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Earlier this year, Michael and I revealed our budget playroom makeover, and for how little we spent on redoing it, I think it turned out great! Since a lot of items we used were purchased at a very minimal cost, I wanted to give a little update to show how everything’s been holding up! Plus, we added a little addition that Hadley is absolutely crazy about!

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To be completely honest, not a lot has changed. The wall decals and prints that I picked up from the Target dollar section have held up surprisingly well, despite some occasional minor peeling, to which I just push them right back down. 

Within the first week of having them up, one of the red dollar store bins that were mounted on the wall got pulled on and did tear a bit, so I replaced it with a wooden bowl (as seen in the photo above). I will eventually replace it with another bin, but I always forget to grab one when I go to Dollar Tree. 

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One of the biggest changes is the closet. Before, I had a few of the larger toys on the floor in there and called it good. But to clear up some more floor space, I moved the cube organizer in there and put it up on its side and added some hanging storage that I had laying around. Although it’s not 100% clean and tidy, it is definitely a step up from how it used to be!

So like I said, not much has changed, except for one huge addition…

DIY PVC Pipe Ball Pit

DIY PVC Pipe Ball Pit

I originally got this idea from Cup of Autism, and it is so so so easy to make! The base is all PVC pipe, and we used 7 pipes total including the ladder. 

DIY Ball Pit with PVC Pipes

We wanted to make it a little bit taller, so we decided to make the sides 30″ instead of 24″. 

DIY Ball Pit with PVC Pipes

For the sides, we used utility fabric cargo netting from Joann Fabrics which sells for $7.99, and I of course used a 40% off coupon to get it a little cheaper. I secured it to the pipes using (a ton of) cable ties, making sure to pull it tight so that the balls wouldn’t bulge out too much on the sides. 

The ties that we used were 8″ long and I ended up cutting the ends off so they weren’t sticking out all over the place. I ended up tucking them them in as best as I could since those things are SHARP when they’re cut, so I recommend covering them somehow or some people even burn the ends to make them smooth. 

DIY Ball Pit with PVC Pipes

The top bars are lined with pool noodles, which I just cut up the middle and fitted them on. I bought these ones at Lowe’s and they’re the perfect size to fit around 1″ PVC. I also rotated all the cable ties along the top up and put the noodles right over them to prevent any cuts from happening when kids (and adults) are climbing in out and just jumping around in there. 

DIY Ball Pit with PVC Pipes

The ladder was very simple to make as well, and we just put four “Y” pieces on the bottom of the posts to make it a little more stable, and also secured them to the bottom of the ball pit with cable ties as well.

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The balls we used were from Target, and they’re $14.99 for a bag of 125. I bought 20 bags for a total of 2,500 balls. I also waited for a good sale and was able to get them for about $225 using a 20% off promo and my Redcard. 

Update 05/20/2017: Since this was published, the balls that we used are no longer available πŸ™


The total cost of everything came to just over $300, which is pretty good I think, considering the size of it and how many balls it can fit. 

NOTE: The fittings add to the overall size, so our 4″ x 2.5″ ball pit actually ended up being about 51″ x 32″.

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So far, Hadley is absolutely bonkers over this ball pit! But I mean, can you blame her? This is the perfect toy for any kid who lives in the PNW, as it allows them to stay active and have fun even on rainy days! And let’s be real, Hadley’s not the only one enjoying it…

Michael and I have to enter the ball pit at least once a day. It is just so. dang. FUN! Even River loves it!

This is such an easy, fun project that’s great for kids of all ages, and I’m super excited to see how it holds up and grows with the girls. 

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Until the next project!

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32 thoughts on “DIY PVC Pipe Ball Pit!

  1. Hi! I’m new to your blog πŸ™‚ curious as to how stable the pipes are- in my head, it seems like if you lean against the netting it would tip over? Or is it more stable than I’m thinking? I’m super stoked to try this!

