Things To Consider
- PVC pipe is surprisingly sturdy. I've had great
results with 1" diameter (inner diameter) pipe.
- PVC stays together with the force of friction. For my
first ballpit, I bought PVC glue, but didn't end up using it. This
allows for easy disassembly. One downside is that a joint might come
undone every so often, but they are easy enough to pop back in.
- Plan out how much PVC you need before you buy it.
Keep in mind that you might need to buy an extra section.
- Say you needed 3 6' pipes (18 feet in total). If
you can only buy in 10' sections, the math would indicate 2 sections
would be sufficient, when in reality you need three.
- Corner pieces are not a common plumbing joint. To get
them, your best bet is a PVC furniture website. I've been happy with DP's
bargain basement. Make sure you are
ordering them to fit the right size, as diameters listed can describe
either outer diameter or inner diameter of the PVC pipe.
- PVC Connectors will extend a dimension by 1.5-2
inches in that direction. As long as each piece in that dimension has
the same number of fittings, they will cancel out. Using
stabilization joints in the middle of a side will result in a ballpit
that is slightly bigger. Though the ballpit gets slightly bigger, the
difference is negligible when considering balls needed to fill the pit.
- If you don't have a PVC cutter, Home Depot made all
of the cuts for us for free. We bought the PVC, took it home, marked
the cuts, and brought it back for them to cut.
- I've considered many containers for ballpits.
Specifically, I've looked into Tyvek, bedsheets, fabric, and mesh
netting. The best solution I found was a tarp, such as one you would
use underneath a tent to keep it dry when camping.
- Putting the container on the inside of the ballpit brought the level up quite a bit, so that's a simple way to raise the overall depth.
- Adding in a cross section will stabilize the pit
further, but increase cost. If you choose to do this, you would also
need t-shaped fittings (see upper right).
- Balls are expensive. Generally, I was happy if I
could get a ball for 10 cents. Toys 'R' Us has free shipping
on orders of this size. I was able to find packs
of 250 for $20 at one point, but it does require waiting for a sale or coupon. Randall Munroe built a ballpit,
and said he had good results with his balls from here.
- Detailed construction of my ballpit
- Selling a ballpit properly
- How many playpen balls would it take to fill your apartment?
Ball Pit Calculator
Use the below calculator to figure out things like
- How many balls you need for a ball pit
- How much PVC you need for a ball pit
- How much building your ball pit will cost
Length is of PVC pipe only, not including fittings.
|Total PVC Cost:
|Total Corner Cost:
|Total Ball Cost:
| ' PVC Pipe
| ' PVC Pipe
| ' PVC Pipe
| 3-Way PVC Connectors