CMA Stories

How-To: Shoebox Pinball

Pinball is a classic arcade game played by flipping a ball around a course to score points. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make your own pinball game with materials you can find around your apartment!

What you’ll need:

bamboo skewer
cardboard
bottle caps
marble
marker
masking tape
medium sized shoebox
ruler
scissors

Steps:

1.  Cut along one end of a shoebox at 1” and the other end at 2”.  Cut a diagonal line along the sides connect those two measurements.  This will be the base for your pinball game

2.  Using the remaining parts of the box, create a 2” high wall around the playing area to keep the ball in play.  Near the bottom area, leave a 1” or so gap for your paddles.

3.  Cut two pieces of bamboo skewer at 3” (toothpicks can also be used) and attach them with tape to the middle of the two gaps on each side.

4.  For paddles, cut two 1”x 8” cardboard strips across the grain (so that the holes of the cardboard show along the length).

5.  Fold the cardboard in half lengthwise and tape the two ends together.

6.  Put the paddles in place using the bamboo skewers.  Keep in mind that the further apart they are, the harder it will be to play.  Adjust accordingly.

7.  Using tape, add bottle caps for obstacles.  The less you add, the easier it will be to play. The more you add, the more difficult it will be to play.

8. Control the flow of play by adding curved pieces cut from the shoebox.
9. Drop your marble in and activate your paddles by moving them from the outside. See how long you can keep the marble moving around the board!

Share your pinball machines with us using #sharewithCMA! How-To Tuesdays are published on our blog every other week, so check back soon for a new project!

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