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Temari Balls

Temari balls are a Japanese art, dating back as far as 1,000 years.




The original balls were made from herbs and leather, and noblewomen of Japan developed the balls from silk and kimono scraps. The temari ball is a symbol that represents great loyalty or a valued friendship. In modern-day Japan, mothers make them for their children as part of New Year's celebrations. Find out how to make this beautiful and unique form of artwork to showcase in your home.


  • Pantyhose (or socks or old T-shirts)
  • Quilt batting (15 inches by 8 inches)
  • 2 ounces of yarn
  • 2 soda caps
  • A bell
  • Spool of serger thread (any color)
  • Large-eye needle
  • 100 percent Bucilla silk ribbon in different colors
  • Scissors


  1. Step 1

    Begin by wadding up pantyhose, and wrap in the quilt batting.

  2. Step 2

    Insert the bell into the 2 soda caps and place the bell inside the core.

  3. Step 3

    Wrap in 1 to 2 ounces of yarn to form a ball.

  4. Step 4

    Take the yarn ball, and wrap in sewing thread.

  5. Step 5

    Once the ball is covered in sewing thread, decorate it with the Japanese ribbon stitch in any manner desired. If you come up at the initial stitch, lay the ribbon flat, piercing the ribbon at the end of the stitch and push the needle back into the initial stitch to come through. Pull slowly to get the ends of the ribbon to curl. Do not pull too tightly. To tie off or end the stitch, pierce the needle to the side, unthread needle, and pull and clip with scissors.

The Martha Stewart Show, February 2007



Reviews (2)

  • spunkymelos 6 Aug, 2008

    These were really neat and make awesome gifts! The detail and creativity make the temari wonderfully personal and delicate.

  • grimprim 20 Dec, 2007

    The art of Japanese thread balls is unlimited due to the many designs and color combinations. See more examples of Temari balls at