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Definition of Home Scales

A balance is a basic instrument that serves to measure the mass of an object, using a standard weight to compare its mass and estimate the value of the mass of the unknown object. So we can use it to make home measurements or present it as a science project for elementary school students.

How to Make Home Scales?

Materials Required

  • A plastic hanger or a wooden hanger with notches.
  • Rope or thread
  • A single hole
  • Two identical paper cups (try to avoid wax-bottomed cups, as they add uneven weight)
  • A pair of scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking or packing tape

How to Make the Scale ?

  • Measure two pieces of rope two feet long and cut.
  • Make holes to attach the rope to the cups. Make a mark one inch below the edge on the outside of each cup.
  • Have your child use the single hole punch to make holes in each cup. Make a hole on each side of the cup, along the 1-inch mark.
  • Attach the hanger to the wall, using a cup hook, handle, or level rod to hang clothes or towels.
  • Tie the cord to each side of the cup and leave it in the notch on the hanger. The string should hold the cup like a bucket handle.
  • Repeat this process with the second cup.
  • Ask your child to hold the hanger to make sure the cups hang at the same level. If they are not; adjust the string until they are even.
  • When they look even: use a piece of tape to secure the string in the notches on the stand.

Types or Models of Homemade Scales

They can be made with a clothes hook suspended with a pendulum in the middle and two small baskets, they can also be made from height sticks and clips using the same pendulum technique, they can be made from wood, from recycled bottles among many other materials.

How to Make a Wooden Scale or Scale ?

Materials to be used:

  • A wooden plank (we use a cut from recycled floor boards)
  • A piece of peg, broom handle or other round wood as long as your plank is wide (we use two blocks of wood glued together)
  • A hot glue gun
  • A ruler or tape measure.
  • A pencil, or something to mark the wood.


  • Measure your wooden board and draw a line through the center.
  • Heat up your glue gun and simply add some glue to each end of the line (start with some glue so you can move the wood around until it is balanced), glue your round wood as close to the center line as you can get it
  • Turn your scale and see if it will balance (or almost balance), if you don’t gently move the round wood until you place it as close to balance as possible. If you need to, you can warm up the gluelittle by holding the hot end of the glue gun against it.
  • It took a while, and a little trial and error to balance our balance, I think it would have been easier if we had used lighter wood, but in the end we had it just balancing on its own.
  • We had a lot of fun trying to see which one weighed the most and how we could change the balance by moving them closer or farther from the center of the board.

How to Make a Home Scale for Children

Step 1: Use a hole punch to make holes in 2 small paper cups. Punch 2 holes in each cup. Drill the holes near the rim of the cups and on opposite sides. If you don’t have paper cups, you can make the cubes for your scale from plastic cups

Step 2: Cut 2 pieces of string that are approximately 1 foot long. Any type of string will work, but a thick, strong string will make the scale more durable. After cutting the pieces of string, place them next to each other to make sure they are the same length. If they are not, cut them with scissors to adjust their lengths.

Step 3: Tie the ends of the wadding through the holes in the cups. Use 1 piece of string per cup. When you are done, the pieces of string should form thin handles on the cups, as cups are small cubes. Find a clothes hanger with notches. A plastic, metal, or wood hanger will work, as long as it has a notch on both sides of the hook. Otherwise, the paper cubes will slip and fall off the scale.  If you don’t have a notched clothes hanger, you can use a little more string to tie the handles of the paper cubes to the bottom of a regular clothes hanger so that they don’t fall off.

Step 4: Hang the buckets on the clothes hook with the twine handles. Hang the cups on opposite sides of the clothes hangers in the notches. When you are finished, lift the scale and hold it at the top to examine the buckets. Both buckets should be hung at the same level; if one is higher than the other, you will need to adjust the string handles.

Step 5: Hang the scale on a door knob. Door knobs are excellent for hanging scales because they are low enough for children to reach. If you can’t find a door knob to use, look for any type of handle or bar you can hook the clothes hook on.

Step 6: Help your children find objects to put on the scale. Any kind of object will work, as long as it is small enough to fit in the paper cubes you made. Some fun objects you might try to weigh are your children’s favorite small toys, different rocks that your children find outside and small fruits like strawberries, blueberries and grapes.

Step 7: Have the children experiment by putting the different objects in the cups. When the object in 1 cup weighs more than the object in the other cup, the heavier cup will sink and tip the scale. Explain to your children that the bottom bucket has the heaviest object, and the top bucket has the lightest object.

How to Make a Scale with Recycling Bottles or Other Recycled Material

For this we must have:

  • 3 small plastic bottles
  • Wooden pallet
  • A circular medero or pencil,
  • Rope

We start by taking two of the bottles and cutting them in half, then we make some holes in the top that go through to the other end

We put the string through the holes of the previously perforated bottles.

Then we take the bottle that is left over and we put it as a support on the lid, we must glue the circular wood, and on it we put the wooden palette at both ends we put what we had previously done with the plastic bottles and the rope, and we have a Scale.

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IMAGEN DE BALANZA CASERA / homemade balance scale image