STEAM@Home: Make Your Own Basketball Hoop!

By Cambridge STEAM Initiative

Miss basketball? We do too. What can you do when the courts are closed? Tap into your creativity and design your own at home hoop!

illustration of a basketball hoop
This is an ongoing program.

Ages: 8 to Young Adult.

Grades 3rd grade through 12th grade.

Request assistance


Barb MacEachern
Program Quality Manager, Cambridge STEAM Initiative

No application or registration needed.



  • Only virtual (online or over the phone).

Find an area where you can lay out materials and do some hands-on construction.

Additional information


  • A wire hanger. It cannot be a partially metal hanger made substantially of wood or plastic.
  • A large, flat piece of cardboard.
  • The tape of your choosing. Masking tape may be the easiest to work with; duct tape would certainly make the hoop durable.
  • Markers or paint.
  • Scissors.
  • String (optional).


  1. Bend the wire hanger into a circle. You do not even have to dismantle the hanger, but just reshape it into a hoop.
  2. Bend the hook of the hanger so that it is at a 90 degree angle with the hoop. Do not cut away the hook, as it still can be of some use.
  3. Cut the cardboard to the size and shape of your liking. Standard high school, college, and NBA backboards are rectangular, if you are looking to replicate that appearance. Try to make sure the relative scale of the hoop and backboard seem reasonable. For comparative purposes, an NBA backboard is 6 feet wide, while the basket opening is 18 inches (1.5 feet). That means the basket width is 1/4 (or 25%) as wide.
  4. Decorate the hoop and backboard to your liking. Traditional hoops are painted red, but you can certainly customize it to fit whatever you desire. The backboard of most high schools, colleges, and all NBA franchises are now made of transparent glass; as there is no transparent cardboard, you can really be as creative as you want.
  5. Tape the hoop to the backboard. You can attach the hook (which you bent up earlier) to lower back side of the backboard. Make sure the rim is as close to the backboard as possible.
  6. Attach a net to the basketball rim (optional). You can make make a net out of string, or even out of twisted tape.
  7. Hang the completed basket to a wall or door. Masking tape will work well for this purpose, as it will not leave a sticky mess behind like duct tape would. There are two different taping methods you can employ.

This activity supports the practice of these STEAM Habits of Mind: Develop craft, engage & persist, observe, reflect, stretch & explore.

Tips for Supporting Your Children's Learning

Get your child actively involved in their own learning and having their questions drive the learning. Let them observe and figure out, and try to hold back from answering questions for them. Instead, try to ask: What do we know? What else can we find out? How might we figure that out? Don't be afraid to ask your child questions.  Also, don't be afraid to say "I don't know--let's find out together!" as a way to respond to their questions.  Here's an article to help you support this kind of learning:  Of the Value of Saying I Don’t Know


Want to learn more about making your own sports equipment?

More hands on activities and learning opportunities:

More STEAM@Home suggestions! 

STEAM Habits of Mind - observe, reflect, engage & persist, stretch & explore, imagine, develop craft