Last updated on April 27th, 2021
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If you have a golfer in the house, you know that come spring, golf is life. Suddenly, you find that many days a week are dedicated to the sport. If not playing it, then talking about it.
So when I saw this golf ball craft last year on Productive Pete, we were inspired to decorate some of our own for Father’s Day. What a great way to celebrate Dad’s love of golf and Dad.
The best part about decorating golf balls is that they are a great golf gift idea for any occasion. From Father’s Day to a birthday, golfers will love the sentimentality of receiving a personalized set of golf balls.
As any avid golfer knows too, decorating golf balls isn’t just a fun golf craft idea for a quiet afternoon. Marking golf balls before playing with them is actually really important.
When I used to golf more often, we would keep these retractable Sharpie markers (affiliate) on hand in our golf bags. Each player would mark their golf ball with a different symbol. Nothing too fancy – a shape, line mark or letter. Before hitting a ball on the fairway, you double checked the symbol to make sure it was your ball.
Decorating golf balls takes this idea of a simple marking to a whole new level. Instead of just using a basic symbol, you can fully decorate the ball with color, designs and words. A basic white golf ball is transformed into a beautiful piece of art.
Great Golf Gift Idea
As mentioned above, decorating golf balls is the perfect homemade golf gift idea. It mixes creativity and color with a game many love. And they make such a wonderful decoration to display in an office, library or living room.
You can gift a set of personalized golf balls to anyone special in your life that loves golf. Dad, Grandad, Grandma or even your husband.
Or how about a teacher or coach that enjoys the game? Making a set of decorated golf balls is a sweet way to say thank you.
And if the recipient doesn’t just want to display their beautiful golf balls, they can play with them too. Decorated golf balls hit just as far as regular ones. Except maybe not if you deck them out with jewels. More on that below.
The Perfect Golf Party Activity
Hosting a golf party and not sure of an activity for guests to enjoy? Set up a station for decorating golf balls. It’s the perfect craft for a golf birthday party.
Guests can decorate the golf balls to take home and display.
For a golf baby shower, invite guests to write wishes to the new baby on the golf balls. Or they can decorate them with a baby motif. Then, the parents-to-be can display them in the baby’s nursery. What a beautiful handmade artwork idea!
To set up a decorating golf balls activity at your celebration, you will need a basket of golf balls and lots of permanent markers. Make sure that the surface you are decorating on is covered with a tablecloth or plastic drop cloth. This will prevent any permanent marker colorings from becoming, well, permanent.
Add some signage to let guests know the activity. And decorate one or two golf balls in advance so they know what the craft should look like. Include a list of ideas for phrases, sayings or other things to write and draw on the golf balls.
After they have decorated their golf ball, ask guests to sign them with their initials. This way they can always be identified.
What You Need for Decorating Golf Balls
As the avid golfer knows, a golf ball can be easily marked with a permanent marker. So to decorate golf balls, you just need a wide selection of permanent markers.
I recommend a classic assortment of Sharpie markers in fine point (affiliate). The name brand Sharpie is important here for the best results. They are water resistant, have bold colors and are quick drying. An important feature if kids are involved so the artwork doesn’t smudge.
And they don’t fade over time. This will keep your decorated golf balls bold and beautiful for many golf seasons to come.
If you plan on writing a lot of words on your golf ball, you could use the ultra fine point markers (affiliate) to make the lettering clearer. Or this variety of mystic gem colors (affiliate) adds some pastel fun.
Where to Find Golf Balls
When we made these golf balls for our Father’s Day gift, I actually went to our local sports store and purchased the cheapest variety box of golf balls I could find. I didn’t care about distance or performance of the golf ball. They were only going to be displayed.
If you choose to purchase new golf balls, look for ones that are mostly white and have few commercial markings on them. These will make your artwork stand out more.
I discovered after purchasing new golf balls, though, that there is a market for used golf balls. Our local craft thrift shop had buckets of balls donated to them. Although they needed to be cleaned, they were perfect for golf ball crafts.
