Monday, June 30, 2008

The Second of Three Sagas (The Ball Pit)

This is epic. A month or so ago, I came across a webcomic named I was taken away by the empathy I felt with Randall Munroe's stick-figured characters and reluctant-grown-up mentality. One such connection came when I read a particular comic about a girl that filled her apartment with playpen balls, because she was "grown-up now, and its our turn to decide what that means." It got me thinking. I did some research and discovered that several people, including Munroe himself, had gone through with the idea of a home-made ball pit. So, I decided to construct my own ball pit. With the help of my roommates, I got started.

Step one was to figure out just what it was going to take. Using an online ball pit calculator from, I estimated that filling my space (36 squared feet, three feet high) would take about 1000 balls. I hit the internets and looked for deals on balls, found said deal, and placed the order.

Then, I needed a frame. This took a bit more work. I went to Home Depot and picked up 43 feet of 2x4's and did work. After some trial and error, here's how it looked:

Once the frame was set, I put down two matresses on the floor, and stapled plastic poultry fencing to the wood.

Then came the balls. It turned out that 1000 wasn't nearly enough. I went out and found another 1100 and added them. Here's me and my roomates.

There are, of course, several rules about what is or isn't allowed in the ball pit, for sanitary reasons. For example, no food, no open containers of drink, everyone must be wearing boxer shorts, at least, and anyone in the ball pit must be at least 14 years of age (set low because Fred and I do Young Life.)

We've since had all sorts of friends come over and enjoy the ball pit. As Mr. Munroe said,
"it has the slightly unnerving effect that we now have no idea how many people are in the apartment at any given time."

More pictures at
More Ball pits:
Mike Machenry's's's
EA Tiburon's


Anonymous said...

you are so cool. YOU ARE SO COOL!

Misery 2.0 said...

Firstly, thumbs up for XKCD reference. Secondly, big big love for the ball-pit. Awesome. Please tell me you still have it?

Anonymous said...

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cuponk said...

now that is a ball pit! awesome work!

Anonymous said...

where did you buy the balls for it?

Mahndo said...

The best place to find the balls are at Academy Sports. I believe they cost 12 dollars for 100 of them.