Things You'll Need
- Ball sphere template
- Fabric glue
- Rubber bands
- Hot glue gun
You can easily cover wooden balls to make them attractive and interesting. Select fabric that has some stretch and that doesn't fray much. Seams that will be in the fabric can be left bare or covered with trim pieces. If you use trim pieces, you can also vary the fabric panels to create an alternating pattern, making a dynamic and attractive ball.
Select a ball template. Ball templates are patterns to cover the surface of a ball, much like a two-piece baseball cover, the many sections of a soccer ball cover or the lines of a basketball cover. A simple template is a shape that looks like a football. Each piece of the cover is identical. Six pieces of this shape will cover a ball.
Draw the template on paper and take the paper to a photocopier machine. Enlarge or shrink the template to fit your wooden ball. Measure half the circumference of the ball. Measure your football shaped template piece from point-to-point and match the measurements. Make several copies at the right size. Cut out a pattern.
Pin the pattern to the fabric. Cut out six pieces of fabric of the football-shaped template. Cut the fabric on the bias. The bias of fabric is across the diagonal. Place a yard of fabric on the table. The bias will be from the top right corner to the bottom left corner or from the top left to the bottom right. The bias allows the fabric to stretch properly around the ball.
Apply fabric glue to the back of the fabric. Place the fabric on the ball and smooth it out, stretching lightly to help the fabric conform to the ball shape. Repeat with each fabric piece. Butt the pieces together and align the points. Use rubber bands to hold the fabric in place if necessary.
Hot glue trims over the seams if you want to hide the seams completely.
Wood balls are often not perfectly symmetrical, so be prepared to trim the fabric slightly for the best fit.
F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.