Wooden Marble Maze

The idea for this came into my head a couple of weeks ago.  I’m probably not the first one to do it, but it’s quite fun to play with.  Similar to a marble labyrinth, only much easier, which makes it great for younger kids.  Just set the marble on the small start hole, then get it to roll down the path all the way to the end, where it drops satisfyingly into the little pouch.  (I couldn’t resist using some vintage neck tie scrap for the pouch.  It gave it a nice billiards feel I think.)

The design ended up having a little Victor Pasmore feel to it, which I like.


  1. Tricia Orchard
    September 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm


  2. Elle
    September 26, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I love it! I want one:)

  3. zoalspippi
    September 26, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Wow! I just LOVE your toys, they are so playful yet elegant and simple in a genius way. You deserve to sell those in toy stores worldwide i say! Love fro The Netherlands.

  4. Amanda Pedro
    September 26, 2010 at 3:03 am

    simply brilliant. Yet again!

  5. Lori Henriques
    September 26, 2010 at 3:29 am

    wow. i wish you would've brought it over today!!!!!!! awesome. i totally want to try it! not familiar with VP, but REALLY love the design. i think hermes should hire you! i would like a scarf with squiggly lines just like this. fantastique!

  6. jeremiahsniece
    September 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

    awesome. one of my faves from your collection- I think it might make my 'top 5 Made by Joel' toys. :)

  7. Konfettiform
    September 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Ye, I must agree, probably one of your top 5 :)
    Have a great day!

    Lena, Konfettiform.

  8. nanounours
    September 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Waouh ! I love your toy, I love your blog ! thank you !
    Nanounours (from France)

  9. Miriam
    September 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    WOW, lovely!!!


  10. Hanna from the corner table
    September 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for your amazing blog and ideas!

    I don't even have kids but I find this all so inspiring ;)

  11. Joel Henriques
    September 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks everybody!

    You guys don't miss much. I just added the "top 5" yesterday, but it would be more accurate to say "5 most popular posts". I should change that. I thought it would be handy to have some quick references for people.

    But yeah, I'm really enjoying this marble thing a lot myself! Jack and Tess find it fascinating too, but some of the angular corners are a little tricky. I'm going to adjust the design a bit on the next one.

  12. amanda
    September 26, 2010 at 5:43 pm
  13. Emil und die großen Schwestern
    September 27, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Very cool ideas, very cool blog! soon, Éva

  14. Heidi - Botanical PaperWorks seed paper
    September 27, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Super cool! I wonder if the idea would work with heavy cardboard? I'm not into wood but I do like chipboard and cardboard. ~Heidi

  15. Joel Henriques
    September 27, 2010 at 2:57 pm


    Heidi - I bet you could make it work with a sturdy cardboard. Just cut it out with a craft knife, and try a simple curving path with no sharp corners. good idea!

  16. Elin
    September 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    This is just brilliant, you have such great ideas that yet are so simple!

    I wish I was more handy with wood, but I just might try it with cardboard as Heidi said.

    I never liked the "real" labyrinths, they are too difficult for me even as an adult...

  17. Surya
    September 29, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Genius man!

  18. Heidi
    September 29, 2010 at 7:01 am

    I showed my father, and he´ll making something like this for my kids for x-mas ;-) Ill blog and link, of course.

  19. fridica
    September 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I would LOVE to play with this :)

  20. Else M Tennessen
    September 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I want this toy. So cool! Can you post the pattern you used so we can cut out our own? You are brilliant, Joel. :)

  21. Raincloud
    October 2, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Oh wow, this is fantastic! Great idea.

  22. amanda
    October 2, 2010 at 8:36 am

    that's cool...would be really awesome to make a crazy-cool laser cut one!

  23. ginger
    October 11, 2010 at 7:59 am

    This is so neat! I'm going to make this as soon as we get back from vacation--what did you use to drill the path? Thanks for having such a great blog!

  24. Joel Henriques
    October 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

    Thanks everybody!

    ginger - I actually used my scroll saw, which you can take the blade out of and re-insert it through a drilled hole for inside cuts. You could also probably use a router though maybe.

  25. Anonymous
    November 12, 2010 at 6:31 am

    спасибо! thank you from russian mother.my Paper Marble Maze

  26. Joel Henriques
    November 12, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Anonymous - Oooh, that is excellent! What a great idea! I must try that too!

  27. joyce
    April 24, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Love this! Although, as a teacher, I see my children's name scrolled in the board written in cursive instead of a path :))

  28. B
    May 30, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    What kind of wood did you use for this?

    1. May 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Birch Plywood. I think it's baltic birch ply, but not sure. Got it from my grandfather-in-law, and he's had it for a few decades.

  29. Pieter
    September 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Hi Joel, we love your design. We want to make it as a group of parents for our kids, so I have to buy material for all of us. Can you help me with the size of the maze as you made it, and thickness of the plywood you used? Cheers!

    1. September 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Hi. It doesn't really matter what size you make it. Just so you can comfortably hold it with two hands. I think mine was probably about 14x8". Just guessing. It was also 1/8 inch plywood. You can get more info on the construction too, by reading my comments above if you'd like.

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