How are Stress Balls Made?

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Promo Expert

Stress balls are no longer just the little round toys they were when they first came out in the 80s. Today, you can find an incredible variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. You can get stress balls that look like pandas or ones that are shaped like semi trucks. The possibilities are endless!

What are the steps in making these stress balls? What materials are used? Let’s learn how these desk-friendly toys are made from scratch!

What Are Stress Balls?

For those who don’t know, stress balls are little foam toys that are most commonly found in office settings. They are meant to be squeezed when you’re dealing with a lot of frustration, like driving in rush hour traffic, struggling to meet a deadline, or working with someone who always takes the last Snickers from the vending machine.

What Are Stress Balls?

Stress balls come in many different shapes, all depending on your industry or personality. For example, a little league team might like advertising with baseball stress balls, but that same shape wouldn’t really make sense for the cable guy. It all depends on who you are and what message you’re trying to get out there!

What Are Stress Balls?

Making Stress Balls: A Step-By-Step Breakdown

A stress ball might look like the easiest item in the world to make. However, a lot of hard work and attention to detail goes into creating those unique shapes. The process works the same for any design, from apples to zebras. These are the steps in making a stress ball:

  1. Molds in the shape of the stress ball are cleaned out and sprayed with a silicone lubricant.
  2. The molds are coated in the intended paint color for that batch of stress balls and put into an oven.
  3. A special rubber, gel, or foam is poured into the customized molds.
  4. The molds go on an assembly line into another oven, allowing the foam to cure.
  5. The stress balls are removed from the molds and excess foam and debris are cut away.
  6. Colorful details are sprayed onto the surface like the white of the football laces or the green on an apple’s leaf.
  1. Step 1:
    Step 1: Stretch out your balloon

    Molds in the shape of the stress ball are cleaned out and sprayed with a silicone lubricant.

    Step 1: Stretch out your balloon
  2. Step 2:
    Step 2: Use the funnel to fill the neck of the balloon with the rice...

    The molds are coated in the intended paint color for that batch of stress balls and put into an oven.

    Step 2: Use the funnel to fill the neck of the balloon with the rice...
  3. Step 3:
    Step 3:  Remove the funnel and let out as much air as you can.

    A special rubber, gel, or foam is poured into the customized molds.

    Step 3:  Remove the funnel and let out as much air as you can.
  4. Step 4:
    Step 4: Tie the neck of the balloon closed tightly. Snip off any excess rubber.

    The molds go on an assembly line into another oven, allowing the foam to cure.

    Step 4: Tie the neck of the balloon closed tightly. Snip off any excess rubber.
  5. Step 5:
    Step 5: Take two more balloons and snip off the necks.

    The stress balls are removed from the molds and excess foam and debris are cut away.

    Step 5: Take two more balloons and snip off the necks.
  6. Step 6:
    Step 6: Position one balloon at a time over your stress ball.

    Colorful details are sprayed onto the surface like the white of the football laces or the green on an apple’s leaf.

    Step 6: Position one balloon at a time over your stress ball.
  7. Step 7 (Optional):
    Step 7: Enjoy squishing your new stress ball!

    A personal touch, like a logo, name, or message, is screen or pad printed on the surface.

    Step 7: Enjoy squishing your new stress ball!

The steps above work the same no matter what shape you’re looking for and how many you need. This makes it insanely fast to get a high quantity of stress balls in a short amount of time.

Would you rather watch than read? Check out the entire process from beginning to end!

Did you know?

Stress balls in unique shapes like hearts and cars were invented by Francesco Indrio, founder of Alpi International.

What Are Some Other Options?

While stress balls are most often made in a factory, there are still other options. Take a look at some of the other ways stress balls are made!

Homemade Stress Ball

Homemade
Chances are you don’t have an assembly line and giant oven at home. Luckily, you can still make homemade stress balls from scratch! All it takes is a few balloons, rice, and office supplies to make it happen.

Homemade Stress Ball
Custom Stress Ball

Custom
Sure, you can already customize a message onto stress balls, but did you know you can design custom shapes for your stress balls? If you want a stress ball in the shape of your boss, there are ways to make that happen!

Custom Stress Ball
Injection Molded Stress Balls

Injection Molded
Some stress balls are injected with a special liquid rather than made in a custom mold. These are often created from a special rubber called closed-cell polyurethane which forms in a super soft, squishy shape.

Injection Molded Stress Balls
Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required

Can you imagine making 100 homemade stress balls from scratch? If you need a large amount of stress balls in a short amount of time, it’s all about making them on an assembly line! This increases the speed that your stress balls are manufactured, meaning they will be shipped to your way faster.

The Bottom Line

An incredible number of items we use every day are made on assembly lines, including cars, phones, and cameras. Stress balls are another item that belongs on the list. The process takes the same kind of craftsmanship and keen eye to detail. Who knows? Before long, maybe we'll all go just as crazy over a new stress ball as we would a new phone or car!

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a super cool Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. She’s a fan of diving into the history of some of the earliest promos on the planet. If you need her, you’ll find her buried in research, in the middle of a phone interview, or singing way off-tune in her office.