Difficulty: All Levels

Safety Warning: In How to make a Rolla Rolla, Alan will be using power tools and saws. To avoid injury this should only be done by an adult or under close adult supervision. Always wear the correct PPE.

Alan is back to demonstrate how you can make your very own Rolla Bolla.  He talks you through what you’ll need and shows you step-by-step what to do.


  • Large Pipe – Alan is using 160mm drainage pipe, but 110mm can be used too.
  • Plank of wood – Alan is using 18mm thick to support the weight of an adult
  • Hacksaw or angle grinder
  • PPE
  • Screws and screw driver or drill
  • Rubber/Kitchen Draw Liner
  • Staple gun or strong glue

First Alan shows you how to measure out your piping so that you have an even line all the way around. Next you will carefully cut a groove around the entire pipe so that you can cut through it safely and evenly.

Next you need cut your board to size. To find out the width needed, measure the shoe size of the biggest feet to use the rolla bolla. Then add a few millimetres either side. For the length you should have a slightly wider stance than your hips.

Once you have cut your board, Alan shows you how to attach ‘stoppers’. These are two off cuts of wood that are screwed on underneath the board to prevent it from rolling off the rolla when practicing.

Finally you can add some rubber to the underneath of the board to give your rolla bolla a better grip. Now all thats left is to try it out but remember to have a spotter. For some basic tricks check out Jono’s rolla bolla tutorial here.

All our other tutorials can be seen here.

Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: In this how to make a diabolo video Rowan will be using sharps tools such as carving knives, and secateurs, as well as other tools. This activity should only be attempted with adult supervision, and proper care and attention be paid through out.

In this tutorial Rowan shows you an ingenious way to make a diabolo out of just ice cream tubs and tree branches.


  • 2 Round plastic tubs (Must be the same size & weight)
  • String – Ideally light, tightly woven
  • 4 small screws
  • Gardening Secateurs
  • A carving knife/Pen Knife
  • Screwdriver

To begin with Rowan shows you the type of ice cream tubs he is using to make his diabolo. Any rounded plastic tubs will do, or you could try other objects such a ball cut in half. The important part to remember is that they must be the same size and weight for both sides.

Once you have got the main parts of your diabolo, you’re going to need an axel. This is the small gear in the middle of the diabolo that sits on the rope. Rowan cuts a small section of branch (about an inch) and then starts to carve a groove in to the middle. This is where the string will sit.

The axel should be shaped almost like an hour glass, so once you have carved a groove around the middle, try to deepen the groove and smooth out the sides.

Rowan suggests using 2 screws to attach each side of the diabolo so that it doesn’t unscrew itself while spinning. This can be a little tricky, so he suggests drilling the holes into the axel first before trying to attach the pieces.

Now to make some diabolo sticks. In the video Rowan uses tree branches, but you can use other things like wooden spoons, or a pair of drum sticks. Tie your string around the top of each stick and you are ready to go.

After all that work you’re going need a few tricks to try. So why not check out Jono’s tutorial on some diabolo basics.

Want to build more of your own circus kit? Check out our other How to Make videos and all our tutorials here.

Difficulty: All Levels

Safety Warning: Adults should always supervise children when using glue and paint, and when cutting eye and mouth holes. This one can be messy – make sure you cover the surface you’re working on!

Alice shows you how to make a circus mask using a papier-mâché technique!


  • Round balloon
  • Scrap paper (newspaper, old notepaper, etc.)
  • Paintbrush
  • PVA Glue
  • Water
  • Wool
  • Paint

First, Alice shows you how to cover a blown-up balloon with papier-mâché to create your mask base. She demonstrates using a paintbrush to make sure everything is really smooth, but you can do this with your hands.

It’s important that you make the mask big enough to cover your head and forehead, so that it stays on comfortably.

You’ll need to do 4-5 layers, and dry each layer for 8-12 hours in between. Once it’s dry, you should be able to pull the balloon out of the mask and mark out eye and mouth holes.

When you’ve decided what kind of mask you want to make, you can start building up features like eyebrows and a nose with more papier-mâché.

When all this is dry, you’ll create eye holes and a mouth hole. Now that you’ve learnt how to make a circus mask, your mask is ready to decorate!

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: All Levels

Safety Warning: Get a parent to help you with the trickier bits like using scissors, pliers, and a needle and thread.


  • Dowel wood approx. 1ft (25-30cm) in length
    If you can’t get hold of dowel, you could use any firm, straight stick – even something you pick up on your daily walk could work!
  • Ribbon, between 6ft (2m) -10ft (3m) in length
  • Needle & thread
  • Large keyring
  • Ring screw – the kind you get in picture framing kits
  • Small swivel – often used for fishing lines
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure

Rae shows you how to make twirling ribbons! This fun and easy How To project is perfect for all ages (with adult help). You can choose any colour ribbon, and you could even paint your wooden stick as well.

