Yes I had other things I should have been doing on Saturday but I found a box of cardboard tubes that I had been saving for this project and I couldn’t resist (this is why my house never actually gets organized!).
The only planning I did involved a quick glance at one picture on Pinterest, otherwise for better or worse, I made it up as I went along. This is something anyone can do and if you put a little more time into it than I did you could come up with something really creative.
I loved this idea when I saw it but wondered if it was actually going to be any fun. I mean, in mine the ball really can only go one direction, you can’t do races or anything fancy. But I think I enjoy watching it just as much as my daughter. It is just fun to watch the little ball travel down.
Actually I realized we didn’t have any balls or marbles so we used our collection of Mountain Laurel seeds that we have been saving with plans to drill holes in them to make beads (I’m telling you there are too many piles for future projects in this house, though in this instance they did come in handy).
We only got about halfway through building it before I ran out of tubes. It was good timing though because I was almost out of glue anyway. I’m pretty stingy on paper towel and toilet paper use so it takes a while to accumulate more. But we will look forward to finishing it up some day soon.
Okay so how to make this or something like this, you will need:
A big sheet of cardboard, I took a box and laid it open and then duct taped the edges together to make a flat cardboard piece.
Hot glue and glue gun
Cardboard tubes from old paper towels and toilet paper
Marbles or anything that rolls
I covered my cardboard with a scrap of blue cloth (If you have ever gotten a large gift that came gift wrapped from Amazon, it comes in a giant plasticy fabric bag, I cut mine up and used it as a backing, just for color).
A ribbon if you want to hang it.
How to Assemble:
1. Start by getting your backing piece assembled. I cut up a cardboard box and duct taped it to make it one flat piece. Then to be fancy I took a piece inexpensive fabric and hot glued it over top and then stapled the edges. My cardboard is a bit flimsy so I have to keep mine hung up, others I saw looked stiffer so that you could just lean them against a wall.
2. Start placing cardboard tubes. I hot glued them in place for the most part but if I could reach with the stapler I added a staple or two for more stability.
3. Test as you go. I was surprised at how often the balls didn’t do what I thought they would, sometimes they would get going too fast and fly off, other times they would bounce or get stuck. So before you secure the tube do a few test runs to make sure it works the way you expect it to.
In total I spent about 2 hours from start to finish on this. It was a lot of fun to make and is a great toy that anyone can make at home for almost nothing. Enjoy and post a picture once you get one put together.