Make a "Plinko" Prize Board (or Costume!)





Introduction: Make a "Plinko" Prize Board (or Costume!)

In this instructable, I'll teach you how to create a "plinko" board for prize giveaways. Alternatively, you can use it as a tribute costume to the Price is Right, like I did! For those not in the know, Plinko is a game on the gameshow the Price is Right. A puck or chip is dropped into the top of a pegboard where it bounces around until finally coming to rest in a prize slot at the bottom of the board. Plinko is a play on the word pachinko.

Step 1: Test Spacing

To begin, I just started with a piece of cardboard and a large handful of drywall screws. I wanted to test out the spacing of pegs so that the disks I had chosen would work well. I was using the plastic disks/donuts that came from the inside of a large paper roll at my neighborhood drug store / photo counter. They would have been in the trash otherwise, so I was helping out! They were about 2.5 inches in diameter, so I initially guessed at making the triangle at 3.5 inches (to allow for plenty of room in case of a bounce). I pushed the screws through the cardboard from the back and then tried dropping my puck down the board. It worked great! You'll have to adjust your spacing (and test) depending on what you choose as your puck. I used the triangle piece of paper as a template and just kept moving it. You could be more precise and make sure your pegs were colinear, but I decided just eyeballing it was enough.

Step 2: Transfer to the Plexi

I was satisfied with my placement from the cardboard/screws, so I used the cardboard as a template to mark holes on the plexiglass for drilling. If you were being more exact, you'd have to recreate the pattern on the plexiglass after testing with the cardboard and screws.

Step 3: Drilling

Place the plexiglass on top of the back board in the proper placement. You may wish to tape down the plexi to prevent it from twisting with the drill. I used a piece of sacrificial wood underneath my backing board, and would drill straight through the two layers on top of it (plexi, back board). Hold down the plexiglass as best you can, and as close to the hole as you feel comfortable. If you are not careful, the plexi will want to jump when transitioning from the plastic to the wood underneath. If this happens, you will get a hairline crack in your plastic, and it will make you a sad panda.

Step 4: Add the Pegs

Do a test fitting of the pegs with the plexiglass. The plexiglass is held off of the backboard with nylon spacers. The pegs themselves are just machine screws with locknuts on top of the plexi. During the test fit, you shouldn't need to tighten down the nuts very much at all. The plinko board works best if the spacers can "spin" slightly on the machine screws, rather than being locked down tight. This prevents pucks from possible perilous placement (the puck getting stuck while coming down the board). In preparation for testing, I've added side rails. The side rails are just pieces of square dowell (hobby shop). I held them in place with masking tape for this incarnation, but in the final assembly, they are hot glued to the backer board.

Step 5: Test It Out Before Paint and Assembly!

Here's a sample test run!

Step 6: Decorate (paint)

Now we disassemble everything and make it look like Plinko!

Step 7: Final Assembly

After paint, we put everyting back together. The pegs are easier with two people (thanks Michelle!). The side rails were hot glued in place, then covered with the same yellow electrical tape. Smaller square dowells were used to make "slots" under the pegboard area. The catch for the pucks was made from "corner guard." I cut a "V" in the corner guard (one side of the "L"), and then bent the plastic to form a 90 degree bend.

We put crisscrossing shoulder straps on the back. The straps were made of denim, and were held in place by screws and nuts.

Everyone really enjoyed running up and getting to play!



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    Pegboard is easy to use I cut dowels that fit tightly into the board. Also instead of disks(can be difficult to find) I went to ping-pong balls and cover the whole thing with an acrylic sheet. Took me four hours without paint to build

    Do the nylon spacers necessary? Having trouble tracking them down.

    Do you have to use nylon spacers? I'm having trouble getting them

    Showing ya some love!

    I love this idea, have built one in the past but called it "Drinko"

    I am looking to add touch sensitive led lights in the pegs though so they light up as the peg touches them. Anyone have any ideas on how to do this?


    What did you use for the Plinko chips or coins or whatever they're called?

    1 reply

    Head to your nearest Walgreens/CVS/Pharmacy with a 1-hour photo lab. (We had a really good friend who was a photo lab manager) We used the endcaps that they had in the rolls of paper they fed into their machines, and then just covered them with little disks of paper.

    i have just a few days left to figure this out. first can i make a plinko game without a plexiglass? I dont want the game to be too heavy to transport. Not to mention if the game is tilted maybe plexiglass wont be needed. secondly i agree with the  pegboard to use instead of drilling holes but my  concern is will the pucks slide down smoothly to the slots below? Also where can i purchase real pucks for the game and  do u know the proper size of the puck?

    i am asking this because iam in charge of games for a school carnival and the carpenter needs specific detailed instructions on how to make the game and is wondering should he hold off until we purchase the pucks?

    1 reply

    If you are mounting the board on the floor or whatnot, certainly you could go without the plexi.  We wore our board as a costume, so we needed the pucks to still fall without falling out of the board.  I don't have a good suggestion of what to use for pucks other than you can buy pre-cut wooden circles at most hobby stores, and then you can choose your peg spacing appropriately.  Maybe this would work better: (it uses poker chips and peg board).  More info here too:

    What was the final size of your plinko board?

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    I don't know off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure I used a 20"x30" piece of plexi... maybe 24x36, but I'm thinking it was 20x30. And then the "bezel" around the peg area was likely 4-6" on the sides and 8-10" on the top. The bottom, to allow for the catch and numbers, was taller, likely 12-14".

    i think that i like pickles to because they are tastey

    Where did you get the Plinko logo and puck covers? Is there a file somewhere? And what is the "corner guard" material? Would I find it at Lowe's or Home Depot?

    1 reply

    I made the logos on the 'puter... I largely used the fonts from the Price is Right font archive (can't believe the things you find on the internet). Send me an email to (just remove my pants), and I'll attach the files for you. The corner guard stuff is the semi-flimsy plastic "L" shape that you sometimes see on the corners where two walls meet... meant to protect the corner from chipping or nicks when things bump the corner.

    You could also easily use peg board instead of the 1/4" plywood, it would alleviate having to drill holes throughout the plywood and would make it lighter.

    1 reply

    I actually thought of this... but the problem is the hole pattern.... also, I had plywood lying around, so it was cheaper. The holes are in an offset pattern.