Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Make a Tetherball

We did this several years ago. My kiddos were YOUNG when I started teaching preschool out of my home … and we didn’t have much in the backyard.

We watched Napoleon Dynamite and one thing led to another.

Just kidding.

It’s a cheap backyard toy and kids LOVE it.

How to Make a Tether Ball www.stylewithcents.blogspot
At the time, we didn’t know exactly what would come of our backyard … didn’t know where the swing set would end up … weren’t sure about the garden. Or 14 fruit trees we would later purchase. So, we wanted the tetherball to be mobile and easy to move around the backyard. If you know exactly how your backyard will be set up, by all means … skip the old tire step and just dig a hole and cement the thing into the ground. :D

For those of y’all like us? Here’s how it goes …

The next time you get your tires replaced … ask to keep your tires. A lot of places CHARGE to get rid of your tires. Keep them. You can build several backyard toys with them. 

Here’s what you need:

an old tire
2 bags concrete (Qwikcrete)
1 steel fence post, with topper
1 tetherball, with string
some big-ish rocks
sheet of plywood (or a sheet of cardboard, if you’re in a pinch)

Here’s what you do:

1. Place an old tire on a sheet of plywood (you’ll toss the plywood later, but it will help hold the concrete in the tire

2. Mix up concrete according to bag

3. Place fence post in the center of the tire, like this:

how to make a tetherball style with cents 5

4. Brace said fence post with a few big rocks around it (some bricks stacked up around the base of the fence post would work nicely too). You’re gonna need an extra person to hold the fence post … for awhile … so pick someone patient. May I recommend not picking your 7 month pregnant wife? ;) I may or may not be speaking from experience here.

5. Pour the concrete into the tire, leaving those big rocks in (they’re gonna help hold the thing up while it dries, so that your 7 month pregnant wife doesn’t have to). Fill the entire tire with the concrete … to do this, you’ll need to maneuver your shovel around into the cracks of the tire, making the cement fall into all the cracks. Fill it all the way up to the top of the tire … you don’t want your tire holding water down the road … it’s annoying. I promise.

6. Grab a level and make sure the fence post is setting up ‘level’ … nothing more ghetto looking than an unleveled tetherball. ;)

7. Once the tetherball is level (and stable – not wobbling all over), you can tell your huge pregnant wife to go take a break and leave it overnight to harden.

8. Buy a good tetherball. I highly recommend any of Mikasa’s tetherballs.

how to make a tetherball style with cents 6

9. Put the excess string to the tetherball inside the fence post and put and end cap on top of the fence post to hold it in place. Like this:

how to make a tetherball style with cents 7

10. Stand back, admire your handy work, and embrace your inner Napoleon Dynamite.

how to make a tetherball style with cents 8

11. Enjoy many years to come … playing tetherball, like the good old days … with your best friends in the whole wide world. Sigh.

how to make a tetherball style with cents 2

This is totally a family sport, y’all.

how to make a tetherball style with cents 4

And it teaches your kids not to cry like sissies when they get hit in the face with a ball.

how to make a tetherball style with cents 3

True story.

Have fun! Come on Summer!!!


  1. thanks for the idea! it never even occurred to me to make our own. my kids love this thang. their old elementary school had one and everytime we'd go to the playground we'd have fun with it. i'd crush them every time. no mercy. its fun being taller than them.

  2. "And it teaches your kids not to cry like sissies when they get hit in the face with a ball"
    A good lesson to learn.

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