April 15, 2011

How to Make "Practice" Poi for Fire Dancing

How to Make "Practice" Poi (aka practice fire dancing balls that probably shouldn't be used for fire itself)
I know.... You probably couldn't care less, but one of my (many) nieces wanted to know how to make a set for herself. So here it is. Granted, this tennis ball version doesn't look as nice or professional as some of the woven ones, but they are very close in weight and movement to the "real" wick poi.

You need:
* 2 tennis balls
* 2 lengths of bicycle chain that is the length of your arm (from your chest to your thumb joint) plus 8 inches
* 2 "S" hooks
* 12 inch length of cotton or nylon cord cut into 2 pieces
* tools: pliers and exacto knife

My comic
1. Cut 2 parallel lines on the top and bottom of each tennis ball.
2. Push the chain through the top, out the bottom, in through the second cut in the bottom, and out again through the second cut on the top of the tennis ball. This should form a circle with the chain weaving through the tennis ball.
3. Where the beginning and the middle of the chain meet at the top of the tennis ball, use your pliers and link them together leaving one long end.

My comic
4. Now re-measure the length between your chest and where your thumb meets your hand. Unhook any extra length of chain.
5. Attach the "S" hook. Use your pliers and make sure both ends of the "S" hook are tightly closed so the chain can't slip through. I added an extra chain link to where the long chain meets the "S" hook for extra security.
6. Now tie your cord or thin rope in a loop to the other end of your "S" hook. Try it on your hand before tying the cord securely.

Ta da!

- Sarah