at your fingertips. But don’t go out and buy some stress balls just yet. There are so many DIY options that are available to you! In this list, we’ll go over our favorites.
How to make a stress ball
The ingredients that you fill your stress balls with don’t have to be fancy. Sometimes you can make a stress ball using only the materials that you already have in your house! Case in point: this simple “rice ball” made from just balloons and rice (we sure use dry rice as cooked rice would go rancid quite quickly). The best part of this one is that you can use any balloon pattern that you’d like — this example uses polka dot balloons, but you can also use other balloons with cute patterns.
It doesn’t have to be Halloween to break out the pumpkin-themed accessories! Lovers of this winter squash know that its pretty hue and shape make it the perfect decoration no matter the time of the year. If you love pumpkins, you can show your appreciation by making a pumpkin-themed stress ball. This tutorial shows you how to make pumpkins and ghosts, which are very Halloween-themed, but you can constantly adjust it to fit your preferred style.
Have you ever heard of Orbeez? While they are technically the trademarked name of those gel beads that kids love to play with, their name has become synonymous with gel beads the way that “vaseline” and “kleenex” have carved their way into our lingo. Anyway, these beads are well known for their ability to expand when soaked in water, as well as their ability to shrink back down again, meaning that they can be used again and again. In addition, the beads provide a comfortable feeling when squeezed, which means that it can feel quite therapeutic to feel them. So it makes perfect sense that orbeez would make a great stress ball filling — find out how here.
Cornstarch is a handy ingredient to have in the kitchen, often used to thicken stews and stir fry sauces. However, did you know that cornstarch also has a large number of uses in the world of arts and crafts? And yes, these arts and crafts include DIY stress balls. See how you can make your very own stress ball using cornstarch and balloons here.
Playdough is one of the wonders of childhood, and if you grew up in a household where play dough was always within reach, you know what we’re talking about! Whether you are making a dinosaur, monster, or play food, the possibility of things you can do with playdough is truly boundless. One of the best parts of playdough is its malleable texture, making it fun to play around with. So it just makes sense that playdough can easily be used to fill a stress ball. Find out how here.
Sometimes what sets a stress ball apart from another isn’t its ingredients but isn’t its shape! This lovely stress ball is shaped like a pineapple, making it a fun option for both kids and adults alike. All you will need is a yellow balloon, some googly eyes, and of course, a little bit of felt to give it that distinctive pineapple top!
7. Funny Expressions
Laughter is a very effective stress-buster, so it’s good news if you can sneak some laughter into your stress ball design. All you will need to make these cute little guys is a permanent market, some string, and a colorful assortment of balloons. Here’s a fun idea: create a collection of stress balls, each with a distinct facial expression representing an everyday mood that you feel. Then, you can squeeze a different stress ball every day, depending on the mood you’re feeling!
“Do you want to build a snowman?” If reading that line made you sing along to the popular Frozen song, then this is the perfect stress ball for you (or your kids). The best part is that it is one of the most accessible stress balls to make! All you will need is a white balloon, an orange permanent marker, a black permanent marker, and your choice of filling (beans, water beads, rich, and play dough will all work). Get the idea over at CBC Kids.
Here’s an idea for anyone who truly wants to relax while using their stress ball. If you are familiar with the concept of aromatherapy, then you know that its premise is using pleasant smells to bring about pleasant feelings. By using essential oils, you can create stress balls that smell as good as they feel. You can use whichever scent you’d like, though popular scents include eucalyptus or lavender. Find out how to make it here.
10. Ninja Stress Ball
Ninjas are known for their ability to move swiftly and secretly — and what one of us couldn’t use a little bit of ninja power in our day? You can squeeze it directly into your joints by relying on one of these ninja stress balls. These ninjas sure are cute, though they do also look like they could be powerful and dangerous if they needed to be! This is an excellent option for kids because some of the ninja stress balls look like the Lego Ninjago characters.
Whether or not you love olives or love to hate olives, there is no denying that olives are the perfect shape for a DIY stress ball! These olive DIY stress balls are so cute that they would make the perfect party gifts. Of course, as suggested in the tutorial, you could always put an olive pun on the tag (like “olive you” or “olive having you in my life”) and offer them as Valentine’s Day gifts!
12. Easter Egg
Here is another holiday-themed stress ball that can be used all year. While not technically a stress ball, this slime-based option is the perfect choice for anyone looking to make a stress-relieving tool that is both pretty to look at and fun to squeeze! Get the glittery recipe here.
Who doesn’t love watermelon? This refreshing, yummy summer snack also makes excellent inspiration for a stress ball. This watermelon squishy is easy to make and looks good enough to eat (though we encourage you not to).
Crocheting a stress ball is also an option! Will this will provide a different type of feel in your hand, some people may prefer the feeling of a crocheted stress ball. This tutorial can show you how to make adorable little crochet “monsters” with eyes from various yarn types. It is easy to follow and suitable for beginners.
Another cheap option for stress ball making is flour! Flour will create a mushier stress ball and is comparable to the feel provided by playdough. Another advantage of this particular stress ball recipe is that you are likely to already have flour on hand, which means that you could start making your stress ball right now.
16. Mesh Stress Balls
Here is an option that is a little bit different. This tutorial will show you how you can make mesh stress balls that look like something you could find at the dollar store. Warning: once you make one, you will want to make one in every color, as making these little guys can be pretty fun!
17. Scented Donuts
A donut-shaped stress ball would be cool enough, but a scented donut stress ball? That’s almost too cool for school. However, you can make your scented donut stress ball (called a “squishy” in this context) by following the easy tutorial here. Don’t forget to decorate one to match your favorite donut flavor!
We bet you are already feeling your stress levels dissipate by the end of this list! No matter which stress ball idea you’ve landed on, we hope that you thoroughly enjoy both the process of making it as well as the act of squeezing it. May your stress levels go down, and all of your problems go away!