Introduction: Tinker Sprinkler

If you or the kids enjoy playing with Tinker Toys, you will love playing with these sprinkler parts. Everything can be found at you local hardware store for hours of outside fun with or without the water.

I created this project for my 3 younger brothers. They love to play and build things in the water. Now we have fun building and getting wet together. 

This was a 4H project I created for Child and Family Development.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Our Tinker Sprinkler includes:

4 - 3/4" PVC 10 ft
10' Vinyl Tube 3/4"
4 - 1/2" x 3/4" adapters
4 - 1/2" poly adapter
8 - 3/4" side outlet elbow
8 - 3/4 " elbow
8 - 3/4" tee
8 - 3/4" PVC Cap
2 - 3/4" PVC Cross
1 - 3/4" PVC Coupling
1 - 3/4" PVC Hose Adapter
2 - 3/4" PVC Ball Valve

2 - Funnels
1 - 4.5 Gal. Bucket
4 - Cans Spray Paint

Our total cost for the materials listed above was $85. Add or subtract number of fittings and pipes to fit your budget.
(Lowe's had a greater variety and less expensive 3/4" fittings than Home Depot.)

Tools and misc:
tape measure
hand saw
drill bits (1/8")
sand paper
painter's tape
rubber mallet

Step 2: Cut PVC and Vinyl Pipes

Cut the 10 foot PVC pipes into desired lengths. We cut ours into 6, 12, 18, and 24 inch pieces.

Sand the ends of each of the pipes to remove rough edges.

Cut the 10 foot vinyl tubing to desired lengths. We cut ours into 2 - 5 foot pieces. Insert adapters.

Step 3: Drill Holes

Drill holes into a few of the pieces and end caps. We drilled 1/8" holes. Do not drill too many holes. You can always add more later. Some tubes do not need any holes. We drilled 1-3 holes in a few of our 6 and 12 inch pipes and end caps.

Step 4: Prepare Pipes for Painting (optional)

If you choose to paint your pies as we did, you will need to prep them.

Wipe the entire pipe with Acetone. "The Acetone does two things: (1) it swells the surface making it slightly more porous and (2) it disperses the surface waxes that are inherent on the surface from the extrusion process when it is manufactured. So, Acetone will also raise the SE of the PVC." (

Place a ring of tape around each pipe where there is a hole to create an easily identifiable stripe.

Spray paint the pipes. We stacked ours on staked dowels in the grass.

Touch up paint and ends if desired. Allow paint to dry fully. Remove tape.

Step 5: Assemble and Enjoy

Attach the hose adapter and begin building. There's no limit to the designs you can build. If you need help getting started, check out a few of our creations.

Adult supervision is recommended. Use caution when building as the water pressure may cause the pieces to pop off. A rubber mallet may become handy to tighten or loosen pieces. If pieces continue to pop off, either decrease the water pressure or add more or larger holes.

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