Introduction: Whack-A-Virus DIY Game #KeepCalmAndMakeSomething

About: Hi! I'm Natasha. I'm a Tech-Crafter, Maker, and the Designer of TechnoChic DIY Tech-Craft Kits. Technology should be chic!

As a maker, I know the best way to calm my nerves surrounding the Coronavirus is to focus my energy on doing something creative! I'm a freelance educator and with all my work canceled this week, I decided to make something that would inject a bit of humor into this pandemic and be something that others could make as well.

So I bring you the "Whack-A-Virus!"

This Whack-A-Mole inspired game arms you with a bottle of Purell to whack the heck out of the Coronavirus! It's fun to play and a great stress reliever too. I also found a certain therapeutic property to anthropomorphizing the virus as a cute pompom. It makes the whole thing less scary, but I'm still glad I have my trusty Purell to make sure he's pushed out of sight!

This project can be made with materials that many people already have in their house - especially that empty bottle of Purell these days (ammmiright?). And, if you don't have everything, I've listed some alternatives that could work just as well.

I've made the complete pattern available for download so that you can print it, and I've also included the measurements for all the pieces so that you can make it even if you don't have a printer. And for those who are lucky enough to have an electronic cutting machine like a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo, I've included .SVG files for all the pieces to that you can cut them easily and precisely!

I hope you will make this project and customize it to your own unique style! Please share your creations with me and also let me know what you would like to see next!

Follow me here on Instructables and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Happy Making and #KeepCalmAndMakeSomething !

<3 Natasha

Watch all the steps in this project overview video:



  • Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue
  • X-Acto Knife & Cutting Mat
  • Ruler / Straight Edge
  • A Printer (to print the pattern and/or design)
  • (Optional) An Electronic Cutting Machine like a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo


  • A Small, Empty Bottle of Purell
  • Upcycled Cardboard (0.16 in thickness is ideal)
  • A Toilet Paper Tube
  • Duct Tape
  • 5 or more Popsicle Sticks (4.5 in x 3/8 in is best)
  • 3 Plastic or Wooden Dowels, 3.5 inches each (could substitute with popsicle sticks, straws, or chopsticks)
  • Green 1-inch Wide Pom Poms (or yarn so you can make your own)
  • 6 Googly Eyes
  • ~90 Small Red Beads
  • A small tool handle (I used an X-Acto blade handle but you could substitute with a small screwdriver, popsicle sticks, a toothbrush handle, or another small stick/handle-like object)
  • (Optional) Washi Tape
  • (Optional) A Glue Stick or Mounting Adhesive
  • (Optional) Blue Painters Tape / Masking Tape
  • (Optional) Colorful Cardstock or construction paper (This tutorial shows the use of cardstock, but you could alternatively leave the box cardboard color or paint it with acrylic paints)

Step 1: Gather Supplies and Print the Template

In this project, we will be building a simple lever mechanism, constructing a custom box, making a puppet, and decorating our game! The template includes all the shapes that you need to construct this project. First, download and print the template (linked below).

If you can, look around for cardboard that is 0.16 inches thick so that the template will align perfectly. If you don't have a printer, you can read the measurements and draft the shapes yourself. Let me know if you have any questions!

Step 2: Build the Box: Trace and Cut Out the Shapes

Watch the video so that you are familiar with the steps.

First, Cut out all of the template shapes with an X-Acto knife, straight edge, and cutting mat. Then, trace the template pieces onto cardboard using a pencil and cut the shapes out of the cardboard.

Tip for cutting circles:

To cut out the interior circle shapes, use a saw-like motion to slowly and carefully saw along the shape's edge, letting the blade touch through to the cutting mat. Don't feel that you have to cut the whole shape out at once- you only need to pierce the backside of the cardboard. This process will leave tiny holes on the back. Then, flip the cardboard piece over and trace around those tiny holes with your knife. Now, your circle should be free from both top and bottom cardboard layers and you can pop it out!

*** Save the circles! You will use them later in the project

Did you read that note to save the circles? Just checking. Save the circles. :)

Step 3: Build the Box: Create the Holes

After you cut out the Inside Stage Piece, use an Awl or sharp object to poke out the holes where shown. Insert your dowel into the holes and wiggle it around so that it becomes very easy to move the dowel through the hole.

***Note: This piece is not symmetrical! If you are hand-drafting this pattern without a printer, note that the center of the holes needs to be 2.5 inches from one side (which is not in the center). :)

Step 4: Build the Box: Make the Virus Cups

  • Grab your toilet paper roll and cut it into 3, 1-inch sections (you will have a little bit extra, you can discard it).
  • Flatten and manipulate the toilet paper roll rings until they are easy to work with (see the video in Step 2 for an example).
  • Insert the rings into the top piece so that they are flush with the top of the cardboard.
  • Use hot glue around the rings to weld the pieces together

Step 5: Build the Box: Add Color to Inside Stage Piece

  • Glue a colorful piece of paper to the Inside Stage Piece. This should be the color that you want the bottom of the Virus hiding cups to be.
  • Poke holes in this piece of paper where the holes in the cardboard are.

Step 6: Build the Box: Glue the Front of the Box

  • Glue the front of the box to the top of the box at a 90-degree angle. The top of the box overhangs the front and side pieces, so make sure that the top goes over the edge of the front piece when gluing.

Step 7: Build the Box: Glue the Box Sides

  • Glue the side support pieces to the side pieces, making sure they align on the bottom side exactly (see Video in Step 2 for details).
  • Tape the side pieces in place before gluing to align the angles. Make sure the front piece overlaps the side pieces. Glue the side pieces to the box.

