Introduction: Popsicle Stick Marble Labyrinth

I've been looking around at different DIY marble mazes, and they are mostly just made of cardboard and look like they will fall apart in a week or else use a 3D printer, which many people don't have.. So I decided to make an Instructable showing you how to make and easy and cheep popsicle stick marble labyrinth in under three hours. This labyrinth includes walls that you have to navigate around and holes that your marble can fall through. it also comes with a maze pattern that you could use, or you could easily design your own.

Step 1: You Will Need:

  • 12 - 15 regular sized popsicle sticks
  • 16 large popsicle sticks
  • Wire cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Elmer's glue stick
  • Drill and round drill bits
  • Round file
  • Scalpel or Exacto knife
  • piece of smooth flat clear plastic (at least 4" by 4", for example from a lettuce box)
  • Airsoft BB or 1/4 inch marble

Step 2: The Base

  1. Trim the rounded ends off regular regular popsicle sticks using the wire cutter.
  2. Cut six large popsicle sticks to the length of the first two regular sticks (approx. 4 inches).
  3. Line them up to form a square and run two beads of hot glue across them.
  4. stick the two regular popsicle sticks onto the glue strips and let the glue cool.

Step 3: The Sides

  1. Cut two more popsicle sticks to the length of the first ones, and two 1/8 of an inch shorter.
  2. Glue the four large sticks together into a box with the shorter ones on the inside.
  3. Glue this box to the base on the side without the cross sticks.

Step 4: The Maze Surface

  1. Make another surface identical to the base.
  2. Cut out a small rectangle on one edge of the maze surface. This is for a ramp for the marble to get onto the surface of the maze.
  3. Glue the maze pattern onto the maze surface using the Elmer's Glue stick, and cut out the ramp hole.
  4. Drill out the maze holes with increasing sizes of drill bits, until large enough for the BB/Marble to get through (about 17/64" bit).
  5. Glue together any cracks or chips that occurred in the drilling.
  6. Use the round file to smooth out and enlarge the holes so that the marble easily fits through them.
  7. If you want, you can number the holes to keep track of how far you get in the maze.

Step 5: The Maze Walls

  1. Following the maze pattern, cut to size and attach regular popsicle sticks to the surface of the maze with hot glue. Make sure to leave some room on the border of the pattern for the outer walls of the maze.
  2. Use the Scalpel to shave down any popsicle stick ends that are to long.
  3. Use regular popsicle sticks with rounded ends removed for the outer walls of the maze surface.

Step 6: The Ramp

  1. Cut a popsicle stick to about 1/3 - 1/2 of an inch longer than the ramp hole in the maze surface.
  2. Carve one end of the ramp into a flathead screwdriver shape. this is so that the marble easily rolls up the ramp.
  3. Glue the ramp onto the side and bottom of the maze box, as shown in picture three, so that the top end of the ramp lines up perfectly with the ramp platform. This may take a couple of tries.
  4. Glue the maze surface to the maze box.

Step 7: The Cover

The cover is used so that the marble doesn't fall out of the maze when you tilt it to far, and also so that you don't ever use the marble.
  1. Trace the top of the maze onto the clear plastic sheet. cut it out roughly.
  2. Put the BB/Marble into the maze.
  3. Glue the plastic sheet onto the top of the maze. Use the scalpel/Exacto knife to shave off any overhanging plastic.

Step 8: Finishing Touches

  1. Scrape off any glue globs that are sticking out from anywhere.
  2. Paint your Labyrinth if desired.

Step 9: How to Use

  1. Tilt your maze in a clockwise direction until the marble rolls up the ramp. Tilt the maze to roll the marble around the labyrinth without falling into the holes. The goal is to get through the whole labyrinth and fall through the last hole (hole #20).
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