Magic 8 Ball

Learn how to make a DIY magic 8 ball and start fortune telling. Customize it with your own fortunes – it’s like having your own crystal ball.

Magic 8 Ball held in hands showing an answer of 'yes'
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Before we get to the project, I want to clarify that a standard magic 8 ball has 20 answers or sayings. Inside is a D20 (a 20 sided die) so there is an opportunity for twenty different responses. This doesn’t mean, however, that the creator made 20 unique fortunes. For example, half of them could be “Try Again Later,” which always seems to be the one I get.

When making your own, you can have as many or as few answers as you would like. For mine, I opted for 6 different answers to keep things simpler (since the typical magic eight ball answers tend to fall in “yes,” “no,” “maybe,” and “try again later.”)

Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission. It will most likely be for unique items, making it easy for you to find the supplies you need.

Materials for a Magic 8 Ball

  • Fillable Plastic Ornament
  • Wood Burning Tool
  • Foam (I used seat cushion foam)
  • Black Fabric Paint
  • Water Repellent Glue (I used GO2)
  • Water
  • Glue Gun

Start by preparing the plastic ornament. Use a hot knife or a wood burning tool to cut off the bit that sticks out at the top – the part you would normally tie the string to.

Tip: I found using a hot tool made the process much easier, though it could also be achieved with a very sharp knife – just be extremely careful!

Using a heat tool to melt the nub on a clear plastic ornament

Next, we’ll make the inner “die” that has the answer. To do so, cut a small piece out of the foam and shape it into a cube.

Tip: Keep turning the cube around and cutting the sides to make sure they’re all even.

Using scissors to cut green foam
Cutting green foam into a small cube

Using fabric paint, write your answers on each side of the cube. You will need to do this in stages since you want to make sure each side is dry before flipping it over to write on the opposite side.

Tip: Be sure to use fabric paint that has a “writer tip.” If you need help getting the right kind, I put together a guide on the best fabric paints.

Writing "Yes" on a green foam cube with fabric paint that will be the answers for the magic 8 ball

Once you have all of your fortune responses and they have dried, line the edge of half of the ornament with the water resistant glue.

Applying loctite go2 glue to half of a clear fillable plastic ornament

Place the cube inside and attach the the over half, sealing them together. You will likely need to wait 24 hours or however long your specific glue takes to set – you want to make sure it’s ready to be in contact with water.

Pressing sides of a clear plastic ornament together with a the foam cube inside

Using the wood burner, poke a small hole in the ornament. This will be so we can fill it with water so you will want it to be big enough to do so, but also as small as possible so it will be easier to seal.

Burning a hole with a wood burner into the clear plastic ornament containing the foam cube with the written fortunes

Next, fill the ornament with water. I recommend submerging it in water until the air escapes. You can also use an eye dropper to help remove the air and add water.

Submerging sealed ornament in a bowl of water and using an eyedropper to remove air and fill it with water

Once it’s full, use the wood burning tool to melt the edges of the hole back together as best you can. If it’s not completely sealed then you can use a glue gun or the water resistant glue.

Holding a wood burner to close the hole in the plastic ornament
Closing opening in the ornament with a glue gun

Paint the ball with the black fabric paint so it’s completely opaque except for a small section that’s wide enough to read the answer. This will need to be done in at least 2 layers, letting it dry in between.

Tip: Use a plastic bottle cap or similar object that is the size of your answers and place the ball on it. This will allow you to paint all around, while leaving that part unpainted.

Painting the ornament filled with water with black fabric paint, using a black sponge brush so that it's completely covered like a real magic 8 ball
Painting black fabric paint to shape the magic 8 ball, covering it entirely except for a circle to be able to read the response

Once dry you can start asking it questions and play fortune teller!

DIY Magic 8 Ball held in hands showing an answer of 'yes' with the words DIY Magic 8 Ball written on the image

If video is more your thing, you can also watch the full DIY tutorial below.

How to Tell Your Fortune

To use your homemade (or store-bought) magic 8 ball, close your eyes and ask your question. Then shake the ball. Stop shaking the ball and open your eyes to reveal the answer. It’s like gazing into a crystal ball (except with only basic answers). At least you get to play fortune teller or make decisions easier.

“Dear magic 8 ball, it’s been 4 hours, should I keep watching Netflix?” “Definitely.” Welp, the ball has spoken.

After you’re done telling your own fortune, see if these other craft projects might be interesting:

DIY Magic 8 Ball held in hands showing an answer of 'yes' with the words DIY Magic 8 Ball written on the image

Magic 8 Ball

Learn how to make a DIY magic 8 ball and start fortune telling. Customize it with your own fortunes - it's like having your own crystal ball.
Yield 1 Magic 8 Ball
Project Time 30 mins
Dry Time 1 d 1 hr
Total Time 1 d 1 hr 30 mins

Materials
  

  • 1 Fillable Plastic Ornament
  • Soft Foam such as seat cushion foam
  • Black Fabric Paint
  • Water Repellent Glue
  • Water

Equipment

  • Wood Burning Tool
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Paintbrush

Instructions
 

  • Use the wood burning tool to cut off the nub of the plastic ornament
    Using a heat tool to melt the nub on a clear plastic ornament
  • Cut the foam, shaping it into a small cube
    Cutting green foam into a small cube
  • Write your answers one each side of the cube with the fabric paint. Do this in stages since you want to make sure each side is dry before flipping it over to write on the opposite side. Set aside to dry.
    Writing "Yes" on a green foam cube with fabric paint that will be the answers for the magic 8 ball
  • Apply the water resistant glue to the edge of half of the fillable ornament
    Applying loctite go2 glue to half of a clear fillable plastic ornament
  • Place the cube inside and seal the halves of the ornament together. Let it dry according to your glue's instructions (this could be 24 hours).
    Pressing sides of a clear plastic ornament together with a the foam cube inside
  • Use the wood burner to poke a small hole into the ornament
    Burning a hole with a wood burner into the clear plastic ornament containing the foam cube with the written fortunes
  • Fill the ornament with water. You can do so by submerging it in a bowl of water or using an eyedropper
    Submerging sealed ornament in a bowl of water and using an eyedropper to remove air and fill it with water
  • Use the wood burner to melt the edges of the hole back together as best you can
    Holding a wood burner to close the hole in the plastic ornament
  • Use a glue gun to seal any remaining space
    Closing opening in the ornament with a glue gun
  • Paint the ball with the black fabric paint so it's completely opaque, except for a small section that's wide enough to read the answer.
    Painting the ornament filled with water with black fabric paint, using a black sponge brush so that it's completely covered like a real magic 8 ball
  • Let dry
    Magic 8 Ball held in hands showing an answer of 'yes'

Video

Notes

Tip: When painting, use a plastic bottle cap or similar object that is the size of your answers and place the ball on it. This will allow you to paint all around, while leaving that part unpainted.
You may also need to do multiple layers of paint to make sure it's completely opaque.
Keyword Eight Ball, Fortune Teller, Fortune Telling, Magic, Magic 8 Ball

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