How to make a medicine ball

If you are wondering how to make a medicine ball on your own then there is a good chance you already know that they are pretty expensive. This doesn’t make you a cheapskate; it just means that you don’t want to pay an arm or a leg for a piece of equipment you plan on tossing around anyway. The best part is that it’s not very difficult to make a medicine ball on your own and if you are really resourceful you can make multiple medicine balls with recycled materials for less than $10, and less than $5 if you’re a pro.

Step 1: Acquire and old basketball, soccer ball, or athletic ball.

When making a medicine ball, find an old basketball, soccer ball, or ball of similar structure and size that is appropriate for what you plan on using it for. The preference is to use an old ball that no longer holds air or is no longer functional for its original purpose (recycle). This way you won’t feel so wasteful when you transform your ball into a medicine ball. However, if you are planning on using the medicine ball more often than your unused athletic ball, then I think you will be alright. If you don’t happen to have an old ball lying around, you could always ask your friends or neighbors for donations. You never know, someone within your circle of contacts might have an old ball that is sitting in their garage or tool shed just waiting for you to turn into a medicine ball.

Step 2: Gather your med ball materials.

Round up and/or buy supplies to make your own medicine ball. You may already own some of the suggested supplies to make a medicine ball and this will reduce the cost of your project. Even if you don’t own a lot of the materials, the cost will still be affordable and beneficial to your pocket book. The supplies you will need to make your own medicine ball are as follows.

  • Rubber patch kit (look in the camping/tent section)
  • Scissors (to round the corners of the rubber patch)
  • Funnel (make one out of a plastic pop bottle)
  • Kitty litter, sand, foam pieces, rubber pieces, rocks, etc. (weight/filler)
  • Duct tape or athletic tape (to help seal the patch and ball)
  • Marker or pen(to mark the ball where you will be cutting
  • Razor blade knife (to cut the ball with)

Most of these items are real cheap. The most expensive items are going to be the rubber patch kit (roughly $3-5), kitty litter ($5), and duct tape or athletic tape ($3-5). However, you can save money by finding your own rocks or dry/clean sand to fill in the medicine ball rather than buying kitty litter. If you live on a gravel road or have a gravel driveway, you can scoop some of it up and put it into your medicine ball project. If you make your own medicine ball and want to reduce the weight while still filling up the volume of the ball, you could cut up an old pair of shoes, use Styrofoam, or cut up an old memory foam mattress top. Adding these lightweight materials to your medicine ball will help fill it and keep it lighter than just kitty litter, rocks, or even sand (heaviest).

Step 3: Cut a flap to add materials to your new med ball

When making your own medicine ball, you will need to cut open a flap in the ball to pour your materials in. You can use either a pen or marker and make a “V” about one inch long by one inch wide. The reason you are making the “V” is because it creates an actual flap that you can open and stick your funnel into as you pour materials into the ball. You don’t have to make a “V”. You could just make a straight cut and that will work as well. However, when cutting into the ball, use caution and use safe cutting techniques with the razor blade knife. If you are not sure you are capable of cutting into the old ball to make your own medicine ball, you could hire someone to take the risk for you.

Step 4: Put materials into your medicine ball

It is not necessary, but it is recommended that you use a funnel when putting your materials in. When you make your own medicine ball, you can put in a variety of materials in to either make the medicine ball heavier or lighter. Sand seems to cover the most volume inside a ball and happens to also be one of the heaviest materials you can put into your medicine ball. It is strongly recommended that this sand is clean and free of moisture or vegetation. The last thing you want is for mold or other plant life to try to grow inside your medicine ball.

If you want to make your medicine ball lighter, it is recommended that you use lighter materials such as a chopped up pair of old running shoes, Styrofoam pieces, or perhaps you can cut up an old mattress foam top cover (egg carton design). Whatever you decide to use when you make your own medicine ball, the ultimate goal is to save money and to recycle any material in your house that you are not using.

Step 5: Sealing up your medicine ball

When you make your own medicine ball, you will have to close it up so the material you put inside does not come out. If you decide to not use a patch kit when you seal up a medicine ball, you could use multiple strips of duct tape to cover the flap. Otherwise, it is not necessary, but highly recommended that you use a rubber patch repair kit with patches that are larger than the flap area on your new medicine ball.

Before you apply the patch kit and sealer, you should use a scuff tool, which usually comes with your patch repair kit. Make sure you scuff at least a 1/4 inch away from the flap area to ensure the patch kit’s rubber cement will stick to the ball. The scuff tool roughens up the area and creates texture for the rubber cement to hold onto. Use your scissors to round the corners of the patch so they are more circular/oval. This technique reduces the chances of the patch peeling in the event you decide not to cover your medicine ball with athletic or duct tape.

Once the rubber cement and the patch are applied, roll the ball onto the patch over some newspaper so the weight of the new medicine ball is pressing onto the patch. Wait an hour at minimum before handling your new medicine ball. However, it is strongly recommended that you completely seal up your medicine ball with either athletic tape or duct tape. When you make your medicine ball, it is up to you to decide which kind of tape you want for your project. Be sure to cover the entire medicine ball with tape to ensure the medicine ball is well balanced in weight and shape.