Cardboard Pinball Machine

You will need:

A Rectangular cardboard box with a lid - bigger than a shoebox is best!

Dowling - we got this from Mitre 10 MEGA

Egg Carton

Cardboard roll

Extra cardboard for features (you might be able to use these from the excess lid cardboard)

A marble - not too big or heavy

Scissors (get an adult to help you with this)

Tape or strong glue

Paint and brushes

Other decorations to match your theme (we’re going with a space theme so we’re adding glowing stars and balloons for planets!)


Step 1:

Adjust your lid by cutting off the excess with scissors so that it fits in the box to make a ramp! Make sure you get an adult to help you with the scissors. Once it fits, secure in place with tape or glue!

Step 2:

Make brackets for your strikers to lean on. Cut some two strips of cardboard and tape them in place so that they curve from the sides down to the bottom.

Step 3:

Add your strikers - Carefully cut a small hole in the side of your box just above where the brackets are. You want small holes so that when you insert the dowel it’s a snug fit!

Step 4:

Making your strikers have pop - To make the rods bounce back into their original place, take some tape and screw it into a small ball and then tape it just between the striker and cardboard hole.

Step 5:

Making the catch - Cut a section from egg carton and tape it sideways in the gap across bottom. You can snip out the top of it to make it easier to retrieve the marble land into the catch.

Step 6:

Make your launcher ramp - take a strip of cardboard and fold it in half lengthways. Then make a hole in the side of your box and stick the ramp in slightly on an angle so the ball will roll down the ramp and into the hole!

Step 7:

Finally add your features and decorate – use cardboard roll to create a tunnel, egg cartons to make bumpers or make additional ramps for the marble to travel up. Paint, draw and customise your cardboard pinball machine however you like!