As a member of Lowe’s Creative Ideas Network I received gift cards from Lowe’s in order to purchase supplies to complete projects. All opinions are my own.
Summertime is a time for outdoor activity, but during the inevitable thunderstorms and unbearably hot days when you prefer to stay comfortable in the air conditioning, you may need a quiet indoor activity to keep the niños occupied and happy. Here’s a fun, simple, do-it-yourself soccer playset with little peg people players you can make for the kids with just a few supplies!
Tabletop Fútbol Playset
Cardboard (Lowe’s sells moving boxes if you don’t have any on hand)
Paint in various colors, including white (you can use craft paint or Lowe’s paint sample sizes)
Craft size paint brushes
Hot glue gun, glue sticks
Ruler or yardstick (if you like to be precise, but not necessary)
Wooden peg dolls (available in the “Hobby” drawer in the Hardware section of Lowe’s)
A small wooden sphere (also in the “Hobby” drawer)
Painter’s tape (optional)
Note: You’ll find the artificial turf in Lowe’s in the area where carpet is sold on large rolls and cut by an associate. You will actually get a lot even if you buy the minimum they allow because they have to sell you the length of the roll. It rolls up tiny though! It’s easy to take home and cut smaller.
1. Cut the artificial turf to the desired length – this will be the soccer pitch. Mine was already 16 inches wide, and I cut it off the roll so that it was 21 inches x 16 inches.
2. Put the turf on top of the cardboard. Use a pencil to trace around it. Cut the cardboard out – this will be the base for the turf to make it more sturdy.
3. Hot glue the turf to the cardboard. Use a generous amount of hot glue and work in small sections at a time to ensure it adheres well.
4. To kind of “seal” the edges of the turf and keep it from fraying, you can apply a little hot glue to the edges as well.
5. Use white paint and a small craft brush to paint the markings on the pitch. (Here’s one you can use for guidance.) You can use a ruler or yardstick to measure these lines precisely and painter’s tape to guide your brush in a straight line, or you can do it freehand, just kind of estimating. For rounded shapes, look around your house for something to paint around – plastic cups and bowls work well. (If you get paint on them, just wash them off as soon as possible.)
6. Now for the really fun part! Choose the two teams you want to create, and paint the little wooden peg dolls to resemble them. I found that 5 players per team was sufficient, but if you want to be accurate you’ll need 11 per team. I chose the United States and Mexico. You can invent uniforms and players if you wish, (I even made one of the Mexican players a female. Why not? It’s your playset! Get creative!) Don’t forget to paint a wooden sphere as the ball, too!
Tips: Painter’s tape comes in handy for straight lines when painting uniforms. Also, you can paint your players however you want, but if I were to do it again, I think I’d keep the face simple with just tiny black dots for eyes and no mouth. In my opinion, the more detailed eyes and smiles make them look a little creepy, (but I have a slight doll phobia, so don’t listen to me.)
(Hmmm, which one could be Tim Howard?)
(Chicharito is smiling on the far right.)
Once the players, ball, and paint on the pitch are dry, time to let the niños have a little fun.