How to Make a Cardboard Plinko Board

By Charles Judd ; Updated April 12, 2017
You can make a vintage pin board by covering a cork board.

"The Price Is Right" game show has been a television staple since 1956. Contestants are called on stage to play games of skill and chance for a shot at winning cash and prizes.The show is known for its many unique and memorable games. One of the best known games is called Plinko. You can make a homemade version of this game of chance with a few simple items.

Choose a piece of heavy-duty cardboard for the main board. Appliance boxes are a good option.

Measure the diameter of the air hockey puck. This puck will serve as your Plinko playing piece.

Draw a pattern onto the playing board using a straight edge and pencil. Start by drawing a line of straight, horizontal dots at the top of the board. Space these dots out slightly farther than the size of the air hockey puck.

Draw the pattern for the second row. These dots should also be in a straight horizontal line below the top line. Instead of aligning them with the top row, put each dot directly in the center of the dots in the row above them. This creates an offset pattern that will encourage the playing piece to shift around the board when dropped.

Continue drawing the dot pattern onto the cardboard, creating an alternating pattern of dots onto the board. Continue the pattern all the way to the edges, and about 1 foot from the bottom of the cardboard. Add nails along the outside left and right edges of the board to keep the air hockey puck from sliding off the board.

Press nails into each dot marked on the board. Tap the nails lightly with a hammer if needed to get them in. Apply a small amount of glue on each nail to ensure that it stays in place.

Cut a bottom strip for the game. Measure the width of your playing board with a tape measure. Use a utility knife to cut out six 3-inch-wide strips of cardboard that will span the entire width of your playing board.

Stack all six 3-inch-wide strips of cardboard together on top of one another. Glue or nail them to the bottom of your playing board. Attach this ledge approximately 2 inches below your last row of nails. This creates a bottom ledge to catch your air hockey puck.

Paint the board bright colors using paint and paint brushes. Use any pattern you like, or follow the traditional Plinko style. Mark off and paint sections of the bottom ledge, designating each section with a different number of points.

Lean the board back against a wall or other surface. Make sure it is tilted slightly back during game play.

Things Needed

  • 2 large sheets of heavy-duty cardboard
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Glue
  • Straight edge
  • Pencil
  • Air hockey puck
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

About the Author

Located in southeastern Kentucky, Charles Judd began writing semi-professionally in early 2005 for local publications. His work has been published in his hometown newspapers, the "Jackson Sun" and the "Jackson Times." He has many diverse interests and enjoys writing about various subjects. Charles holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial machine technology.