Step 8: Build the Box: Insert the Stage

  • Insert the Inside Stage Piece between the side supports and the toilet paper roll virus cups. Note that this piece is not symmetrical, so check to see if the holes on the Inside Stage Piece are in the center of the virus cups. If they aren't, remove the piece and turn it around - that should do the trick!
  • Once the holes are aligned, hot glue the joints in place.

Step 9: Build the Box: Make the Hinges

  • Take out your popsicle sticks and dowels.
  • Cut a 1-inch piece of duct tape and lay it down on the table adhesive side up.
  • Lay the popsicle stick and dowel on the tape about 1/4 inch apart as shown.
  • Wrap the duct tape around to create a hinge.
  • Repeat until you have 3 hinges.

Step 10: Build the Box: Connect the Hinges to the Box

  • Measure and mark 2.5 inches from the tape side end of the popsicle stick.
  • Push the popsicle sticks into the back piece, stopping at the mark.
  • Cut popsicle-stick-sized pieces of duct tape and tape the popsicle sticks in place. I added tape to the top, bottom, and used an extra piece of tape to wrap around the stick for good measure.
  • You should now have 3 functioning levers!

Step 11: Build the Box: Insert the Dowels & Glue the Back

  • Insert the dowels into the Inside Stage Piece from below, then move the back piece into place.
  • Hot Glue the back of the box in place.

You now have a completed box!

Now is a great time to take a break and do a dance, or stretch, or have a nutritious snack. Let's stay healthy people!

Step 12: Design and Decorate: Download and Cut Out Shapes

  • Watch the video for an overview of the next steps
  • If you have an electronic cutter like a Cricut or Silhouette Cameo:
    • Import the .SVG file into your software and cut the shapes out of colorful cardstock
  • If you have a printer:
    • Print the .PDF template.
    • You can cut out the printed graphics and use them in the project, or you can also use them as a template to cut the shapes of other colorful paper.
  • If you don't have a printer:
    • Get creative! You can cut your own shapes out of cardstock, paint the box with acrylic paint, and design your own graphics. I would also recommend adding some glitter glue if you have some - that makes any project pop!

Step 13: Design and Decorate: Color the Virus Hiding Cups

  • Curl the green rectangular pieces inside the Virus cups
  • Position the seam toward the front so that you can't see it. The piece should overlap itself a bit.
  • Glue it in place.
  • Repeat for the other 2 cups.

Step 14: Design and Decorate: Cover the Back of the Box

  • Glue the backboard piece to the front of the back piece, making sure it's centered nicely.
  • Wrap the flaps around the sides of the back piece and glue in place.
  • Place the back piece over the popsicle sticks and glue in place.

Step 15: Design and Decorate: Cover the Top and Sides

  • Glue the rest of the pieces to the outside of the box.
  • I chose to cover the corners with blue painters tape (because I made the box blue) that way, if the placement to my paper pieces wasn't perfect, it wouldn't show. You could also accomplish this with some like-colored paint, or you could accent the corners instead with some washi tape or glitter glue.

Step 16: Design and Decorate: Make the Sign

  • Use a glue pen or glue stick to glue the shapes of the text together
  • Cut some small, 1/2 inch squares of cardboard, and glue them between the burst piece and the text pieces to make the sign more dynamic and 3-Dimensional.

Step 17: Design and Decorate: Add the Sign & Finish the Back

  • Glue the sign to the box. I used a few extra popsicle sticks and cardboard on the back to give the sign more structure.
  • Glue the back cover piece in place over the popsicle sticks.

Step 18: Design and Decorate: Add the Splats

  • Use the cardboard circles that you cut out of the top piece as pusher handles.
  • Stick the popsicle stick into the cardboard from the side (look for the wavy inner structure - that's easiest to stick it in).
  • Hot Glue the splats to the top of the cardboard.

Step 19: Design and Decorate: Add the Splat Rings

  • Use a glue stick to add the splat rings around the holes in the front.

*Since I decided to make green Virus Puppets, I covered the top with a piece of white paper instead. I think this looks better for contrast so that the puppets really stand out. :)

Step 20: Make Virus Puppets: Glue the Beads

  • Watch the video so you are familiar with the process.
  • Hot Glue small red beads in packs of 3 all over the green pompom

Step 21: Make Virus Puppets: Add Googly Eyes

  • Hot glue googly eyes to the puppets! I liked the look of mismatched eye sizes - I think it makes them somehow extra cute AND extra germy! (Aww...Yuck!)

Step 22: Make the Whacker

  • Watch the video to familiarize yourself with the steps.
  • Take the top off of a Purell bottle and stick a handle in. If your handle is too small, add some Hot Glue inside the neck of the bottle.
  • Add some Washi Tape to Embellish.

Step 23: It's Time to Whack Some Viruses!

Here's how to play:

Enlist a friend or family member to help.

  • One player presses down on the splat levers on the back of the machine.
  • The other player tries to Whack Viruses as soon as they pop up! You could set a timer (Say, 0:30 seconds) to see who can whack the most Viruses in a time period.
  • Bonus points can be awarded for the destruction of the Virus, including whacking away the beads or googly eyes.
  • Ejecting the Virus from the game entirely may also be considered a grand slam. :p

The most important thing is to stay calm, enjoy the company of those with you, and have FUN!


If you enjoyed this instructable, please follow me, and let me know what you want to see next!





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