Pickleball Paddle

Length of Project:
Project theme:
Suitable for grades:
Tools & Materials
Material List
  • blank scrap paper for template
  • 3/8" plywood, approx. 20"x10" (less if making a full set)
  • clear spray finish, eg, Varathane
  • spray adhesive
  • racket grip tape (eg, badminton, tennis)
  • electrical tape
Tool list
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • scissors
  • jigsaw or coping saw
  • 6+ spring clamps
  • eye protection
  • ear protection
  • rasp or file
  • sand paper, 80-120 grit
  • felt pens or coloured paints
  • optional: paint brush
  1. Design your pickleball paddle shape using paper and a pencil or felt pen (or use a template from the internet). Maximum length is ~17" (5" of which is handle), maximum width is ~ 8-1/4". Paddles are often rectangular with rounded corners. See project photos or online options for shape ideas. Note: teachers may want to provide students with a printed, standardized template shape.
  2. Use scissors to cut out your template. Lay the template on your plywood and use the pencil to trace the shape onto the wood. If you are making more than one paddle, arrange your templates carefully to use your plywood most efficiently.
  3. Use the spring clamps to secure your plywood the edge of a table, or use scrap wood to make a jig like the photo.
  4. Put on your eye and ear protection. Use the jig saw or a coping saw to cut the outline of your paddle.
  5. Use the rasp to smooth out the edges of your paddle, then work from 80 to 120 grit sandpaper until your desired smoothness is achieved.
  6. Use felt pens or paint to decorate the surfaces of your paddle. Keep in mind that the handle part will be covered with grip tape.
  7. Add a spray finish such as Varathane to both sides of your paddle (follow the directions on the can for best results).
  8. Use the spray adhesive to stick the grip tape to your handle in overlapping wraps until the handle is covered. Secure the top and bottom wraps with electrical tape.
  9. Challenge your classmates to a round of pickleball! Enjoy!
Extension Challenges
  1. Make a class set of paddles to donate to a classroom (or school, community centre, senior's facility, etc.) Paint half of the paddles a different colour or design to make matching team paddles.
  2. Try making ping pong paddles, or other sports accessories using the leftover plywood from your paddle project.
  3. Host a tournament! Celebrate students' achievement by hosting a pickleball tournament. Students can even apply their newfound jigsaw skills to make number cards to keep score.
Suggest an Edit