Amy’s Free Ideas

Make a foosball game out of a cardboard box and toilet paper tubes. Making it out of wood is sturdier, but it will also cost more, and needs woodworking tools. Here is how to make a cardboard one.

  1. 1.Find a sturdy cardboard box.

  2. 2. Cut off the top flaps, and trim them to fit  inside the box.

  3. 3.Cut the 4 corners half way down--measure them so all 4 corners are cut to the same height.

  4. 4.Score a fold line on all 4 sides of the box--on the inside of the box. Use a box cutter and metal ruler, if you have one. Be careful not to cut all the way through. This will make folding the flaps much easier. If you don’t score it first, when you try to fold the flap inside, it can buckle and end up crooked.

  5. 5.Rub glue all over the inside of one side of the box. Put the cut-off flap next to the bottom and fold the top half down over it. This makes each side 3 layers thick--to make it stronger to stand up to playing the game. Put cans, books, or something heavy on top of the glued layers to hold them together until the glue dries.

  6. 6.Cut out a small rectangle for the soccer goals on both ends. Since each end is 3 layers thick, you will need to cut each goal hole in 3 places.

  7. 7.Glue the other 3 side by repeating step 5

  8. 8.Decorate the box by painting, or glue on colored paper.

  9. 9.Make holes on both sides of the box for the dowels to go through. The number of holes depends on how big the box is. You will need a minimum of 4 holes on each side--one dowel for the goalie, and one for the front line of players for each team. If the box is big enough, you could make another row of players per team. Be sure to measure the height as well as distance from the ends so that all the holes are even--if you are sloppy on this step, the dowels can end up crooked, which will make it look bad, and make it hard to use.  To check the height, hold the toilet paper tubes next to the holes-- you don’t want the dowels so high that the players can’t reach the ball, or so low that the players hit on the ground and can’t move. If you have a power drill, this may be the easiest way to make holes. If not, start with a small screw and screwdriver to make a small hole. Then use a bigger screw to make each hole bigger. Keep increasing the size of the screw until the hole is big enough for the dowel to fit through without sticking.

  10. 10. Glue a metal washer on both sides of each hole to make the holes stronger so it is harder to tear the hole in the heat of the game.

  11. 11. Collect one toilet paper tube for each soccer player (football player). It depends on the size of the box for how many will fit in the box. A minimum would be one goalie and 2 or 3 players for the front line of each team--8 players are shown in the photo above.

  12. 12. Cut each tube from end to end.

  13. 13. Squeeze each tube until there is a double layer on 2 sides.  Glue or tape the tubes in this smaller size.

  14. 14. Poke both sides with a pin or tack. Use the same screws as used above to open holes in each tube until the dowel fits snuggly. (even though you checked before, hold the toilet paper tubes up to the dowel holes again to decide where to put the holes on the tubes to make sure they will fit on the dowel without dragging on the floor of the game

  15. 15. Draw a figure on each tube, or print out my sheet of players, color them in, then cut out. Glue the figures onto the dowels.

  16. 16. Push all the players onto the dowels, fit them into the game board to see where they should all fit. The dowels for each team should stick out of the box far enough that a player can hold them (see diagram.)

  17. 17.Glue them in place. Let the glue dry if a glue gun was not used.

  18. 18.Take the dowels back out and wrap a rubber band around each end, and roll the rubber bands close to the players.

  19. 19. Replace the dowels.

  20. 20. Twist a third rubber band around the end of each dowel on the end that will not be held while playing the game. This is to keep the dowel from being pulled out of the hole during play.

  21. 21. Readjust all 3 rubber bands on each dowel to protect the “players” and keep the dowels from coming out.

  22. 22. Repeat step 17-21 on the rest of the dowels.

  23. 23. Draw black pentagons on a white wooden bead or ping-pong ball.

Optional: Glue a net over each goal to keep from having to chase the ball across the room each time a goal is made. Use a net bag that oranges, onions, or garlic came in.

Optional: Make a score keeper: Cut the hook off of a wire clothes hanger. Straighten the wire, then cut it in half. Write numbers one through nine on wooden or plastic beads with a permanent marker. Push 9 beads onto the wire, and bend the two ends near the beads, but leave extra space--about the length of two beads. If you don’t leave this space, you won’t be able to move the beads to keep the score. Poke the ends of the wire into the end of the box over the goal. Repeat for the other goal. Move a bead over each time a goal is scored.


Coming soon