How to Make a Backyard Tetherball Set

Bring the fun of the school yard into your backyard with a tetherball court. Made inexpensively from an upcycled tire and a metal pole, the tetherball set can be rolled around the yard to play in the sun or shade.

By: Carla Wiking

Tools and Materials

  • 7’ or 8’ 1-1/2” galvanized pipe with threaded end
  • (2) 12” pieces of rebar
  • old tire
  • spray paint
  • (3) 60 lb. bags of concrete (more if your tire is oversized)
  • plastic sheeting
  • decorative stones or tile pieces
  • 1-1/2” galvanized cap
  • 3/8” eye bolt with nut and locking washer
  • tetherball with rope and connecting hook
  • drill with 3/8” and 1/2” cobalt bits
  • bucket
  • ladder
  • level
  • spray bottle
  • rag

Step 1: Paint Tire

Make sure that your tire is clean and dry. Paint it with an even coat of spray paint. You might also wish to paint the metal cap that will go at the top of the pole.

Step 2: Drill Pipe for Rebar


Using a 1/2” cobalt drill bit, drill one set of holes through the pipe 3" from the bottom of the pipe. Rotate the pipe 90 degrees and drill another set of holes 2-1/2" up from the first set.

Step 3: Prep for Concrete


Place the tire on top of a sheet of heavy plastic on a level surface. Thread the rebar through the drilled holes and place it in the center of the tire.

Step 4: Add Concrete and Level Pole


Mix the concrete in batches according to the instructions on the bag and pour it into the tire. You can fill it all the way and add the decorative stones while the whole thing is setting up (you will have to be careful to keep the pole level) or you can leave the top two inches and come back after the pole is set to make your final pour and then add the decorative stones. Place a ladder over the tire, place a level on the pole to be sure it is plumb and hold it in place by attaching it to the ladder.

Step 5: Add Decorative Stones


To the slightly-set full pour or the final two-inch pour, add your decorative stones in any design you fancy. Simply gently press them into the surface of the concrete (if they sink too deeply, wait 10-15 minutes and try again). Use a spray bottle full of water to keep the concrete moist as you work. Once the concrete begins to dry (check back every 10-15 minutes) you can wipe the stones clean with a wet rag.

Step 6: Install Eye Bolt


When the concrete is fully set you are ready to install the eye bolt. Drill a 3/8” hole in the top of the galvanized cap. Insert the eye bolt into the hole and tighten with the locking washer and nut.

Step 7: Hang the Ball


Screw the cap onto the top of the pole and hook the ball to the eye bolt. Tie the rope so that the ball hangs about two feet off the ground, you can hang the ball lower for younger players.

Step 8: Play!


Once set, the plastic will peel away from the concrete at the base of the tire. Use a dolly or simply roll your tire into your desired play spot and enjoy!

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Backyard Pipe Ball Game

Pipe ball combines the challenge of Skee Ball with the fun of ring toss. It’s simple to make, easy for kids to play and interesting enough for adults to play too (even with a cocktail in hand).

How to Make a Squirrel Feeder

Though some avid bird-feeders consider squirrels a backyard pest, placing squirrel feeding stations in your yard often keeps the squirrels away from your bird feeders.

Host a Cozy Movie Night

An at-home movie night is a fun way to bring together young and old and integrate family into your entertaining.

See What the Buzz Is About: Make a DIY Wasp-Catcher

Upcycle an old wine bottle into a pretty wasp trap that can adorn your porch or patio this summer.

How to Plant a Kid-Friendly Garden

Encourage your kids to embrace their inner gardener this season.

How to Make a Giant Bubble Wand and Bubble Solution

If you're in need of some magical outdoor fun, here's how to have a bubbly good time!

Outstanding Outdoor Room Inspiration

Top designers share their ideas for making the most of your lawn, lanai, backyard or barbeque

How to Make a Bottle-Cap Opener Game

Liven up your next yard party with this Plinko-inspired game where falling bottle caps decide the outcome.

How to Make an Outdoor Chalkboard Activity Wall for Kids

Love the look of chalkboard walls, but don’t love chalkboard dust? Take the chalk wall outside.

How to Make a Tiered Planter Box

Cultivate your kids’ love of gardening with this DIY patio garden planter. No greenhouse? No problem! This planter is easy to build and is sure to take your meals to the next level.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.