Customizing a volleyball should be a creative, fun experience. You can customize a volleyball by contacting a company that will print what you want on the ball, or you can customize it yourself using paint and permanent markers. Thinking of ideas for your volleyball customization may be the most difficult part of the process. You can use your favorite idea or decide to use all of your ideas, as long as they can all fit on the volleyball.
1. Purchase a white volleyball from a local sporting goods store. There are different types of volleyballs, so choose a ball that will meet your volleyball requirements. Choose a volleyball specifically made for use outside if you will be playing with it outdoors. The same goes for playing with a ball specifically made for inside use, if you will be playing with it predominantly indoors. Volleyballs also vary in hardness, so choose one that feels the most comfortable to you.
2. Contact your volleyball league to see if there are guidelines for changing the appearance of a volleyball. Your league may not allow any type of decoration on volleyballs you use during a game, so you may have to restrict customized ones to practice and recreational use.
3. Draw a sketch of your volleyball. Include any of the original markings on the ball in your sketch so you can plan precisely where you need to place added decorations. Consider using your name, number, team’s name, team’s mascot, team’s logo, or other ideas you come up with.
4. Purchase paint from a craft store. Take your volleyball with you to the store and explain to an employee what you are trying to do. They will be able to point you in the right direction for the appropriate paint. If your volleyball is shiny, you may want to slightly sand the area where you will be applying paint with a fine grade sand paper. This will help paint stick to the surface.
5. Create or purchase stencils. You can find stencils at craft stores or online. If you want to create your own, find a design you want to stencil on your volleyball. Photo copy the image. Use a piece of tracing paper to trace the design with a fine-tipped permanent marker, breaking up the design into islands and bridges. Islands are the pieces that will be cut out and bridges will keep the whole piece together. Shade the islands so you are not confused when you cut them out. Use a craft knife to slowly and carefully cut out the islands. You will not need bridges if you plan on having only an outline or a solid design.
6. Clean your volleyball, making sure the surface you will be decorating is free from any dust, dirt or hair. Wipe your volleyball clean of any moisture. Cleaning the surface will allow for an efficient customization process, preventing you from having to make adjustments and touch-ups.
7. Attach stencils to one side of the volleyball using double-sided tape. Make sure the edges of the islands are securely attached to the ball with no space between the stencil and the ball. This will prevent paint from going outside the intended lines. Take your time painting.
8. Allow paint to dry on one side of the ball before you begin painting on the other side. If you rush through the painting process, you may accidentally smudge your work.
9. Use permanent markers to easily write on your volleyball. Make sure you also allow enough time for the marker ink to dry.