So enough dilly dallying, allow me to show you a nifty instructable in making your own beginner set of poi for very cheap! And for a limited time only, I'll be breaking down these steps into 5 very easy but unnecessary parts!
Here are the materials you need:
♦ 2 Tennis Balls (about $1 each)
♦ 1 Nylon Rope (50' for about $6)
♦ 1 Pocket Knife (If you don't already have a knife I feel sorry for you)
You don't need these next ones but then again you don't really NEED poi either... they're just nice to have :)
♦ 1 Lighter ($0.50 recommended)
♦ 1 Regular/Super Glue ($1-2, recommended)
Step 1: The Slit and the Ball
With that, part 1 is complete. Go make yourself a cup of tea and procrastinate for a month.
Step 2: Knots!
The rope I used was a 3/16" x 50' nylon rope. On hindsight I think a slightly smaller rope would be better but if you intend to change the rope size, you'll want to either make the knot bigger or the slit in the ball smaller to make sure that in Part 3 the knot actually stays in the ball.
Anyhoo, the knot I used was similar to the Heaving Knot but instead I only wrapped around one of the lines on the loop rather than both. The difference is that the Heaving Knot is more secure (i.e. the end is less likely to be pulled out and undo the knot), but the one I used (whatever it's called) forms a larger knot when tightened, so when I push it into the tennis ball, it will be a little harder to pull out. I ended up wrapping around about 6 or 7 times before pulling the knot tight.
Finished? Awesome. You're awesome.
Step 3: Use the Force
...no wait, I lied. I'm a liar.
Back on topic, we need to steal George Lucas' idea and use the force... to shove that knot you made into that hole you cut and create that poi you wanted! You can place the ball firmly in the palm of your hand (it's safe this time!) and with your other hand just sort of wedge the knot as hard as you can into the slit. It won't feel like it's going in very much but just jiggle-n-wiggle it for a bit and it should slowly slide in. Give it another push and the sucker should pop in no problemo.
If you tied your knot anywhere near as unprofessionally as me, you'll have a ton of little strands or fibers from your rope still popping out. I just took a pen* and shoved those little guys in there. A few jousts should set that issue straight. Ta-da! You have a Tennis Ball with a Rope in the Middle. Not to be confused with my other instuctable on making a Rubber Chicken with a Pulley in the Middle. The optional glue would come in right now, you can squeeze the ball a little bit to make the slit open up and apply glue to the inside of the cut and a little bit to the rope going in. Let the glue dry overnight before testing tension.
*oops, forgot to mention a pen would be nice to have. Backspcae is still for wimps!
Step 4: You Have to Burn the Rope
With a cut rope, you'll get that ugly, pesky fray with the fibers... this is where that lighter would be nifty to have on-hand. Torch the end a little bit and the rope will melt into itself, securing the end so it doesn't unravel.
CAUTION!!! If you do burn the rope, please realize that the rope had just MELTED and therefore you probably shouldn't touch it. I ran mine under some tap water real quick (like a split second) to speed up the process.
Step 5: Better Than Step 4
Step 6: Credits