    1. Hi there and welcome πŸ™‚ So the frame itself is pretty stable- we’ve had four kids and an adult in there at once and we haven’t had any problems yet! I think the weight of the balls plus anyone who’s in there keeps this from happening. My 3yo daughter has climbed over the side many times as well (but we try to encourage the ladder hehe) and no problems there either. Hope this answers your question! πŸ™‚

  2. Hi, I just wanted to share an idea if your really worried about the sharp ties, I would suggest sew it on with, like a small nylon rope and upholstery needle, i really love the idea too thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Hello
    I am considering making a ball pit for my daughter’s first birthday but I am wondering what should I do with the balls after the party. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Ana! So I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone reuse/repurpose ball pit balls- yet! If you’re not considering keeping the ball pit up, one thing that comes to mind is maybe spraying them with some glitter or making something decorative with them, maybe for a centerpiece or perhaps some Christmas ornaments? Otherwise, you could clean them/disinfect in the bathtub and resell them? Or donate them to a local daycare or preschool. πŸ™‚

  4. Greetings from India. Nice one. Can I know the netting you used? Probably a link? I’ve made one wooden one. After seeing this, I want to make one. Is this the simple 1″ PVC pipe? Or there is a heavier version of it? Thank You

      1. Thanks for the reply. unfortunately, I am not able to get a 1 inch 3 way elbow in India. The pipe what you have is CPVC i guess which is thicker than the normal pvc ones. The net what you use looks like more or a thicker rubbery kind of material than the nylon nets available here.
        Now I’ve only two option. either to use a 3/4 inch pipe as one company manufacture 3/4 inch three-way elbow. Or, use a 1inch to 3/4 inch converter on the corners and use 1 inch pipes. Thanks again for your time. In india, they dont use this kind of elbow for sanitary use itseems. bad luck for my little one .

        1. My wife has requested/suggested that I need to build one of these for the grand daughter. I built & or repair just about anything. My friends say I over engineer things a bit. Needless to say, I had no intention of using1 inch pipe! I intended on using 2 or 2 1/2 inch pipe. Then drilling a series of holes in a straight line, poking the netting loops through & securing them on the inside of the pipe. I really dislike the use of zip ties on or around anything for my kids. I can’t explain why, I just get an uneasy feeling! Robert.

  5. I cannot wait to build one of these for my preschool! Thank you for sharing this great idea!! I find bags of the balls all the time at our thrift stores around here.

  6. Hey! This is an amazing idea, thanks for sharing! I would love to make this for my boys. What did you put on the bottom of the pit? Any type of cushioning ?

    1. Thanks Julia! I just had the netting along the bottom, no cushion. My 3 year old jumps in it all the time and the balls themselves shield her from hitting the ground too hard. Hope this helps!

  7. Hello Emma!
    I’m building this for my kiddo tonight! And unfortunately my home depot doesn’t have the wye for a 1 inch pcv pipe? Have any ideas where I could find them?

  8. How high was your netting? I went to your link and it just says 61 cm do you remember the actual dimensions of each roll? Height and length? Also, in those pictures, is that all the 2500 balls? It seems so few! 😱 thank you!

    1. Hi Carol-Lynn! So I don’t remember the exact dimensions, but I just trimmed it to fit the height of the ball pit dimensions πŸ™‚ As for the balls, that is indeed all 2500- I think a couple of the pics were from the first half of the shipment, though. Hope this helps!

  9. this is so terrific. we are going to build something similar for holding our pool floats had no idea where to find the mesh. thanks for linking to Joanne’s site. Do you know of any books out there with plans for many other uses of pvc?
    Thanks so much
    Ginger

    1. Thanks Ginger! I’m happy I could help. πŸ™‚ Pinterest is an awesome place to find uses for PVC or anything, really! I am still experimenting with it myself- we did make a greenhouse last Spring with it though. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Teresa, I don’t have a breakdown, but I may be able to draw one up and include it in the post- or at least a more close-up picture!

      1. I would also love the measurements for the ladder! Planning to make this for my sensory room in my special ed classroom πŸ™‚ . Thanks for the detailed design!

  10. Hi, I love your ball pit idea and have been wanting to make one for my 3 boys. About the balls, is there a particular brand that you’ll recommend? I’ve had some (from a small inflatable ball pit) that are small and extremely flimsy. They got destroyed within a couple times of playing… πŸ™

    1. Hi Diana! Awesome that you’re thinking of making a ball pit for your boys πŸ™‚ The particular brand I used was from Target and I’m fairly certain that they no longer carry them. However, I included some links to some of the ones I found on Amazon that had good reviews- hopefully you can find some balls that hold up a little better! And I apologize I couldn’t be of more help- but check your local Target and look in the outdoor toy area. They may have something!

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