Ian Guthridge.com

My Ball Pit


It was the end of my freshman year at Georgia Tech and I had just signed the lease for my new apartment for the next year.  Since it would be the first time I ever had completely free reign over my own space I wanted to do something crazy. So, inspired by this XKCD comic, I ventured to determine a way to erect some sort of ball pit in my room.

The First Pit

Unfortunately playpen balls cost $ 0.10 a ball, which doesn’t sound like much, but adds up fast!  It takes about 60 balls to fill up each cubic foot of space (depending on the packing efficiency), so filling up my room was impossible.  I was able to secure enough balls to build a 31.5 cubic ft. ball pit under my bed (approx. 1800 balls) between Walmart(their balls are a little smaller, just fyi) and ebay.  I tried to find crush resistant balls, because though they cost a little more, I should have to replace them lesss often.  The ones from Walmart seemed crush resistant (via non-emperical testing i.e. standing on one) but it didn’t say so on the packaging.  Ebay, like usual, was a mixed bag, so some were crush resistant and some weren’t. Between deals on ebay and Walmart’s “everyday low prices” I was able to get my 1800 balls for a paltry $150.  

Between the balls and wood to construct it, the ball pit was a bit of an “investment” but I feel it was worth it; it was a lot of fun and a hit at parties!

My roommates didn't like this part...
...or this part.
Makeshift Sawhorse
First Few Parts and Bed
Frame Done!
My roommates did enjoy this part!

A short video of the ball pit’s deflowering.


Not even a year after its initial construction, the ball pit was torn apart and transported across town.

Where did all of the balls go?
There they are!
The Culprit!
I used a lot of these to put it together...
Another Bad Plan Working

The Ball Pit: Reloaded

Sometimes the sequel is better than the original and, unlike the namesake of this section, this was one of those times.

After tearing down the old pit, we turned a nasty old storage room under my friend Davin’s stairs into an awesome ball lounge, complete with chairs, a couch, music, and mood lighting. The new one isn’t anywhere near as deep, so you can’t really bury yourself in them, but it is much more spacious so it can be enjoyed by more than 3 or 4 people at a time. Overall I think the new depth is nice, the novelty of being buried in small plastic spheres wears off rather quickly.

Entry Way
The 'couch'
Balls! Balls Everywhere!
New Door
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