For my youngest son's third birthday, I painted a simple version of the Star Wars Death Star on a cardboard box as part of a ball toss game.
It was a Star Wars themed party and I added additional dollar store baskets for the younger individuals of the group to try to get the ball into rather than trying to aim for the holes in the box.
The whole project could be completed within an afternoon, even with drying time and because I had the paint and the box, the project itself was virtually free! (I bought a one dollar plastic table cloth to cover my work area.)
We kept the box up for decoration for months after the party too. We used it one other time for a Cub Scout gathering, after the cub scouts made their own bean bags.
This instructable will go over the simple paint job I did on the box if you would like to make your own Death Star Ball Toss Game - for any reason!
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Step 1: Materials
I had saved the box from a Christmas present (Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler Rubicon) because I'm a crazy recycling mom and I knew I would find a reason to use it someday. It's approximately 48-inches (4-feet) tall by 36-inches (3-feet) wide by about 20-inches wide.
I also used a dollar store plastic table cloth to protect my work area and a thick sharpie marker to trace the design on the box.
The other items used were black and white acrylic paint, three different containers for mixing colors and sponge paint brushes.
Other items not pictured here but used:
balls to throw
Step 2: Draw the Design
I started out free-hand drawing a circle for the outside edge of the Death Star.
My intent was to use the majority of the surface area of the box as the background of the Death Star.
I then drew the areas that would be cut out, where the balls would be thrown thru.
The areas that would be cut out are shown in the photos with scribbles through them. The original photo I saw on Pinterest had only one circular hole and I made two holes just to make things different.
The bottom square shaped hole ended up being the most challenging hole to throw a ball into, in my opinion.
(Because you know I had to try it.)
Step 3: Cut the Holes
I chose to cut the holes out first before painting, and use the holes as a guide to place the remaining details.
I used a box cutter to cut and trim the holes as it needed.
Step 4: Paint the Background
As I knew there was a chance that the party was going to be the one and only time the ball toss was going to be used, one of my objectives while painting the picture was to conserve paint.
I had two little helpers so I gave them his & her own paint brushes and a shared container of black paint to paint the background "space" part with me.
I had the little ones color the sides as I tried making the Death Star as circular as possible, just free-hand painting the edge.
Step 5: Paint the Main Color of the Death Star
I took the black paint I used for the background and added a small portion of white acrylic paint, to turn the background of the main color of the Death Star.
The shade was just slightly lighter than the black background, and I purposely continued to mix white and black in the same container to make lighter and darker areas to give the base of the death star subtle coloring, prior to actually placing the details that make the circle look like a Death Star.
I waited about an hour for the paint to dry to paint the details shown in the next step.
Step 6: Paint the Details
With a significantly larger amount of white, I made a much lighter shade of grey to paint the details that make the Death Star recognizable.
I used the photo I found on Pinterest to look at time and time again.
After painting the main center line, I painted the bottom half of the Death Star markings prior to the painting the top.
We allowed the paint to dry overnight before throwing balls in it.
Step 7: Gather Your Balls & Throw
I went around the house and picked up as many different types of balls as I could to use in the game.
This included whiffle balls, a soft football, and various sizes of bouncy balls.
The party had all family children ages two (2) through eight (8) and all of them were able to play the game by throwing balls at the Death Star and into the buckets.
We didn't include any tickets or any formal point system, but of course that could be added to an older-child's game.
What I do want to mention is that we had to cut a hole in the bottom of the box so that the balls would roll out easily.
I hope this Instructable helps inspire other ideas for games that can be done with children! A little bit of paint and a cardboard box can go a long way in entertaining children! Thanks for reading.
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