How to Make Green Juggling Clubs

These inexpensive clubs give a professional feel at a moderate price. If you have all the materials, you can assemble them in an afternoon. The wrapped handle, made from a soda bottle, is a bit of extra work, but it gives a soft bounce to the handle.

These clubs are a good choice if you want to learn to juggle clubs, if you're working on your numbers juggling or you are teaching a juggling class, and they're green because they're homemade primarily from recycled materials!


  1. 1
    Download and print the handle pattern used in this tutorial:
  2. 2
    Gather the other items you will need, listed under "Things You'll Need" below.
  3. 3
    Mark each dowel. Mark it 45.7 cm (18") from one end. Using a wood saw, cut each dowel in half to produce two 18" (45.7cm) dowels.
    • Many hardware stores will cut dowels to length free of charge at the time of purchase.
  4. 4
    Using a drill with a 3/32" (2.3mm) bit, drill a hole as deep as your screw in the center of the smoothest end of each dowel.
  5. 5
    Drill a hole through the exact center of the bottom of each 16oz (473ml) or 20oz. (591ml) bottle.
  6. 6
    Make the tennis ball end caps. You will need to cut the tennis balls in half. There are many ways to do this:
    • Measure a strip of light cardstock or stiff paper 1¼" (3.17cm) wide and at least 8" (20.3cm) long. Wrap the strip around a tennis ball tightly and secure it with tape. The strip will now form a ring 2½" (6.3cm) in diameter and 1¼" (3.1cm) tall. You may wish to reinforce the ring with duct tape. To do so, wrap the ring with tape and then trim the tape to the edge of the paper.
    • Place the ring on a smooth, firm surface and place a tennis ball down into it. The ring will come exactly halfway up the ball. Trace the top of the ring to draw the equator on the ball.
    • Be very careful!
      Using a small, sharp knife make a small incision along the equator.
    • Cut all the way around the ball along one of the circles you drew. Then cut around the other circle.
    • Tennis balls are hard to cut. Go slowly, being careful and always cutting away from yourself. You may need to experiment with techniques to find a comfortable and easy way to do this.
  7. 7
    Make the handle wrap from a 2 litre (67 oz.) bottle.
    • Print out the handle wrap pattern from the booklet, using the appropriate page size. Whatever paper size you use, be certain that the result is at 100 percent.
    • Wrap a pattern snugly around a 2 litre (67 fl.oz) bottle as shown and secure the overlapping tab with tape. Trace the pattern using black permanent marker. The pattern may not lie flat at the top-most point where the bottle curves towards the neck. That's okay; just trace as close as you can in a smooth curve.
    • Cut the handle wrap.
      Using a good sharp pair of scissors, cut out the handle wrap along the inside edge of the tracing. Cut cleanly to prevent nicks and burrs. This can be a bit tricky. Experiment to find a method that works for you.
  8. 8
    Fit the 16 oz. (473ml) or 20 oz. (591ml) bottle to the dowel.
    • Place the bottle over the dowel so the screw holes line up. Mark the dowel just below the bottle.
    • Wrap tape...
      Wrap the dowel with masking tape just above the mark you made until the bottle fits tightly on the dowel.
    • Fit the bottle onto the dowel with the screw holes lined up.
  9. 9
    Attach the tennis ball end cap.
    • Place a finishing washer onto one of the drywall screws. On a work surface, drive the screw through the top center of one of your tennis ball halves using a drill with a Phillips bit.
    • Flip right side out and press into place around the bottle bottom.
      Invert the tennis ball half over the screw head. Place the screw into the hole on the bottom of the bottle. Make sure the screw holes in the bottle and dowel are lined up properly. Brace the bottom of the dowel against a hard, non-slip surface so the bottle bottom faces you. Holding the bottle by its neck with your bottom fingers around the dowel, drive the screw into the dowel. Make sure the screw is tight, but don't risk stripping the screw or the dowel. A medium-high setting on a clutch drill works great here.
    • Turn the end cap right side out. It will look crater-shaped and flare out away from the bottle bottom. Press the edge of the end cap down and in against each of the five "feet" on the bottom of the bottle. This will dent the bottle and provide a good surface for the end cap to seat against.
  10. 10
    Attach the handle wrap to the club. This may be the trickiest part of the whole process. It is also a part that will make a big difference in how nicely the clubs turn out. The objective is to wrap the handle around the neck of the bottle and the dowel very tightly to provide a good spring handle. There is more than one way to do this. What follows is one way that is fairly easy and will happen quickly:
    • Line up the middle of the top curve of the handle wrap with the collar at the base of the threading on the neck of the bottle. Wrap the handle three-fourths of the way around the bottle neck, seated against the collar all the way around.
    • Place the club on a the edge of a firm surface with the collar just off the edge and the handle wrap pinned against the surface below and wrapped over the threading on top.
    • Secure the top curve with a staple.
      Using a staple gun with 3/8" (9.5mm) staples, secure the top curve of the handle wrap to the bottle and dowel.
    • Put the staple in parallel to the dowel and make sure the handle is seated against the collar on the bottle.
    • Using a small hammer, finish seating the staple firmly into the dowel. The bottom prong on the staple may go off to one side and not set in the dowel. That is okay; it will still work fine.
    • Wrap the handle around the dowel getting it as tight as possible. The end of the wrap should just line up with the end of the dowel. Secure the bottom corner of the handle wrap with a staple or with vinyl tape. If you use tape, be a bit liberal with it and wrap it tightly. Make sure the handle wrap is as tight as you can get it. If it loosens up as you are securing it, rewrap it at secure it again. For this reason you may prefer tape until you get the hang of it.
    • It is possible to secure the handle wrap using only tape. This is a bit trickier, but may be necessary if you do not have easy access to a staple gun.
    • You can secure the top with a small nail or screw. If you do this, make sure the fastener has a broad head so it doesn't pull through the handle wrap and drill a pilot hole so you don't crack the bottle neck or the dowel.
    • You may prefer to use ½" (12.7mm) staples for the top to secure farther into the dowel, or ¼" (6.35mm) staples for the bottom.
    • However you do it, just make sure that the top curve of the handle wrap is secure and flush against the collar on the neck of the bottle, the bottom edge of the wrap is even with the bottom of the dowel, and that the handle is wrapped as tight as you can get it.
  11. 11
    Wrap the handle with vinyl tape from the end to the center. Give the end an extra wrap before you begin to help keep the handle secure. Wrap in a spiral, overlapping the tape slightly (1/16" or 2mm) is plenty, but you can go up to half the width of the tape if you want). Keep the tape stretched slightly as you go to get a smooth wrap. Finish with an extra wrap just below the collar.
  12. 12
    Add finishing tape.
    • Put a single wrap of contrasting vinyl tape at the top of the handle just below the collar.
    • Put a wrap of dark vinyl tape around the junction between the bottle and the end cap.
    • Fit the rubber tip onto the end of the club as a knob. It will be a very tight fit and does not need to be secured, or you can take the tape over the edge of it if you want.
  13. 13
    Use additional tape, stickers, and creativity to decorate the clubs. Contrasting colors will help you see the clubs to catch them.


