I grew up with two older siblings, and games were often the reason for our good, quality family time. I remember playing foosball when I was little and just loving it (quite possibly the activity that unleashed my competitive side). I also remember long car rides and rainy days and how bored I would get sometimes… So today we’re bringing you this fun craft that’s a real boredom buster and fun for everyone to make! Using NuFun Activities Shrink with Ink, we can create a mini foosball table with customized players! Create little characters out of real photos and get creative with their team uniforms. For our project we had Franklin and his friend choose their favorite soccer teams: Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Let’s get started!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 8 Sheets of NuFun Activities Shrink with Ink Paper
- Cardboard photo/memory box (can be found online or at most craft stores)
- Baking Pan
- Oven Mitt
- 12 inch wooden dowels
- Mini (1 3/4″) spring clothespins
- Hot glue gun
- Hole punch and/or screwdriver
- Box cutter
- Optional: electrical tape, washi tape, wrapping paper, spray paint, other decorating supplies
- Create your characters. We took photos of the kids’ faces and the backs of their heads to create a full character. You can use the template we created as a guide: download it here! Mix and match their uniforms or think outside of the box – have a cowboy or a princess on the team!
- Print your design per the printing directions in the shrink film package.
- Carefully cut around the edges of your characters – I originally had 6 players per team but found that 5 fits much better.
- Shrink ’em down! Follow the directions in the package to shrink your players.
- Put some hot glue on the long part of the clothespin. It will feel upside-down but this leaves less of a portion sticking out of the top of the box once they’re all clipped on.
- Carefully attach one side of your player to the clothespin. The top of the head should be just underneath the notch for the spring. See photo below:
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side. You should now have a front and a back for your foosball character.
- Repeat steps 5-7 for all of the remaining soccer players.
- Moving onto the box / foosball arena! I knew I wanted 6 dowels evenly spaced across the box, so I measured the length and calculated the space between them, marking those spots with a pencil. Mine were each about 2 inches apart.
- You also have to calculate how deep into the box the dowels should be. I measured one of the players from the point where it would be hanging to the bottom of the figure. Add a couple centimeters to this number so they can move freely without getting stuck on the bottom. Take that height and measure up from the bottom, marking a line with pencil where that point is.
- Where your height and width marks intersect will be where the holes will go. I originally tried using a hole punch, but found that the cardboard was too thick. If you have a strong hole punch or your material is thinner, you could try this out first. Ultimately, I ended up using a standard screwdriver to punch holes into the sides.
- Next, make the hole for the goal. You’ll want to measure the height of your ball to make sure it can pass through easily. Then, measure an even distance from each edge to ensure that the goal is centered. Mark your lines. Mine was 2″ high by 4″ wide.
- CAREFULLY take a box cutter or similar tool to cut the lines you’ve created. The edges might be a little jagged for now – that’s ok.
- Thread your dowels through each hole, leaving an even amount of length sticking out on each side.
- Attach your players! I adjusted a little bit throughout the process, but eventually set mine up like this:
Line 1: A
Line 2: B B
Line 3: A A
Line 4: B B
Line 5: A A
- Optional: I thought it looked kind of messy with the rough edges, so I took some electrical tape to clean them up. You can go even further by painting the dowels or clothespins, wrapping the box, or adding washi tape accents throughout! It’s really up to you to get as creative as you’d like.
- Drop your ball in, grab a partner, and enjoy hours of foosball fun!