Make sure a parent helps you with the tricky bits. Follow Rachel’s instructions on attaching a swivel to the top of your dowel rod, and then attaching it to the ribbon.

You can order all of these items online but you may have them lying around the house, or be able to borrow from a neighbour (at a safe distance, of course).

Once you’ve learnt how to make twirling ribbons, you can start practising with your completed one. Rae shows you some easy tricks to get you started. Next week, we’ll have another video from Rae showing you some more twirling ribbon tricks!

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: All Levels

Safety Warning: Supervise young children when using scissors. If you are borrowing DVD cases, make sure you have asked permission and stored the DVD disc somewhere safe first!

Jono shows you how to make your own cigar boxes – the ultimate Gentleman Juggler prop – using just a few household items!

Cigar boxes are lightweight blocks for juggling, and can be used by jugglers of all ages and abilities. They are simple and easy to make. All you need is some empty DVD cases, and some elastic bands to hold them together.

But, if you want to get a bit more creative, you can cover the boxes with some wrapping or brown paper and personalise it! We’d love to see your personalised boxes – why not send us a picture?

In his next video, Jono shows you some juggling tricks with your new cigar boxes!

You can see all our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: Medium

Safety Warning: Younger children will need supervision, as this task involves PVA glue and felt tip pens.

In Circus Costume 2, Tilly shows you how to make your own circus t-shirt! Using a variation of batik technique – using glue/toothpaste rather than wax – you can make your own fantastic design.

Create your own design – a simple design is best – and then draw it onto your t-shirt.

Then, you’ll be using PVA glue – or even toothpaste – to draw over this design. Once it’s dry, paint over the design using acrylic paint and leave it to dry. Once you’ve soaked off the glue, you’ll have a relief outline of your image!

This is a simple and really fun way to customise your own t-shirt or other clothing item. Children of any age can try this, with parents’ help, and you can be as ambitious as you like.

We can’t wait to see your designs when we get back to class!

You can see all of our videos and activities here.

Difficulty: All Levels (with adult help)

Safety Warning: Adults need to supervise closely for this one – you’ll be using a drill, so take the lead! Always wear the correct protective equipment.

In How To Make Bucket Stilts, Alan shows you how to make your own bucket stilts using just a few household items. He talks you through what you’ll need and shows you step-by-step what to do.

If you don’t have old paint cans, get inventive – what else could you use? Just make sure you’ve chosen a sturdy base that’s the right size. Remember, it has to take the weight of the stilt walker!

Once you’ve made these, you can stomp around on your stilts like a circus pro.

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.

Difficulty: All Levels (with adult help)

Safety Warning: Younger viewers definitely need an adult’s help with this one. You’ll be using scissors, pins, and either a sewing machine or needle and thread.

In How To Make A Circus Costume 1, Tilly shows you how to create the first part of a fantastic circus costume – a scrunchie!

You can make your own fabulous hair scrunchie using any material you have lying around the house. If you don’t have spare material, you could even use an old item of clothing. Tilly explains what you need and shows you how to do each step of the project.

This is a great beginners’ sewing project as well! Make sure an adult is helping you where you need it, and make as many scrunchies as you want. Perhaps they’d be good gifts for your friends and family too?

We’ll be bringing you more videos on how to make different parts of your costume over the next few weeks.

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.

Difficulty Level: All Levels

Elly shows you how to make your very own sock poi from…well, socks! Once you’ve made them, she shows you basic moves to try with your new equipment. Elly also demonstrates some longer sequences for you to work towards!

This equipment is easy to make and perfect for anyone, no matter what level you are at. Kids, just make sure you’ve asked an adult before repurposing the laundry.

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.

Difficulty: Suitable for all levels

Safety Warning: Younger viewers should get a grown-up to help, as this one involves some simple sewing.

Don’t have your own juggling balls at home? No problem! Alice shows you how to make your own from things you can easily find around the house.

It’s true that the pros can juggle with just about anything, but if you’re learning the basics we suggest using juggling balls. You can make your own with a pair of socks (ask before repurposing the laundry) and any kind of weighty filling like dry rice or lentils.

Alice takes you through how to create neat juggling balls that won’t unravel, with simple stitches to keep everything in place.

Once you’ve made them, start with Beginners’ Juggling to learn some tricks!

You can see all our Youth Circus Home Edition videos here.