How to Make a Yo-Yo case

OK. So you've got your inexpensive yomega bag, which is great for the price, but you're also a total yo-yo geek and you want yo' Spinnin' Bitches' to Ride in PimP-Style Luxury!!!

The only hardcore professionally made ones cost a bomb, for what you know is really just a bit of foam in a briefcase.

So, being a thrifty Jack-of all-crafts, you decide to Find your own case, and your own foam, and make yourself A super deluxe Custom one of a kind Yo-Yo transportation device!

Basically, I trawled the charity shops and car-boot sales in search of a decent looking case, but most of them looked really flimsy, or just the wrong shape (Deep one side, shallow lid on the other). At One such boot sale, I spied the following in some guy's jumble

I opened it and had a look at it, and it took me a bit by surprise,

the guy himself had no idea what it was and while we were trying to figure it out, some random lady told us it was a microfiche reader like the kind she used to use at work.
One pound fifty?

At that very same boot sale I bought some foam rubber.
It had been blue when new. A bed maybe or a sofa's padding?

Either way it was stained horrible by decades of sweat or worse, and looked just as horrible in the case, although I did learn a lot from it about the various ways of punching a hole in foam. (just a shame I didn't get any pictures of it before reducing it all to dirty foam nuggets and blue fluff with a hole-saw)

After learning that the shitty old bed foam was a bad idea, the next step was to buy some from a proper shop cut to the size you need.

I tried everywhere in town for foam, including stationers, craft shops and fabric emporiums. The only decent bit we saw was in the craft shop but that had come from some delivery as mere packing. The lady was using it as a pin cushion, and wasn't prepared to part with it (not that it was big enough for my needs anyway).

So I went home and googled "packing foam" and found me a few uk suppliers who do this kind of thing.

So I emailed em:
Dear whoever,
How much would it cost for this:

Yellow for the flying pandas and other big 'uns
Turquoise for every yo-yo under the sun
Purple for the motus and the BusineSS

So anyways, the response I got from this company (who were totally brilliant and helpful and friendly) was that the foam cut to that size would total about six of your English pounds, but in order to punch all the holes as well, they would need to set up a punching template which would cost you seventy!
Now, that Would be ok if you could make multiple cases all the same, but this was a one off, and therefore just not worth it.

Ok then. I'll just take the shapes. No holes punched.
The delivery cost more than the foam (£10) so I thought at that price I could get two of each bit, as a sort of safety net, In case I ruin one of them.

Incidentally (and this will only be useful to the UK players) the foam company I used was "Foam For Comfort" ( located in Wales somewhere…
…And they are totally brilliant. Really friendly and helpful.
I asked if they had any suggestions for plugging a circular hole out of a hunk of this foam, and the phone lady went to get the workshop guy and we all mulled it over for a bit and decided (on his suggestion) to use a length of sharpened metal pipe.

Home base is crap and so is B+Q so all I could get was plastic piping but it actually works pretty well as you will see…

So anyway, the foam arrives.

Needless to say I was giddy as a schoolgirl, running a few circles round the flat before getting started straight away.

So before I can begin, I have to sharpen one end of a plastic pipe.
The only thing I can think of to use is sandpaper, which seems to work rather well.
Just rub the sandpaper round the edge like so:

This video was done after the pipe had been sharpened, so it will take longer than this to get it sharp to begin with.

The first cut went through like a dream, so I thought the whole process would be a breeze,

but the second one was tougher,
and the third went a bit pear shaped:

From this I worked out that the sharpening bit is quite important, otherwise the blunt bits will snag on the foam and the cut would be really rough. (it rips the foam as you twist the pipe)

So I found that I had to go through the sandpapering process before each and every hole.
It might also help that a by-product of the sanding is a thin layer of plastic-dust which acts a bit like lube.

Either way, make sure its sharp, and then step up to shoogle yo' pole-dancin' boo-tay.

Press straight down while hanging all your weight from the pole, them try to slice through the foam by twisting the pipe (keep the pressure on though)
Try to cut it as quickly as possible for a cleaner cut.
It should slice through it in no time, and the foam around the hole will grow back to its normal height.
Then remove the pipe, extract the 'hole',

And slice the best looking side off to use as a padding puck:

I found that a five-for-a-pound cutter did the job just fine

I'm guessing you've now got the idea, so repeat this process as many times as you need to. I added some more holes to my design…

For the different sized holes I used different bits of pipe, which were harder to use than the long pipe cos they were both angle connector bits.

For The bigger hole I had to saw half the plastic away so I could apply the pressure straight down:

then it's just a whole bunch of Heel Spinning.

The small holes were pretty easy with this thing:

You can get a really good grip on it.
(remember to sharpen it!)

So, after a while, stopping only for a frugal meal:

you wipe the sweat from your brow, and stand back to admire your work:

I am sooooooo pleased at how this came out!

I am quite lucky that the foam was just the right size so that both bits are merely wedged into place, and can easily be taken back out of the case.
I did originally plan to glue it in there using no more nails or something…

Here it is again, but full of yo-yos:

I particularly like the little holes for your counterweights (or Busine$$) .
Also I left a big old gap at the back for strings and lube and bearings and stickers and old caps and all the other little bits n bobs.

What I also like about this case is that both bits of foam are really deep so you can put two layers in there.

Admittedly it can't take two wider yo-yos side by side, but at least you can double up on some, eh?

Finally, I can't ignore the flaws in the cutting and the mistakes I made.
It looks great, but up close you can tell its home made.

For instance, my second cut left some foam sticking out a bit from its surroundings:

I could shave that off with that cheap cutter, but I'm scared it'll go wrong. It works fine as it is, so I'm gonna leave it…

The main flaw is a rip which goes all the way down the side of the foam:

It happened during the twisting stage, so I had to stop halfway through. I then had to be really careful while finishing boring the hole.
I think it will be fixable though: a bit of superglue should glue the foam back together, and unless its set aside like on the picture, you can't really see the join.

The next one just makes me laugh!
I punched two holes a bit too close together, and the wall between them ripped a tiny bit

not a big problem, the padding still works between the two, and again, no doubt fixable with a dab of superglue.

Finally there are a few nicks and scratches on the surface of the foam, and some of the holes have a bit of a ripped edge:

But once its full you don't notice it at all!

So there you have it!
It really is that easy to make your own case.
All you gotta do now is start looking for a good case.



You remeber how I said I bought two bits of each piece of foam?
Well, the only fuck ups I made were the ones I mentioned above, so imagine my glee when whilst rooting around in the basement at work, I spotted this:

I checked it out and it hadn't been used for years so I was told I could have it!

I'm such a lucky bastard!
So now I am the proud owner of a set of matching yo-yo cases. I can only fill one so far but, but I'm relatively new to this game, so I'm guessing it won't be too long before they are both healthily full.

Repeat ad nauseum…

I got all this for, lets see now…
£1.50 for the 1st case,
£22 for the foam,
about £20 on tools (pipes, sandpaper, cutter, hacksaw for taking rivets off the case in the very beginning)

So about 45 quid for the pair.
And the ability to make more!

Definitely money well spent!

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Logo Drawing By Paul Gumma