If you have the time, try to find used golf balls first. When selecting used golf balls for this craft, make sure that they are in “mint” condition and the color states “white”.
And if you’re planning on decorating golf balls as a golf party activity, then you might need lots of golf balls. Consider buying them in bulk. Even Amazon sells large collections of used golf balls such as these (affiliate).
Or check your golf bag. You’d be surprised how many golf balls might be hiding in the pockets. These work fine for this craft and can save some money.
Steps for Decorating Golf Balls
Before beginning the decorating process, it’s important to start with a clean surface. If you are using a set of brand new balls, then wiping them off with a dry cloth should work fine. This will remove any dust particles.
But if you are using recycled golf balls, this step is especially important. To clean the golf balls, start with a hot, soapy mixture. After letting them soak, scrub gently with a nylon bristle brush. You can find more ideas for cleaning your golf balls here.
After the golf balls are clean and dry, it’s time to decorate them. You can decorate them with drawings, words or other motifs. How you choose to decorate them will probably vary based on the gift giving occasion. But, here are some ideas to get you started.
We gave our decorated golf balls to Dad for Father’s Day. The kids decorated the golf balls with some of his favorite things – mountains, lighthouses and food. They also added patterns and colors. Some ideas of things to write on the golf balls include:
“Number 1 Dad” or “#1 Dad”
“Happy Father’s Day”
“I Love You”
If you are decorating golf balls for a baby shower activity, ask guests to write wishes to the new baby on them. They can also add little drawings such as stars, rainbows, cute animals and simple patterns. You can also suggest some phrases such as:
“You are Loved”
“You’ll Move Mountains”
“Find your Adventure”
“Our Little Star”
They can match some of these sweet thoughts with a symbol on the other side of the golf ball.
Thank You Gift
If you have a teacher or coach that loves golf, decorating golf balls for him or her might be a great thank you gift idea. After decorating some of the golf balls with pictures, you can also write some thank you phrases. Here are some ideas:
“You’re the Best”
“Best Coach Ever”
“Thanks for your Guidance”
“Couldn’t Do It without You”
Birthday or Christmas Gift
Decorated golf balls also make wonderful Christmas or birthday gifts for a golf fan. For a birthday present, you can draw pictures of a cupcake, candles, confetti, sprinkles and other birthday motifs. If making these golf balls for a Christmas gift, add some holiday symbols – Christmas tree, star, holly, candy cane, stocking, Christmas lights.
You can also add some fun phrases. For birthday you might include:
“Happy XX Birthday!”
“Cheers to XX Years!”
“It’s Your Year!”
“XX Years Strong!”
For Christmas, you can write “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, “Cheers!” and “Joy!”.
Although the easiest way to decorate golf balls is with permanent markers, you can also fancy up the golf balls with gems (affiliate). Using a glue gun and mini gems, you can bedazzle your golf balls and make them sparkle. You probably can’t play golf with these beauties, but they certainly will add some shimmer to your golf ball display.
After you’ve finished decorating the golf balls, let them dry for a couple of hours. This will guarantee that the ink has properly adhered to the plastic covering. Once they are dry, the golf balls are ready for display.
How to Display your Decorated Golf Balls
There are lots of ways to display the decorated golf balls. We placed ours in a glass dish and they are displayed in our cabinet for all to see.
You can also display in a traditional glass candy jar (affiliate). I’ve used them for candy on dessert tables. But they would also make a beautiful display, especially a place to add the golf balls too if decorating at a party.
Another idea is to display on a wooden egg holder tray. Or on a shelf in a classic metal golf ball basket (affiliate).
Most importantly, choose a display method that works with your space. If you are showing off your golf ball art in a dining room, choose something a bit fancier. But if they will be displayed in a den, then a basket would be great.
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Hosting a golf birthday or baby shower? We have lots of great golf party ideas on our blog. My favorite are these easy to make golf cupcakes. You can also add the Free Printable Golf Tee Flags to create tasty golf holes to enjoy.
And if you’re looking for party designs to match your celebration, check out all of these fun golf party designs in our shop here.