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The Pintester Takes on Homemade Bouncy Balls

There are two types of people in the world. (Yes, to begin this post, I am going to make a broad, sweeping generalization. Deal.) There are those who get chemistry, and those who don’t. I myself am in the “don’t” category. I consider myself a decently smart person, but chemistry and I have just never gotten along. State changes at the molecular level might as well be magic as far as I’m concerned.

And yet. I thought it would be a good idea to try to make my own polymer bouncy balls using chemistry principles. Hah.

Image from

Image from

Now, really, the instructions are simple enough. You don’t need to boil anything or use a candy thermometer or anything like that, so I figured it would be pretty safe. The hardest part was locating borax, which I eventually just gave in and ordered from Amazon.

bouncy ball ingredients

The second hardest part was opening the damn box.


I dissolved my borax as instructed.

dissolved borax

And then I even added some industrial grade food coloring one of my readers mailed to me! I was pretty excited about that. (I used green, in case it should happen to spill on my 90’s green counters. Them’s smarts.)

green borax

Then I measured out a tablespoon of glue, which takes longer than you might think.

tablespoon of glue

Now here’s where things got a leetle interesting. I had to mix part of the green borax stuff with the glue, and then add cornstarch. And I sort of spilled the cornstarch, so it’s a possibility that I may have added too much. (Do you see now why chemistry and I didn’t get along well?)

mixing balls

I let it sit for a little bit and then stirred it as instructed.

ball in progress

And it did eventually form a ball. A sad, sick, pale green ball, but still, a ball. (I’m really glad that this is the only sad, sick, pale green ball in my life. Just sayin’.)

sad ball

Then I forgot about it for a minute while I was doing something else and let it sit on the counter and when I came back for it, it wasn’t really a ball anymore. Hrm.

not ball

So I did the best I could to re-form it and then I decided that the last test had to be whether it actually bounces or not. See for yourself.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Sooo, yeah, I am going to give this project an F, but if we’re being honest, I got an F in chemistry in school, so the fault is probably my own, somehow.


To see more of Pintester’s tests (most of which are also CraftFails), check out her blog at

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