Every household has a roll of foil stowed away in a drawer in the kitchen. We use it when cooking and also to wrap leftovers after. This is basically all that we ever use tin foil sheets for, right? Well, our Japanese friends came up with an oddly satisfying way of passing the time by making flawless aluminum foil balls. This quirky DIY project caused quite the frenzy back in 2018. And we think that it would be an awesome pastime again, especially if you’ve run out of quarantine hobbies.
Making foil balls became wildly popular among Japanese DIY crafters for several reasons. To start, the materials and tools required for this project can be found at home. Another reason people liked the peculiar ball-making project was because it is a satisfying outlet for relieving unpleasant feelings like stress and frustration! In fact, simply watching the process alone can make you feel really relaxed already. But trying it out is obviously way more fun!
Making shiny aluminum foil balls has become a huge trend in Japan
In theory, making aluminum foil balls should be a simple activity. All you’ve really got to do is ball up a wad of tin foil and make it as smooth as possible, right? Well, that is correct. But a lot of work needs to go into these two processes, as demonstrated by Japanese YouTuber SKYtomo. In his 10-minute video, the YouTuber shows the entire process, from start to finish. SKYtomo first balls up an entire roll of tin foil into a rough sphere. This initial step isn’t too difficult or time consuming, but the following processes won’t be so easy.
Now that the foil’s been balled up, it’s bound to be large and very crinkled. To flatten its protruding crinkles and compress the ball, SKYtomo takes out his ball-peen hammer and goes to town with it. (You don’t necessarily need to use a ball-peen hammer – get creative!) The flattening and compressing process takes several hours… so be prepared to work your arm muscles out! After hammering the ball into a more flat and compact form, SKYtomo proceeds to the sanding stage to give his foil ball that highly reflective shine. Different grades of sanding paper are used to do this.
The ball needs to be hammered
Afterwards, the ball is sanded numerous times to make it smooth
Once it becomes shiny, he sands it with fine sandpaper under running water. (This method is similar to the process of making Japanese polished mud balls or dorodango.) Finally, when the foil ball became smooth all over, SKYtomo applied polishing cream using a chamois cloth to give the ball it’s mirror-like appearance. Isn’t just so amazing that something so smooth and shiny could be made from a delicate material that easily crumples?
When finished, the foil balls look absolutely flawless
Jewelry artist Atelier Puchuco inspired others to make their own foil balls
— ????puchuco (@puchuco709) March 1, 2018