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How to Make a Bingo Machine

Updated July 20, 2017

Why trek to a church or Bingo hall to play when you can make your own Bingo machine and play whenever you and your friends and family get the urge. All you'll need are a few simple items and a little time to put the machine together. For a British-themed bingo night, look up a list of British bingo calls and confuse your friends with this curious piece of whimsy.

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  1. Write the numbers (1 to 75 for standard Bingo) on the balls with the permanent marker.

  2. Heat the blade of the craft knife and use it to cut a circular hole in the side of the hamster ball 1/8 inch larger than the plastic balls. Cut the hole along the "equator" of the ball, imagining that the place points where the ball rests in the cradle are the "poles."

  3. Cut the handle off the tea strainer with the hacksaw. Put a couple of lumps of the pressure-sensitive adhesive on the rim of the sieve section of the tea strainer and stick it over the hole.

  4. Open the hamster ball and put the plastic balls inside. Place the hamster ball into its cradle and spin it. Keep spinning until a plastic ball falls through the hole. It will remain trapped between the strainer and the outside of the hamster ball. Bring the machine to a stop, turn the hamster ball it so the strainer is at the side, horizontal to the table. Pull the strainer away from the hamster ball, carefully cupping the plastic ball.

  5. Remove the plastic ball and stick the strainer back into place. Call out the number and place the plastic ball in the cup to keep it from rolling away. Spin again after the players have marked the number on their cards.

  6. Tip

    You can make your own Bingo cards and use coins for markers, or you can buy cards and markers at a toy store or online. There are also websites that will let you print out Bingo cards for free.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic hamster exercise ball with cradle
  • Tea strainer
  • Hacksaw
  • Marble-sized plastic balls
  • Permanent marker
  • Pressure-sensitive adhesive
  • Craft knife

About the Author

Will Milner started writing in 2005 for the University of Sheffield newspaper "Steel Press" and continues to write for the Sheffield-based magazine "Now Then." He gained a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Sheffield.

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