We are on a quest to add some really fun things to our backyard, and this DIY tetherball set was an easy weekend project that our whole family loves!
After re-discovering tetherball at our friends’ home several weeks ago, the kids begged us to get a tetherball set for them. I checked them out on Amazon, and when I saw the price (around $100), I knew I could make one for less. I did! I saved more than half by making our own, plus it’s incredibly sturdy and durable. We absolutely love it, and our family has already spent a lot of time outside enjoying it.
Easy to do, and half the cost!
It really is so worth it to make your own. It only took about an hour to put together, then 24 hours of drying time. Totally an easy weekend project! When you add in the facts that you can not only save more than half of the ones at the store and that it’s way more sturdy, you’ve got a winner!
If you’re wondering about ages, even young children can enjoy playing, all the way up to adults. My five year old boys are totally obsessed with it, and they could have easily played last summer as well, at the age of four. I love that my kids can play together, or even one of them alone.
Here’s the price breakdown:
(these prices may vary where you live, or where you purchase them)
Tire – free
Pole – $15
Rebar – $1.50
Wire – $2
Cement – $6
Hardware – $5
Ball – $15
I saved more than $60!! Woot!
Here’s how to make your own DIY Tetherball Set:
- tire (no bigger than a car tire–not SUV) (we found ours at a local junkyard for free!)
- 1 5/8 x 8 ft. 16 gauge galvanized steel line pole
- (2) 1 ft. pieces of rebar
- cement (180 pounds–we used 3 bags, 60 pounds each)
- 5/8 x 3 in. round swivel eye bolt snap
- 1/4 x 2 5/8 in. eye bolt
- 2 washers, lock washer, and nut (all 1/4 inch–we bought a package that had all three in it)
- 18 gauge galvanized wire
- tetherball with rope (this is the one we got–it glows in the dark!) (affiliate link)
- drill (impact drill with bit made for metal)
- supplies to mix cement–shovel, container, water (we put ours in a large bucket)
1. Drill holes into one of the ends of your line pole, in a cross pattern. (The ends are the same, so it doesn’t matter which one you do.) Ours are about 2 inches from the bottom pole, and then 5 inches above that. To determine how far apart to drill your holes, measure the inside of your tire. It’s going to be buried in the cement, so you don’t want it to poke out the top or the bottom of your tire. Slide in the rebar, and use the galvanized wire to secure them into place. On the other end of the pole, drill a hole for the eye bolt, and secure it with a washer and the 1/4 inch nut.
2. Set out your tire on a large garbage bag. Mix your cement (we used a shovel and an inexpensive container that we bought at The Home Depot), making sure to follow the directions on the bag. We used the Quikrete brand, which dries pretty fast–within 24 hours we were ready to play!
3. Shovel the mixed cement into the tire, spreading and evening it out as you go. Set up a tall ladder right next to the tire (or something else you can steady the pole and keep it in place with). Push your pole with the rebar end first down into the cement, making sure it’s centered, and that the rebar is completely covered. If you get cement on the tire, don’t worry–once it’s dry, you can scrape it right off.
4. Use a level to make sure it’s standing completely straight, then use the galvanized wire to tie it to the side of the ladder so it will stay that way while it dries. You’ll see we had lots of helpers! Our kids loved to help, and an extra pair or two of hands on these last steps really are necessary.
5. Let it dry! We added the kids’ names into the cement after 3-4 hours–don’t do it right away, you’ll need the cement to be semi-firm to hold. My husband was the overseer of this part, and let the kids do it themselves. If I had to do it over again, I would just have him do it–it’s a lot more difficult for kids to do it, they generally aren’t strong enough to write it deep enough.
6. After the cement is totally dry, clip the snap bolt onto the eye bolt at the top of the pole, and tie the rope onto the swivel portion of the snap bolt. You don’t have to use a snap bolt, but it makes it a lot easier if you want to remove the ball.
You’re done, and ready to PLAY!!!