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How To Mark A Soccer Ball? 3 Interesting Methods

How To Mark A Soccer Ball? 3 Interesting Methods

Original soccer balls are usually costly which is why their owners often mark them. Although soccer balls are precious and prized, they can be forgotten in a hurry, especially after a disappointing match.

The most common reason why people mark soccer balls is that making a symbol on the soccer ball that only you can identify will help you in easily retrieving your soccer ball even when mixed with other similar-looking soccer balls.

Nobody would want to lose a newly purchased soccer ball for lacking tangible proof of identification. Raggedly putting your name on a ball with a sharpie for easy identification can either make you look weird or immature.

Even worse, it can ruin the ball or cause them to deteriorate faster thereby defeating the purpose of the marking.

This problem is the reason why ball owners have invented fashionable and creative ways of marking soccer balls without making them look less attractive or odd. It might be strange to you but like most valuables, soccer balls can also be marked to avoid misplacement or theft.

Aside from playing soccer balls, marking them can also be fun and you can even use this means to test how creative you can get. It doesn’t take many tools, time, or effort to customize or personalize soccer balls.

You can either use ink, paint, print, or any other methods you deem conducive depending on the original design and surface texture of the soccer ball you are marking.

Soccer balls are not only marked by individuals alone, even big clubs and organizations mark soccer balls to make them suitable for certain occasions such as charity matches and other similar events.

We understand there are speculations that marking soccer balls will make them damage faster. Well, that may be true depending on how you go about it.

We will guide you on this article using easy step-by-step methods which you can apply while marking your soccer balls to avoid losing them.

How to mark a soccer ball?

There are many different ways of marking soccer balls in such a way that the marking won’t wash off easily or cause the ball to lose its structural integrity.

Leather balls are often marked with brush or dye while some people prefer using the laser engraving method which is more expensive but easier and more durable.

The marking of soccer balls is a relatively new practice when you compare it to the origin of the game. Early soccer balls were coarse and absorbed water which made them notoriously heavy. So, people hardly bought them for personal use.

soccer ball with pattern on the soccer field

The modern 32-panel ball design was invented in the year 1962 by Eigil Nielsen. This soccer ball design became famous because it was smoother and lighter than its predecessors. Consequently, it was bought by a lot of soccer enthusiasts who personalized them by marking them.

The 24-panel and 42-panel balls overcame the 32-panel balls by offering improved performance and feel on the feet. Playing soccer and owning soccer balls became more attractive and fun with these enhanced versions of balls.

Although there has been a great improvement in the design and performance of soccer balls since the invention of the spherical truncated icosahedron black-and-white patterned balls, most soccer enthusiasts still prefer buying soccer balls with hexagonal patterns on them.

There are four major components of a soccer ball which include the bladder, lining, stitches, and cover. Adequately understanding these components and how they affect the overall functionality of the soccer ball will help you decide which marking method will best suit your kind of soccer ball.

When selecting a suitable method to be used in marking your soccer ball, there are many factors to consider such as the size of the ball, purpose of the ball (practice or match), playing surface, etc. Make sure you keenly check the ball’s specifications before making your final decision.

In this section of the article, we will be showing you the most common ways you can adequately mark soccer balls to make them unique as well as attractive.

Permanent marker method

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This method is amongst the cheapest ways to mark soccer balls because it only requires a permanent marker and able hands. You can use different colors of markers depending on the initial color of the soccer ball you are working on.

Bear in mind that some colors don’t look good together. You might want to use a color wheel to pick your color combination when in doubt.

Most people prefer to use black permanent markers in accomplishing this method because they go well with most colors. You can mark your soccer ball in either big or small letters as long as they are visible enough and not exceeding one panel of the ball.

marking soccer ball with a blue pernament marker

It is preferable and more professional to use your initials in marking your soccer ball instead of your full name. Having good handwriting or graffiti skills will do you a lot of good because the natural aesthetics of your soccer ball will be improved after marking it.

Before you start marking your ball, make sure the surface of the soccer ball is clean and free from dirt. Test the marker you intend to use to make sure that it is a permanent marker before applying it to the ball’s surface.

Some markers easily wash off when they come in contact with water—and soccer is played in diverse weather conditions.

Make rough sketches of possible marks you intend to use on a piece of paper and select the best from them. After making your choice, carefully sketch it on a panel of your soccer ball and allow the ball to sit out for a day so it could cure properly.

If you are not the type who can write or sketch well, you can simply paint a whole blank panel of the soccer ball or draw a circle or circles around the valve of the ball. These markings can seamlessly blend well with the design of the soccer ball depending on the color of the marker used.

