How to Make a Fun Skee Ball Game from Cardboard

This cardboard skee ball game is great for energetic children. Also, this easy-to-assemble cardboard arcade game is fun to make as well as fun to play for the whole family!


With tons of boxes laying around, the engineer in me couldn’t resist but try and make something out of them.

I originally was going to make a plinko board, but as long as I pulled out a long piece of cardboard, my kids started to pretend to bowl on it. So I changed the project to skee ball!

You really don’t need much to make this cardboard skee ball game. It’s not the easiest project, but the instructions below, I am confident you can do it too!

Skee Ball Game from Cardboard Boxes


  • Cardboard boxes
  • Paper cups
  • Scissors
  • Cutter knife
  • Duct tape
  • Pencil


  1. Cut one side of the cardboard box and flatten out the box. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-1
  2. Cut out two triangles from both sides of the box. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game
  3. Using paper cups, trace out circles in the cardboard to make the holes. I traced the opening of the cups and in the middle of the circle traced the bottom of the cups. Then I drew a circle that is in the middle of the two circles made from the cups. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-2
  4. Using a cutter knife, cut out the middle circles. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-3
  5. Repeat with the rest of the holes. You can imitate a real skee ball game or create your own design. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-4
  6. Cut out the bottom of the paper cups with the cutter knife. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-8
  7. Stand the box up. It should be slanted on an angle because of the triangles you cut out in step #1. 
  8. Tape the sides together with duct tape so the box can stand by itself. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-5
  9. Stick the paper cups in the holes. It should go in about halfway. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-6
  10. Cut out a rectangular piece of cardboard and duct tape it to the top of the box. This will prevent the balls from flying out the top.
  11. Using a long piece of cardboard, cut the sides of the cardboard and lift the cardboard to make a ramp. If you don’t have a long piece of cardboard with sides, then duct tape a few cardboard boxes together and fold the cardboard on both sides. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-10
  12. Duct tape the sides so the ramp will stay in place. You can use hot glue in between the cardboard as well as tape over it to ensure the ramp doesn’t collapse. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-9

You can stop at this point and start playing with the cardboard skee ball game. You may need to adjust the angle of the ramp and the distance you place the ramp away from the box with the holes to ensure that the balls can reach the higher holes.

I found the balls kept bouncing off to the sides and we ended up having to chase them down. So I decided to make barriers on the sides of the holes.

To do so:

  1. Take the box with the holes and cut the two sides so that they are perpendicular to the ground. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-11
  2. Cut one side off a separate box that is the same size as the original box.
  3. Cover the back and sides of the box with holes with the second box with 3 sides.
  4. Duct tape the two boxes together. Cardboard-Skee-Ball-Game-12


Cardboard Skee Ball Game 7

How cool is it that your kid can play skee ball with something that is made of just cardboard? 

What was really amazing to me is the creativity kids have. My son immediately went to grab different types of balls to try. He adjusted the ramp height by placing different objects underneath the cardboard and the distance of the ramp away from the holes himself to get the balls in the cups. He experimented with different ways of rolling the ball to see which one would get the balls to the higher holes. 


After playing with the skee ball game for a while, my son got the idea of trying shooting the Nerf gun at the targets. So this turned into a completely different game!


Final Thoughts on Cardboard Skee Ball Game

There are many ways you can make a skee ball game out of cardboard. I had a lot of fun putting the game together, and the kids were super excited to help out. 

I do want to mention that if you use heavier balls, you may want to use hot glue and glue down the paper cups to the cardboard. They tend to pop out when a heavy ball hits it. 

I hope this inspires you to try designing things out of cardboard boxes because, with online shopping, we have way too many of those around these days. You get to spend quality time with your kids building the skee ball game, and your kids get to spend hours playing with something that costs you nothing since you already have all the materials around the house. 

For more DIY toys for kids, check out:

2 thoughts on “How to Make a Fun Skee Ball Game from Cardboard”

  1. Can you please send me cards with the how to’s of your lego balloon car, zip line and popsicle stick catapult? Have you written a book with all of these things cuz I would certainly buy it. Thanks!

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