Introduction: Tennis Ball Tripod

Picture of Tennis Ball Tripod

Recycle a dead tennis ball into a pocket camera tripod.

Get sharp photos using a wall, fence, tree branch, door, car hood, bamboo pole, or a signpost.

Velcro, bungee or hang from a suction cup with the optional mounting holes.

Step 1: Mark and Cut

Picture of Mark and Cut

Cut the ball in half with an kitchen scissors, a craft knife, or even a kitchen knife.

Wear good safety goggles. Blades can slip or snap.

Mark three tripod feet on the edge of the ball with a pen or pencil.

Each flat foot is about 3/4 inch (18mm) wide.

There should be about 2 inches (50mm) between the edges of the feet.

Cut arches between the feet to make the basic tripod shape. Arch size and shape are not important.

Cut a 3/4 inch hole in the top of the ball.

Optional step: cut a side slit in the top hole for more tilt.
Optional step: make bungee cord holes above each foot.

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Step 2: Make Washers

Picture of Make Washers

Cut two circles from the other half of the tennis ball.

Each should be about 1.5 inches across.

Drill, cut, or punch 1/4 inch holes in their centers.

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Step 3: Assemble

Picture of Assemble

Buy a 1 inch plastic bolt, 25 cents at Home Depot.

It should be 1/4 inch diameter and have 20 threads per inch. This is close to the standard camera mount size. Since the bolt is soft plastic it will not strip or damage your camera.

Push the bolt through a washer so it sticks out of the felt side.

Then put the bolt through the tripod base from underneath.

And finally press the other washer on the top.

Now you can screw the tripod into the mounting hole on the bottom of your camera.

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Step 4: Use for Web Car Fence Window Wall

Picture of Use for Web Car Fence Window Wall

Use the tennis ball tripod on your desk for a web cam

The rubber feet keep the tripod from slipping on your car roof for quick group shots.

Optional bungee cord holes let you attach it to vertical, diagonal or horizontal poles, posts, fences and trees.

Suction cups let you mount your camera as a bird feeder or surveillance cam.

Or prop and level your camera against a wall, window or door jamb for steadier shots where flash is not allowed.

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Yonatan24 (author)2016-08-24

Hi, I've added your Instructable to the "10 Things YOU Can Make From an Old Tennis Ball!" Collection

Here is the link If you are interested:

RuudvandeLooij made it! (author)2015-08-11

After last vacation I really wanted a small tripod so me and my girlfriend can take some pictures of us together during our walks. We use the self timer and put the camera just somewhere random where it sort of keeps standing and points in our direction. We already have a small tripod but it doesn't work the way we want.

This means buying a gorillapod, which I find pretty expensive for a maximum of 10 pictures I will take with it a year. Or I could make it myself, which brought me to this instructable. What I like about it is that it gives a low center of gravity and plenty of friction so it can be positioned on a small slope.

To bad the standard screw size for camera's is English 1/4 BSW where everything here is metric. I was lucky to have a bolt tap of this size which I could use. So thanks for the instructable.

softenersreviews (author)2013-03-02

So simple and clever!

Toga_Dan (author)2012-07-26

Cool idea. This is about as small, lightweight and simple as possible.

Toga_Dan (author)2012-07-26

Cool idea. This is about as small, lightweight and simple as possible.

SBDFFLS (author)2012-07-18

For this tri-pod us there a way to make it adaptable for an iPod touch

projectsugru (author)2011-06-22

that's an awesome creation :)

c ssgt seifer (author)2009-03-08

This is nice for people like me who don't want to spend money, and need a small tripod for sporting events.

alexw2150 (author)c ssgt seifer2010-11-09

Like Wimbledon.

Mrducttapestuff (author)2010-10-26

wow...simple and cheap!

insructoperson (author)2010-09-04

I can't seem to cut the tennis ball and I have the same scissors as you

robotmastern (author)2010-03-12

 actualy 1/4-20 is the standard size. so you could use aluminum.

jamiec53 (author)2009-11-02

Awesome idea! Nice Instructable :)

BigMac96 (author)2009-09-25

Absolutely Amazing! I used a longer bolt and a washer and a nut on both sides so I can adjust the height. 5-Stars!

Gamernotnerd (author)2008-03-31

I have the same camera (largan)

iectyx3c (author)Gamernotnerd2008-04-01

You have one too? This little Largan camera is a great webcam. And with the macro feature it takes good instructables photos. Good for taking MemEx photos when you see something cool you want to remember, isn't it? I have to hold my finger partially over the flash for macro shots to keep them from washing out though :)

Gamernotnerd (author)iectyx3c2008-04-03

Ya I love the USB to AV cable

iectyx3c (author)Gamernotnerd2008-04-03

The AV cable is awesome. The only thing that would make it perfect is if it were driver-less. Kind of like a USB flash drive. Newer small cameras just plug in without drivers. And now is gone :(

chg4 (author)2008-04-03

I have that silver largan too

iectyx3c (author)chg42008-04-03

Largan is like Timex -- man I carry that in my pocket w/ no case, runs like forever on reg. batteries. Also cool is that y. can turn off the beep for "spy" photos.

chg4 (author)iectyx3c2008-04-03


iectyx3c (author)chg42008-04-03

Glad to help. On my Largan, with the power off, I hold down the top grey button in back and press the red power button. Now the bell icon in the LCD display will be marked off. The camera will not beep for this session. Darn useful to know ;)

dragonslaver99 (author)2008-04-03

awsome i am voting for you:)

iectyx3c (author)dragonslaver992008-04-03

hey thanks, way cool ginormous reptile in yer photo!

TeacherOfTheWays (author)2008-03-14

+1 great job!

Thanks -- I liked your skateboard video and rated it +1 for good teaching skills. I learned a lot.

guyfrom7up (author)2008-03-14

huh, I could of swore I saw this somewhere else when I was trying to make a camcorder holder, eh good job anyways

iectyx3c (author)guyfrom7up2008-03-15

You did see it all over photo blogs and web sites when I first posted it last year. All of them link back to instructables. Due to popular demand, I reposted it. Thanks for your kind words.

Notbob (author)2008-03-14

ingenious and original! +1

iectyx3c (author)Notbob2008-03-14

Thanks Notbob -- I hope other instructabuilders will modify and improve on it and post their ideas too.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-13

Awesome! Great job on the Instructable! I might try this out soon, so great job! +1 rating. (added to favorites)

iectyx3c (author)GorillazMiko2008-03-13

Hey GorillazMiko, always glad to hear from you. You can make this in 15 minutes or less and it really works for small cameras. See my changes about adding holes for bungee cord hooks so you can strap it onto chairs, bikes, trees, posts and railings :)

iectyx3c (author)2008-03-13

It takes longer to read the instructable than to make one. You should try it. Thanks for the rating!

Brennn10 (author)2008-03-13

This will definitely turn some heads! Nice job!

iectyx3c (author)Brennn102008-03-13

Thank you. This gets a lot of comments wherever I use it. It makes me wish tennis balls were dull gray like when I was a kid :)

ultrauber (author)2008-03-13

good idea! i love it. the only down fall is that you can't really point it up and down. +1 rating.

iectyx3c (author)ultrauber2008-03-13

Thanks! You are right about the tilting. I forgot to mention that I have since added holes to let me use a bungee cord to strap this to chairs, bikes, poles, trees and then of course you can tilt it much more. You can also cut a keyhole shape in the base which allows you lots of tilt. Plenty of room for changes to this basic design. I hope readers will point out improvements they have thought of.

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