Instructables

Tennis Ball Tripod

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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.

 
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Step 1: 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.

Scroll down below the photo and click the other pictures for this step.

Step 2: Make Washers

Picture of Make Washers
ball_tripod2004.jpg
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.

Scroll down below the photo and click the other picture for this step.

Step 3: 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.

Scroll down below the photo and click the other pictures for this step:

Step 4: 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.

Scroll down below the photo and click the other pictures for this step:
So simple and clever!
Toga_Dan2 years ago
Cool idea. This is about as small, lightweight and simple as possible.
Toga_Dan2 years ago
Cool idea. This is about as small, lightweight and simple as possible.
SBDFFLS2 years ago
For this tri-pod us there a way to make it adaptable for an iPod touch
that's an awesome creation :)
This is nice for people like me who don't want to spend money, and need a small tripod for sporting events.
Like Wimbledon.
wow...simple and cheap!
I can't seem to cut the tennis ball and I have the same scissors as you
 actualy 1/4-20 is the standard size. so you could use aluminum.
jamiec534 years ago
Awesome idea! Nice Instructable :)
BigMac964 years ago
Absolutely Amazing! I used a longer bolt and a washer and a nut on both sides so I can adjust the height. 5-Stars!
I have the same camera (largan)
iectyx3c (author)  Gamernotnerd6 years ago
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 :)
Ya I love the USB to AV cable
iectyx3c (author)  Gamernotnerd6 years ago
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 http://www.largan.com is gone :(
chg46 years ago
I have that silver largan too
iectyx3c (author)  chg46 years ago
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 iectyx3c6 years ago
SPY OPTION?????? DO TELL!
iectyx3c (author)  chg46 years ago
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 ;)
awsome i am voting for you:)
iectyx3c (author)  dragonslaver996 years ago
hey thanks, way cool ginormous reptile in yer photo!
+1 great job!
iectyx3c (author)  TeacherOfTheWays6 years ago
Thanks -- I liked your skateboard video and rated it +1 for good teaching skills. I learned a lot.
guyfrom7up6 years ago
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)  guyfrom7up6 years ago
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.
Notbob6 years ago
ingenious and original! +1
iectyx3c (author)  Notbob6 years ago
Thanks Notbob -- I hope other instructabuilders will modify and improve on it and post their ideas too.
Awesome! Great job on the Instructable! I might try this out soon, so great job! +1 rating. (added to favorites)
iectyx3c (author)  GorillazMiko6 years ago
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 :)
cgel10156 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
iectyx3c (author)  cgel10156 years ago
It takes longer to read the instructable than to make one. You should try it. Thanks for the rating!
Brennn106 years ago
This will definitely turn some heads! Nice job!
iectyx3c (author)  Brennn106 years ago
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 :)
ultrauber6 years ago
good idea! i love it. the only down fall is that you can't really point it up and down. +1 rating.
iectyx3c (author)  ultrauber6 years ago
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.