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Make Your Own Juggling Equipment!

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Juggling can be a fairly expensive hobby. A good set of clubs can cost about $100US. However, juggling does not have to be an expensive hobby, there are many ways to purchase or make your own equipment. To further this end, this page contains links to pages that describe making juggling equipment as well is instructions and tips on making your own beanbags, balls, and clubs. If you have any questions, comments, or additions please email Malachi.

My friend Andy wrote instructions on how he made his acrylic juggling balls.

Make Your Own Juggling Stuff Links

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Beanbags are not difficult to make, but they can be time consuming depending on the pattern and the materials used. I have mainly used a vinyl fabric and a light denium, although I believe something like duck cloth would also be suitable.

There are several diffent patterns that you can choose from. One of the quickest to make is a simple fabric cube. These can be made from a variety of templates. In the future, I might provide examples.

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I have made juggling balls out of tennis balls filled with bird seed (parakeet seed, primarily millet) and covered with balloons. The basic method is to make a small cut in the ball (about 1.5 to 2 inches long) and squeeze the ball to make the gap wider. Then just use a funnel to pour the bird seed, or other filler, into the ball. I used super jet (model airplane super glue) to glue the ball back together, but other strong glues should sufice. Then just wrap two or more 9 inch helium ballons around the ball. These are very quick and easy to make. I can make three in about twenty minutes. The cost for three balls is around $4US, but it has some larger expenses to begin with (i.e. a 5 lb. bag of bird seed cost me about $3US).



A friend of mine, Andy, made some balls (42k) out of acrylic. They don't bounce at all and they are quite durable (and hard!). They aren't perfect, but they came out nicely. He used acrylic mix and a sphere mold from an art supply store. They were colored by mixing acrylic paint with the mixture.

He has been kind enough to supply instructions on how to make acrylic balls.

[all three acrylic balls](42k) [the blue acrylic ball](36k) [the red acrylic ball](42k) [the yellow acrylic ball](30k) [three clear acrylic balls](33k)

Here is a shot of the acrylic balls in action, at the hands of my friend, William.

[william juggling 3 acrylic balls](24k)

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I constructed my homemade clubs (32k) out of the following materials:

  1. Rinsing out the bleach bottle, removing the label.
  2. Cut off the threading for the cap so the dowel can fit in the mouth of the bottle.
  3. Drill a small hole in the center of the bottom of the bottle.
  4. Pre-drill holes in both ends of the dowel.
  5. Wrap the bottle end of the dowel tightly with electrical tape (for added strengh).
  6. Insert the dowel into the bottle.
  7. Line up the dowel hole with the bottle hole and screw together with wood screw and washer.
  8. Drill or poke a hole through the center of the practice golf ball.
  9. Insert the other screw and washer through the ball.
  10. Screw the golf ball into the other end of the dowel.
  11. Secure the neck of the bottle to the dowel with electrical tape.
  12. Wrap the exposed portion of the dowel (the handle) with felt.
  13. Wrap the felt tightly with baseball bat tape.
  14. Your club should be finished and ready for any decoration you desire.
  15. Now make two more!

Notes: The original design I based mine on from Juggling for the Complete Klutz, published by the Klutz Press, called for crutch ends for the handles. In exploring that idea, a friend of mine came up with the practice golf ball thing which turned out to be very much like a store bought club end. It was also slightly less expensive. The original design also had no padding for the handles, which made them a little too hard on the hands for my taste. Adding the felt for padding was an idea I had after a friend tried using ace bandages. I like the end result better with the felt and it's a bit cheaper.

I have some pictures of one of the first clubs I made. Thumbnails link to larger version.

[homemade club parts](30k) [homemade club](12k) [three homemade clubs](32k) [bottle end of homemade club](24k) [handle knob on homemade club](36k) [screw end of
knob on homemmade club](50k)

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