  • If you are making Green Clubs as a group project, use an assembly line approach. Having one or two people specialize on each step will make the process go faster and is likely to produce better quality clubs. Many of the steps can be done simultaneously, so there is no need for anyone to be idle. Experiment. Find what works for your group.
  • The dowels and tennis balls used in this design each make two clubs. Rubber furniture tips come in packages of four. For these reasons, consider making four clubs at a time.
  • Work on all of the clubs simultaneously and do each step for all the clubs before moving on. Some of the steps are tricky and it is easier to find a technique that works for you if you do it four or more times in a row.
  • Note to teachers: Most of these steps, including the most time-consuming, can be done by middle school children. If you do this with middle school kids, cut the dowels, drill the bottles and dowels and cut the tennis balls beforehand. You may also want to attach the end cap and the handle wrap. These steps are tricky, are best done by an adult who is comfortable using dangerous tools. You will be able to go fast once you get the knack.
    • With modest, hands-on help this design is well within reach of a 10-year-old.
  • You can add additional weight, if you need to, by inserting washers at either end, or by applying more tape, either to the handle or to the bulbs. Experiment with the club balance as this heavily affects the club rotation and stability while rotating. Find something comfortable to you and your juggling style, then replicate the design.


  • Be very careful with the drill, staple gun, and anything you use to cut the tennis balls. Wear safety glasses, secure your work, and always cut away from yourself and others.

Things You'll Need


  • Wood saw (optional, see note on step one)
  • Tape measure (optional, see note on step one)
  • Drill with a 3/32" (2-3mm) bit and a Phillips driver bit
  • Small sharp knife, like an X-acto - Small pocket knives can work if they are sharp.
  • Sharp scissors (high quality are best)
  • Permanent marker (black), such as a Sharpie
  • Staple gun with ⅜" staples (optional)
  • Small hammer (optional)

Additional Materials

  • Sheet of lightweight cardstock, at least 8.5 x 14” (21.5cm x 35.5cm)
  • Masking tape
  • White vinyl tape
  • Black or other dark contrasting vinyl tape
  • Duct tape.
Image titled Green_clubs_tyn

For each club

  • Hardwood dowel, ⅝"dia x 36" long (16mm dia X 90cm long)
  • Clean 16 oz (473ml) or 20 oz (591ml) plastic beverage bottle without label
  • Tennis ball
  • Clean 2 liter (0.5 US gal) beverage bottle (remove label)
  • Rubber furniture tip, 5/8" (16mm)
  • Drywall screw, #6, 1¼" (70mm)
  • Finishing washer, #10 or #8

Sources and Citations

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