Picture of Tennis Ball Chair
Sarah 3.jpg
I made a pair of these chairs a few years ago while I was in school, and had access to a nicely-equipped shop and, most importantly, a laser-cutter. The tennis balls you see are not glued in place; they are held only by different-sized holes in the top and bottom sheets of plywood. The holes on the bottom are smaller so the balls don't push through when you sit on it. To create the contoured effect, the sizes of the top and bottom holes vary in specific ratios. The balls can still freely rotate and some of them can come all the way out. That said, it is much easier to make without all the contouring, but decidedly less comfortable. I made prototype version in which the balls do not contour, and will include some pictures of that chair at the end of the instructable.

I have unfortunately lost some of the construction photos, so, in lieu of illustrations, have tried to make the written part as detailed as possible.

Everyone always asks me if it's comfortable. Yes. The key here is that the balls are not glued in place or screwed through somehow, so they can flex and deform. With the body distributed over fifty of them, no single one makes a pressure point; the slope on the seat pan, and the U-shaped contour on the back match butt and back as closely as possible, giving spine and tailbone some breathing room.

The fact that they are not fixed in place also means that they shrink and expand from their holes with changes in heat, humidity, and altitude, as the air trapped inside the balls changes in volume.

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terickson34 months ago


小新15 months ago
Skwurlito6 months ago
any issues with tennis balls wedged in you butt crack after prolonged use?
athornton1 year ago
love the idea
Some new schools I've seen dont even have a wood shop class.
memorris0272 years ago
My old dog would've gone nuts over this...
imagine gluing a ton (almost literally) of tennis balls together in hexagon patterns and having a chair that is comprised entirely of tennis balls. It would probably be pretty comfy too.
Hey I found this on google images... if this inspires you
lol send me a link please!
thanks! I'd completely forgotten about this idea!
OMG you just gave me a great idea!!! if i do end up doing that i'll post an I'ble of it (and of course i'll give you credit :) )
ha me and my gifted class are gonna make this. any tips?
jackfrost13 years ago
WUVIE3 years ago
This is very cool!
beet1957 years ago
banane beet1953 years ago
You can go to your local tennis arena/gym(?) and pick some up in the throw-away-your-old-tennis-balls basket. They're there for recycling so if you use them for something-- it's all good!
coolguy6 years ago
Scenario: Tell you're girlfriend to sit in it, when she does say ::sarcastic::"Hey! you're sitting on my balls!"::/sarcastic:: I was also thinking, instead of using two sheets of MDF put some form of mesh/fabric as backing so the balls actually conform to you're body's shape and distribute the weight. Kinda like a trampoline effect but the mesh acts as a firm buffer where the balls act like a soft buffer.
I like that idea... There's some pretty strong mesh materials on the market, nowdays.
NOODLE!4 years ago
thats AWESOME!
Mrballeng4 years ago
Great work!
Mojo_JoJo4 years ago
What you need is a "Do not fart" sign to go with it, or keep a tennis racket handy :-)
okay is this chair comfortable
eyebot1175 years ago
Almost looks painful to sit on........
ANTQNUT5 years ago
oooooooooo I like the black with the tennis balls =D
na you just like balls
im joking

Rich997 years ago
who's your model??? now that's a hot project!
=SMART= Rich997 years ago
she looks bored lol
dhs1985 =SMART=6 years ago
I expected her to look far more excited about sitting in a chair.
ANTQNUT dhs19855 years ago
Fun idea, but looks unconfortable.
It might sell to the kinky crowd. :D
Thats not me :-(
Not you in the chair or your not kinky? We can work on at least one of those. :)
Me. And you will have to find me before you un-kink me.
Un-kink? Why would I want to do that? :P
You said we could work on one of those...
I wasn't talking about un-kinking. I was talking about adding some kink. Haha
I'm all for extra added kink, though I'm sure a tennis ball chair never before surfaced in the list of ideas.
For the sports crowd ;) I'm a baseball girl myself but to be honest, neither of those choices are the balls I'm into HAHA
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