DIY Rag Balls and Tray Makeover


DIY Rag Balls and Tray Makeover

DIY Rag Balls

Here’s the dilemma – I wanted a centerpiece for our dining room table but I didn’t want to spend any major money on it.  So, back to my original junk pile to see if there was anything I could use.  (You may remember this picture!) 

Upcycled Tray Makeover

I found a tray!

Old Rusty Tray Makeover

Rusty, dirty and full of paint!  Time to wash, and sand!  Here’s what it looked like once those steps were finished.  Much better!

Upcycled Metal Tray Makeover

A coat of red paint and it was ready to fill.

Upcycled Tray Paint Makeover

I filled the tray with rag balls. 

To make the rag balls you will need:

  • Foam balls – I used 2 dozen balls, sizes 2”, 3” and 4”  (I bought mine at JoAnn’s)
  • Fabric pieces – I used pieces that were 1/8 yard or less
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pins (optional) I only used them on the first one to figure out how many strips of fabric I would need per ball.
  • Iron
  • Glue – any glue will work, including a hot gun, but the thicker white glue worked best. (For 2 dozen balls, I used about 12 ounces of paste!)

Start by cutting material.  For the 3” and 4” size balls; cut strips of fabric 1” wide and 10” – 12” long.  For the 2” ball, I  cut the strips ½” wide and 8” long.  Next, iron each piece.  I tried not ironing the pieces but for the next step they definitely worked best when ironed.

DIY Rag Balls with Fabric Scraps

DIY Rag Balls Fabric Scraps

This is the step where ironing the strips makes it much easier.  Pull a few rows of threads off on each side of the pieces.

How to Make DIY Rag Balls

You’re now ready to glue the ironed fabric strips to the foam balls.  You will need to liberally apply glue to the fabric strip, including the edges.  I used an old butter knife and then wrapped each strip around the foam ball.

DIY Rag Balls How To


Alternate each strip of material using 6 strips on the 3” and 2” balls and 8 strips on the 4” foam ball until the entire ball is covered.

DIY Rag Balls Tutorial

Once finished, allow the balls to dry. I put the balls into the tray and added some pine cones (some natural, some sprayed red) from a friend’s property.  I will change the rag balls throughout the year to reflect the seasons.  With Christmas around the corner, these balls will soon be sporting red and green designs and maybe some holly and holly berries!  The possibilities are endless for this trash to treasure centerpiece!

DIY Rag Balls DIY Inspired

Check out some of my other Trash to Treasure projects:

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  1. Absolutely! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, weddings, baby showers, birthdays, AND OF COURSE 4TH OF JULY, the list goes on…….! Thanks for the ideas! 🙂

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