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How to Make a Mini Tripod for Your Camera

Turn an old tennis ball into a nifty camera tripod in just minutes. Inspired by an project:


  • : When wielding a knife, razor blade, saw, or drill, always use extreme caution.
  • Step 1: Halve the tennis ball Take an old tennis ball—one that has lost its bounce—and cut it in half with a knife, scissors, razor blade, or saw.
  • Step 2: Mark out the first foot Take a pen and, at the bottom edge of one half of the tennis ball, anywhere you like, make a small mark that reaches about half an inch up the side of the ball. Then make another pen mark half an inch away from that. This set of marks represents the first "foot" of your tripod.
  • Step 3: Mark out the second and third feet Mark out the second foot by moving one and a half inches away along the edge of the ball and making a mark there and a mark half an inch from that. Repeat this process one more time, making a third set of marks one and a half inches away from the second set.
  • Step 4: Cut out the feet Flatten the ball and cut away, in a straight line, the space between the three 'feet' you’ve just created with your pen marks. When you release the ball, you’ll have a dome with three feet that are separated by arches.
  • Step 5: Cut a hole in the top At the top of the dome, draw a circle about the size of a quarter and cut that out.
  • TIP: You may also cut out a little square adjacent to the circle to make a keyhole design; this will allow you to tilt the tripod in different directions.
  • Step 6: Create washers Take the other half of the tennis ball and cut two circles out of it, each approximately one and a half inches in diameter. Then cut a quarter-inch hole in the dead center of each circle to make two washers.
  • TIP: If you have a hole puncher or a drill with a quarter-inch bit, use that to make the center holes.
  • Step 7: Begin assembling the tripod Take a quarter-inch-by-one-inch, 20-thread, nylon machine screw and hold it so that it points up, with the screw head on the bottom. Now push one of the washers, rounded side up, all the way down the screw until it touches the screw head.
  • Step 8: Finish assembling the tripod Next, push the tripod dome down over the washer. Finally, push the second washer, rounded side up, down on top of the dome. The washer, dome, and washer should all fit snugly together.
  • Step 9: Attach camera Find the tripod mounting hole that is on the bottom of all cameras, both film and digital, and place it over the screw sticking out of your tennis ball tripod. Voilà! You’ve got a pocket camera tripod.
  • FACT: A tennis ball is still good if it bounces between 53 and 58 inches when dropped from a height of 100 inches.

You Will Need

  • A tennis ball
  • A pen
  • A knife
  • scissors
  • razor blade
  • or saw
  • A quarter-inch-by-one-inch
  • 20-thread
  • nylon machine screw
  • A drill or hole puncher (optional)

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