Introduction: DIY Hover Ball
If you have a child between the ages of two and 12 chances are you have either seen the commercial for the Hover Ball or have at least heard about it. If not, the Hover Ball is an indoor toy that looks like a soccer ball cut in half that glides easily over any type of flooring. I have personally found it is as fun for adults as it is for kids!
For my son's 5th birthday he begged for a Hover Ball so we ordered one about one month in advance of his big day. They said on the phone it would take approximately 6-8 weeks to get the item. Even though it was possible that we might not receive the item until after his birthday we still decided to order the Hover Ball that we had been hearing/seeing so much about. Unfortunately, my son's birthday came and went without sight of a Hover Ball and after seven weeks of waiting Hover Ball contacted us and said they were canceling our order because they could no longer get the balls from their manufacturer. Ugh!!
After watching a review of the Hover Ball I knew for certain I could just make one (or two) myself! And I easily did!
I have never been able to use an actual name brand Hover Ball, however, the one I made works exactly like I would expect a purchased one to. And after seeing a review I think it certainly stacks up! Very exciting.
You can wait 6-8 weeks or make one yourself by following these very simple steps. You decide!! It took me less then 30 minutes to make one!
This is a wonderful indoor toy for the winter when it is hard to get outside and play. It would be a great inexpensive project for college students for indoor hallway soccer matches in the dorms!
Step 1: Gather Items
Most of these are common household/garage items but some are not and may require purchasing. Here is a list of necessary items:
- Foam ball - I bought a Poof brand soccer ball at Target for $7.99
- Pressing sheets - I found a Dritz brand 18 x 18 inch pressing sheet at Joann Fabrics for $4.25. You want the kind that feels like plastic. Not the cotton kind that looks like fabric.
- Foam board
- Spray adhesive - I used Super 77
- Large bread knife
- Cutting board or other cutting surface
- X-acto knife
- Fine grit sandpaper
- Well ventilated work area - outside is a good idea!
Step 2: Cut Soccer Ball in Half
Place soccer ball on a cutting board or other cutting surface. Notice that the soccer ball already has a visible equator. (Must be how they are made or molded at the manufacturer.) Using a large bread knife carefully cut along that line until the ball is cut perfectly in half. I say 'perfectly' because the bottom piece will never adhere correctly if this is not achieved.
I thought I might be able to just 'saw' back and forth to get through the ball but cutting the ball was not as easy of a task as I thought it would be. The foam is very dense. I had to basically make slices all around the equator and just keep cutting deeper until I finally got through. Be careful not to tear the ball as you cut - take your time!
Step 3: Cut Foam Board & Pressing Sheet
Once soccer ball is cut into two halves cut a circle of foam board that is about 1/2 inch smaller in diameter than the ball (this is what will make the ball look like it is 'hovering'). You can be precise if you want and use a drafting compass but I just eye-balled it by tracing a circle around the ball with a pencil onto the foam board. Then I drew a circle about 1/2 inch smaller and cut it out with an X-acto blade. Being precise = less waste but my foam board was a scrap piece anyway! X-acto blades are very sharp and don't care what they cut. Please use caution.
Now place the foam board disc on the pressing sheet and cut the pressing sheet (with scissors) about 1 1/2 inches larger than the foam board.
Step 4: Rough Up and Glue
Now that the pressing sheet is cut into a circle rough up one side with fine grit sandpaper to make sure to get a secure bond to the foam board with the Super 77. Make sure to only rough up one side.
Spray one side of the foam board disc with Super 77 and stick it to the roughed up side of the pressing sheet centering it as best as possible. Again, it doesn't need to be perfect.
Using scissors cut the overhang of the pressing sheet into one inch strips.
Spray the foam board again with Super 77 and fold over the strips sticking them to the foam board.
Step 5: Assembly, Play & Modifications
Spray the pressing sheet wrapped foam board disc with Super 77 on the side that is folded over. Stick it in the center of the flat side of the cut soccer ball.
Turn it over so flat side is down, on a smooth surface, and sit or kneel on it to make sure the two pieces stick securely. Now, make another one! There is, in fact, a remaining half of a soccer ball that will be no good for anything else!
Kick and play with your new DIY Hover Ball!
****Remember this is an indoor toy that should be kicked and played with on wood or laminate floors, carpet or tile. Do not use outside or on cement.
****After using foam board for the bottom of the DIY Hoverball and having my kids kick this ball all over the house I did find that the foam board does dent somewhat when kicked from one surface to another. This does not affect how the ball glides but if someone makes this for themselves corrugated plastic cardboard might be more durable. I'm not sure, however, if it would be sharp and hard enough to scratch a wooden threshold. That's why I chose foam board.