Friday, August 24, 2012

Competition Finalist #1

Perfectly Round, Opaque, Bouncing polymer ball

Hi!  My name is Kristen.  I am a wanna be crafty, stay at home mom to 2 beautiful girls ages 4 and 1.  I was so excited to see the homemade bouncy ball on the "to test" board! This was one of my 1st pins. I am always looking for fun things to do with my girls (aren't we all?), so here was my excuse to finally try it out!!  I so badly want to be "that mom" whose kids are always clean, in freshly pressed clothes, and have the coolest mom who knows how to make fun things at the drop of a hat.  Sadly I seem to fall short and this pin is an example of how I try, yet never really quite get there :) But the love is there and hopefully my girls will grow to see that instead of the dozens of failed Pinterest experiments LOL!
So Pinterest... Love it, I'm an addict. But as we all come to find out sadly, not all pins are what they seem to be.  I have gotten quite tired of finding the "ultimate pin" to do with my oldest, only for it to end up with her in tears because is was a "Pinstrosity".  So I decided to do this one on my own while she was asleep, just to make sure it would turn out how it says before I got her all excited about it. 
 I chose this link, because these looked to be a little more realistic of an outcome than the other link with the obviously store bought marbleized pretty rubber bouncy balls
Looked simple enough, and surprisingly I had ALL the ingredients. Thank you previous failed experiments...

So I gathered my supplies (minus the ruler and the timer with a second hand. I'm low tech and had to use my phone...) 
In the directions they said that white glue would produce an opaque ball, and clear glue would be... well clear.  Just my luck I had pink sparkly clear glue (no real shock, everything I own is pink and sparkly)(whether it was bought that way to start with or not...)!  What a pretty ball this will be!!!

 I mixed the Borax and water in 1 cup and added the glue and cornstarch to the 2nd cup. Next you take a little of the borax solution and add it to the glue and cornstarch. It said do not mix for 15 seconds, so I waited... 
 I am not good at waiting. Good thing the instructions call for a timer. It took longer to get the timer function up on my phone than the 15 seconds. I'll call that Problem 1/2. More like operator error than an experimental problem.
FINALLY 15 agonizing seconds later I could mix!
Once it becomes "impossible to mix" you pull out the glob and start forming your ball.
So pretty much it feels like a giant booger...
but they said to just keep kneading it, and once the stickiness goes away you can then bounce your ball. This is where I really hit my first "problem." 
A huge hole formed on the inside, the cornstarch prevented the insides from being sticky. Well there were no directions on how to fix this and the outside was still sticky so I turned it inside out, and kneaded again.  All sides stuck together success!!! 
Problem #2 was noticed here, it looked NOTHING like the picture AND it was opaque despite my using clear glue.  Me thinks white or clear makes no difference.
On to the bounce test... 
Enter the FAIL portion to the test. I am SO glad I decided to try this while she was asleep, there would certainly have been tears.  O don't get me wrong, the "ball" bounces.  About an inch MAYBE. Problem #3 (and kind of a funny) trying to take a picture of yourself bouncing a ball is a little awkward. ESPECIALLY when said ball is NOT round. Right after I took this picture it bounced right into the garbage disposal. A fitting place I think.
 Now I don't consider ALL experiments that don't turn out like they say they do a FAIL. My daughter and I usually have fun in the process and that is what matters. But this pin is a FAIL! The only correction I see that could have been made (besides having the timer ready and have an extra pair of hand to take pictures) was to make sure all the cornstarch was mixed up in order to prevent the hole in the middle.  The chemical reaction takes place pretty fast, and mixing does almost become impossible. But no matter what, I do not see any way of the ball turning out like any of the pictures posted.
So there she is my "perfectly round, clear, home made bouncing polymer ball"
On a side note: I just so happen to have 1 oddly formed, opaque, made with love, sideways bouncing (slightly covered in garbage disposal debris) Polymer ball if anyone wants one <3


  1. Your ball turned out exactly as it was meant to - a science classroom experiment to show changing properties of mixtures etc. I've done this with my kids and we treated it more like a bouncy play dough/sensory activity and had fun. The problem with this pin is that the tutorial(s) online show pictures of actual bouncy balls that are made of materials that a normal person wouldn't have access to. So the real fail here is the false advertising. Thanks for busting this pin. Hopefully you'll save some poor kid from thinking they'll get an actual bouncy ball.

  2. I was going to try this one. I still might! I'm sure I could find a use for an oddly formed, opaque, made with love, sideways bouncing Polymer ball. I have grandsons!!!

  3. You and me both, sistah! We do make this occasionally now, but call it a pseudo-slime. Thanks for making me feel like I have a sister in failure.

    1. Oh my this made me laugh!! Sisters in failure unite! hahaha thanks for the vote!!

  4. I wonder if the glue was the problem? White glue and glitter glue have very different structures.

  5. Denise, I used white glue and the author used glitter glue. They both turned out the same.

  6. Is it not fun to experiment? I am an artist/crafter and believe me things don't always go as I planned.

  7. I tried this TWICE thinking maybe I just did it wrong at first, and mine was the same. I disagree w the "science experiment" doesn't bounce even a little, takes days to dry, and isn't at all fun to play with. haha Good call on this one.

  8. I've used white glue and gel glue. Both times were big FAILs.

  9. Actually if I could venture a guess - even the balls in that link aren't bouncy balls. They're those super-absorbent polymer beads that are so popular for flower vases, etc. The photo caption even sneakily alludes to the fact that they're misleading you about your results by just saying "polymer balls CAN BE quite beautiful" (emphasis added...). Totally misleading, not just a recipe fail.

    Borax/glue combos can make a fun rubbery slime, and it's even bouncy, but it won't hold it's shape or anything. (And it's not good for little ones).

  10. I laughed so hard I cried...I'm wondering how half the crap I have pinned on Pinterest would actually turn out...:)

  11. the reason the 'ball' turned out opaque is because of the cornstarch. there is no way that something will turn out completely clear if you are using cornstarch. when you use it to thicken gravy, it looks like milk when you premix it with water.

    as for the stickiness, i might roll the 'finished' 'ball' in a little bit of cornstarch or flour just to get rid of the stickiness.

    as for the timing, i would probably try different wait times for mixing. you never know if thats what will really make a difference.

  12. I am doing this experiment right now and all the "fail" posts I am seeing appears to be ppl who just aren't that patient. The final product in this post shows the ball all sticky... Keep kneeling and rolling and it shapes.

    Not a fail, folks!

  13. You know, I think your problem was timing. The instructions say to wait 10-15 seconds, but the VIDEO that clearly shows a bouncing ball says to to wait 10 minutes! Maybe it was a typo.

  14. I remember making this many years ago in school. The key is to use LIQUID starch.


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