If there are extra marks on the soccer ball after marking, they can be erased using hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol.

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Printing method  

Soccer balls can also be marked by putting custom prints on them. The major advantage of this method is that the kind of prints attainable is unlimited. Also, the finish is smoother and more attractive than painting in most cases.

Designs made on soccer balls can range from logos, names, initials, and some complex art patterns which are transferable by heat or friction. The materials used in making these prints can be found easily in our houses.

soccer ball with a logo printed on it

The major equipment you will need to accomplish this procedure is a heat press. In the absence of that, you can improvise with a mini crafting iron or an electric house iron depending on the size of your design or pattern.

The house iron is suitable for larger designs while the mini-iron is suitable for small designs. Other equipment needed for this procedure are scissors or pick tools, some hotfix tape, and a thin, elastic material where you can easily transfer your design.

EasyWeed stretch materials are the most suitable because they hardly leave stains on the ball after pressing.

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Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

To better understand the process involved in accomplishing this method, we are going to divide it into simple steps.

Step 1

Visualize and create a desirable design or pattern. If you can’t create charming designs or patterns by yourself, you can seek help from an artist. You can also get samples of good designs from graphic design tools online.

Step 2

Screenprint your desired graphic design on the EasyWeed Stretch which will be used in the next step.

Step 3

Use a scissor or any suitable tool to cut out the printed design on your EasyWeed in a process called ‘weeding’. After weeding, you should have just the design that you want to print on the ball.

Use the hotfix tape to hold down the design you have cut out on the ball. Now your ball is ready for the heat press to fix the design on the ball.

Step 4

The heat press should be set at 304 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be hard to get other alternatives like the home pressing iron to get to this heat, but make sure you set them to the highest temperature.

Since applying heat directly to your ball may ruin the ball, we advise that you cover your heat press with a thick vinyl sheet.

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Step 5

Due to the spherical nature of a soccer ball, you cannot push down the lid of the heat press machine on the ball because it will only be in contact with a small portion of the ball.

If your design is larger, it may not get some areas. What you would want to do is to hold the ball and push it against the lid and gradually rotate so that the head gets to all your designs.

Normally, you should press for 10 to 15 seconds. However, because of the thick vinyl sheet used to cover the heat press machine, you would want to press for a little longer.

If you use the mini crafting iron to thermally transfer smaller prints, make sure you have a layer of paper or vinyl sheet between your design and the iron. Never use the iron directly on balls.

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Step 6

Check your soccer ball for bubbles. When it starts bubbling up on any part of the design, it means that there is a problem somewhere that might need urgent attention.

Bubbles must be eliminated using the safest means possible. In most cases, you just have to repeat the pressing to eliminate the bubbles. Also, the bubbles can be eradicated by puncturing them with the pick tool.

Step 7

Play the ball around for a while to check the stability of the print. Afterward, allow it to sit for about two hours. You can go ahead and enjoy playing your freshly marked ball if the print seems stable enough.

Paint pen method

Acrylic paint pens are very effective when trying to paint surfaces that aren’t paint-friendly like glass cups or soccer balls. This pen can be easily purchased online or in arts and craft shops close to you.

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After buying this pen, you are expected to shake it very well like a can of spray paint to properly mix its content before using it. The brighter the color appears to be, the better the paint will look after it dries up.

You can draw a symbol or unique pattern on the ball with your paint pen. To achieve a better-looking marking on the ball, rough sketches are recommended.

Allow the paint freshly applied on the ball to properly dry in an aerated open space for an hour or two before playing it. Using shouting colors like neon green or pink can make your soccer ball recognizable from a far distance depending on the size of your marking.

soccer ball with a name on the field


The feeling that usually comes with losing a newly bought soccer ball is often disheartening, especially when such balls are not properly marked before being misplaced. A soccer ball that has a mark on it can be returned or easily identified after being misplaced.

When a soccer ball is adequately marked, people with bad intentions will be scared of stealing it even when nobody is watching them. The uniqueness of marked soccer balls makes them safer than unmarked balls.

Marked balls can also be used on special occasions like charity competitions, anniversaries, carnivals, parties, etc. The importance of marking your valuable items cannot be overemphasized especially when they can’t be easily replaced.

Many people use a similar design of sporting equipment, especially soccer balls. So, you can hardly find an exclusively designed soccer ball without paying an exorbitant amount of money for it.

The simple solution to this common problem is by marking soccer balls in ways that will differentiate them from other similar-looking balls around.