Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jump Ropes and "Koosh Balls" -Shoebox Crafts

This week over at Craft Paper Scissors they are featuring some of my favorite shoebox crafts for Operation Christmas Child. 

Packing a shoebox gift for Operation Christmas Child can be a personal experience. As you are choosing what gifts to put inside you want your gift to reflect the giver.  As a child my “claim to fame” was beating our principal in a Jump rope contest. I jumped 98 times compared to his 4. Who needs a gold medal? I felt like pretty big stuff for beating the principal of our school!!! This childhood memory finds me putting jumping ropes into shoebox gifts frequently.

You could easily go buy a jumprope, but why when you can make one for free with items from around your house and better yet, you can toss in an extra ball as well. 

Supplies needed:

Jump rope: 
  • Old t-shirts 3-5 shirts depending on the size
  • Good strong scissors-I find Fiskars Titanium Shop Shears work great for this project

Optional: image printed from computer.

Koosh ball:

  • Left over loops from jump rope project
  • Zip tie
  • Pliers
  • 5 “ piece of heavy cardboard
  • scissors
  • sandpaper

  • On flat surface, lay out t-shirt and smooth out the wrinkles
  • Fold shirt in half sleeve to sleeve
  • Cut off bottom hem.
  • Cut loops approximately 1- 1 1/2 “ in size from shirt by starting at folded end and cutting across to the open end of the shirt.
  • repeat with other shirt.
  • Stretch out loops running your hand along entire length of loop while pulling

To create jump rope:
  • Tie three strips together, place your knot about 3-4 inches down. This becomes the handle.
  • Braid your strips together
  • When you get to the end of the strip loop another one to the bottom and continue braiding.
  • Repeat until jumprope is desired length (7 feet is ideal for most children)
  • Tie a knot at the end leaving 3-4 inches for a handle.
  • Cut open loops at the end of the knots to create fringe. 

I love making sure my jump ropes all color coordinate, and would find myself with extra loops from the project. So I did some experimenting and found I could create a “koosh ball” out of my leftover strips and a zip tie! These balls are fun and super easy for little ones to catch.

To create “Koosh Ball”

  • Take your loops and wrap loosely around cardboard like a “rubber band” 
  • Continue wrapping loops around cardboard until your ball is full enough for your liking. I found 7 loops wrapped around  6-8 times (depending on loop size)  gave me  approximately 50 loops around to make a decent size ball.
  • Take loops off of cardboard. Squeeze pile together and wrap a zip-tie  around the middle and tighten as much as possible. I find the pliers help to get a good grip which helps me tighten the tie more than with just my hands alone. Trim the zip tie to remove the tail and sand if sharp
  • Cut open your loops
  • Tie two of those open pieces around the zip-tie as an extra measure of protection

For more information on Operation Christmas Child, visit:

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