Arcade Machine: Galaga

Here you can make your own Galaga machine...using a bunch of household and wood objects! Have fun!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: What You'll Need


-1 Laptop the size of the screen in the

-1 Hummingbird circuit board (w/ LED lights and Tricolor LED lights)

-1 MakeyMakey circuit board w/ crocodile wires

-Black spray paint

-Red/white paint

-Zip ties


-4 Board of Wood (PUT IN TYPE OF WOOD LATER)

-1 cardboard box equal to the bottom height of the sides


-1 Hammer

-Paint brushes

-1 Jigsaw/Bandsaw

Step 2: Labeling the Wood

Take your wood and draw the lines for the different pieces. These lines will indicate where you will cut. Label what side they will be on (back, side, etc.). You should have:

-one "back" with 30 inches in width and 12 inches in length.

-two "sides" 18 inches in length, 30 inches in width at the back, 13 inches in width at the bottom of the front, 17 inches in width at the top of the front, and 9.5 inches in length near the middle (See picture for assistance).

-one "top" 8.5 inches in width and 12 inches in length.

-one "top of the front" 5 inches in width and 12 inches in length

-one "bottom of the front" 13 inches in width and 12 inches in length

-one "controller board" 9.5 inches in width and 12 inches in length

Step 3: Cutting the Wood

Take your jigsaw and cut along the lines you had previously labeled in the last step. Make sure you cut as straight as possible.

Step 4: Painting the Wood

Take your cut pieces of wood and paint them with the black spray paint. Wait for them to dry and spray a second coat of paint once it does.

Step 5: Nailing the Wood

Take the hammer and nails and hammer the pieces of wood together. Follow the instructions below to find out what pieces should be attached together, as well as how many nails you will need.

-Both sides should be attached to the back by six nails, three on each side.

-The top should be attached to the back by three nails and the sides by four nails, two on each side

-The bottom of the front should be attached to the sides by six nails, three on each side.

-The top of the front should be attached to the top by three nails and the sides by four nails, two on each side.

-The controller board should be attached to the sides by six nails, three on each side, and the bottom of the front by three nails.

Step 6: Creating the Buttons

Make three buttons, two in the shapes of triangles (base of 1.5 inches, legs of 1 inch) and one in the shape of a circle (diameter of 1.5 inches). Our group had access to 3D printers, but you make them out of whatever you want. Once the buttons are made, take your quarter and glue it onto the circular button. Take your washer, cut it in half, and glue both halves onto each triangular button. Allow them one day to dry.

Take your strip of paper and shade the edge of it with a pencil as dark as you can. Glue part of the strip of paper onto the metal top, along the side of the button, and underneath. Make sure that you have a little part of your paper hanging. This is where a wire hooked up to the Makey Makey will be attached.

Step 7: Hooking Up the Makey Makey

Stick your zip tie holder onto the inside of one of the sides of the machine. Stick the zip tie through the slip and tie the Makey Makey onto the inside of the side. Take the crocodile wires and attach one of the ends to the "Left", "Right", "Space", "Click", and "Ground" gaps. Attach the other ends of the "Left" and "Right" wires to the hanging slip of the paper at the bottom of the triangular buttons. Attach the other end of the "Space" wire to the hanging slip of paper at the bottom of circular button.

Step 8: Hooking Up the Hummingbird

Repeat what you did with the Makey Makey, but with the Hummingbird instead. Hook up three TriColor LED lights and three regular LED lights to the Hummingbird.

Step 9: Hooking Up the Laptop

Put the cardboard box through the bottom of the machine and place the laptop on top of the box so that the screen is facing toward the gap in the front of the machine. Hook up the USB wire for the Makey Makey to the laptop, as well as the Hummingbird.

Step 10: Placing the Buttons Onto the Controller Board

Cut holes near the bottom left of the controller board in the shapes of the buttons. We had access to a laser cutter, but, although laser cutting makes the job very easy, you can cut out the holes however you want.

Step 11: Programming the Hummingbird & Placing the Lights

Using Snap, create a program that allows all of the LED lights to flash between different colors. Activate the program to make sure you did it correctly. Drill six holes into the top of the front of the machine and slide the lights into each of those holes.

Step 12: Opening the Galaga Game

Use this link to open up the Galaga game on Scratch. Open up the code and make it so that when space is pressed, the game begins. Move your cursor over the flag button.

Step 13: Finishing Touches

Take your red/white paint and paint whatever you want on the top of the front and/or the bottom of the front.

Step 14: PLAY THE GAME!!!

You can now play the game! Make sure your hand is always on the piece of metal that is connected to "Ground"; the buttons will not work otherwise. Enjoy your new Galaga machine!

Be the First to Share


    • Furniture Contest

      Furniture Contest
    • Reuse Contest

      Reuse Contest
    • Hot Glue Speed Challenge

      Hot Glue Speed Challenge



    3 years ago

    I love Galaga! Thanks for sharing!