Cardboard Foosball Table




As part of a material exploration project, I've been exploring the textures, layers, and uses of cardboard. After learning how cardboard can be decomposed and shaped into new forms, I decided I wanted to create something that exposed different "faces" of cardboard. Our class brainstorm session got me thinking about how I could use cardboard to create a child's game. After reflecting on my own and classmates' material exploration projects, my thought process led to the idea of creating a foosball table.


  • large cardboard box (18'' by 22'')
  • white piece of cardboard that is the same size as the base of the box
  • various other pieces of cardboard - different thicknesses (thin like a cereal box and thick like a regular cardboard box with corrugation) and colors are helpful
  • 4 wooden dowels
  • glue
  • tape
  • scissors
  • exacto knife
  • grinder
  • baking sheet
  • aluminum foil
  • water
  • flour

Techniques Used:

  • cutting
  • puncturing
  • layering
  • grinding
  • molding
  • baking
  • weaving

Step 1: Begin With Cardboard Box

1a. Start with a box with a base of 18'' x 22''

1b. Remove the top four flaps.

1c. Cut desired amount off the top of the box to make it shorter for a better view into the box.

Step 2: Create Soccer Field

2a. Cut white cardboard the same size of the box (a tiny bit smaller then 18'' x 22'')

2b. Cut brown strips for midfield and goal boxes lines.

2c. Glue strips onto field

2d. Place field in box

2e. Secure box on bottom with tape

Step 3: Create Base

3a. Cut the edges off of a long and narrow box for easy rectangle bases

3b. Tape to bottom of box

Step 4: Cut Out Goals

4a. Cut holes of goals in walls of soccer field to create opening for ball

4b. Secure bottom of box again with more tape

Step 5: Make Soccer Balls

5a. Cut small pieces of cardboard to fit into grinder

5b. Grind pieces of cardboard to fluffy consistency

5c. Mix fluffy cardboard in a bowl with water and flour

5d. Mold into soccer balls

5e. Place on aluminum foil on baking sheet

5f. Bake soccer balls in oven on 200 degrees for several hours until balls are dried out

Step 6: Create Players

6a. Determine desired player size. My players are 3.75'' tall. Cut out two sides for each player on field. I chose to have one goalie and three offenders per team. So, in total I had 8 players, which meant 16 player cutouts. I chose to use blue boxes for one team and yellow/white boxes for the other team to distinguish which players are on which team.

6b. Cut cardboard strips to attach the two sides of the player at the feet, creating a thick base to hit the soccer ball. I used 3 strips of corrugated cardboard.

6c. Glue strips onto the inside of one player cutout and glue other player cutout on top.

Step 7: Insert Handles

7a. Figure out distance desired between players so that goalie does not hit back wall and players do not hit each other. With 22'' total, I have the goalies at 3'' inward, and the offenders at 8''.

7b. Create holes slightly above height of players. In my case, the players were 3.75'' so I place my holes at 4 inches.

7c. Insert handles. I used wooden sticks.

Step 8: Attach Players to Handles

8a. Place glue on the insides of each player's head.

8b. Attach each player to desired spot on handle. My offenders are equidistant from each other. The goalies are centered.

Step 9: Create Goal Nets

9a. Cut strips out of a white(ish) piece of think cardboard but dont cut the strips off completely. Allow them to stay connected on one side

9b. Cut separate strips and weave through horizontally.

9c. Tape goal net to top of goal opening on outside of the box.

Step 10: Create and Attach Score Keepers

10a. Cut 20 small square pieces of cardboard and puncture holes in them. I used a hole puncher. The squares will be used as score markers, to keep track of how many goals each team has.

10b. String 10 squares onto a strip of thin cardboard. Repeat again for the other team.

10c. Tape edges of strip to top of each goal side, creating a semicircle with which the squares can be moved from one side to the other.

Step 11: Finished - Time to Play!!!!

Enjoy :)



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Congratulations on your first Instructable! You did a great job documenting each step! Foosball is so fun! I hope your version is sturdy and you can enjoy it! Neat idea! We do so much with electronics these days that it's nice to see things like this, too! :)


    2 years ago

    What a great design!