Avoid backing into the kids' important stuff by hanging a tennis ball.

How to Hang a Ball From a Garage Ceiling to Use as a Guide to Not Hit the Wall

by Eric Jonas

When you think of a tennis ball, chances are your first thought is not a method to outperform some of the most advanced technologies for parking in your garage. You can spend money on systems that include lights and sounds to help you park and spend hours wiring and installing the systems after figuring out what the instructions are saying. Alternatively, hang a simple tennis ball from the ceiling to gently let you know you have parked in just the right spot.

1 Make a small slit in the tennis ball, slightly smaller than the washer. There is no need to spend money on anything special for the task; the end of a sharp utility knife will do the trick.

2 Tie one end of a piece of string to a washer. Do not cut the string from the spool just yet. Grip the washer with a pair of needle nose pliers and force the washer into your newly created slit. Even though the slit is rather small, the flexibility of the tennis ball material will allow the it to expand with pressure.

3 Pull on the string with just a little force. The goal is to make sure the washer and string will not slide out of the tennis ball. If you made the slit too large, don't worry; just make another, smaller slit.

4 Show off your amazing parking skills by carefully driving into the garage to the placement that you want to park from this point forward. Check that the garage door will close properly without taking off your bumper and that you have sufficient room in front and to the side of the car to walk.

5 Place a sticker or piece of masking tape on the center of the windshield where you want the tennis ball to touch when you park. Measure the distance from the sticker to the wall in front of the vehicle with a measuring tape and from the sticker to the closest wall on one side. Measure the height from the sticker to the ceiling to determine the length. These measurements will be used to locate the spot to hang the ball.

6 Drive the vehicle out of the garage and mark the spot on the ceiling to hang the string, based on your previous measurements.

7 Hammer a nail into place on your mark. If you have an unfinished garage and the ceiling joists do not line up with where you need the nail, secure a piece of wood between the joists to use for nail placement.

8 Mark the string attached to the ball with a sticker or a piece of tape according to the height measurement. Wrap the string around the nail and tie it to the nail.

9 Pull your vehicle into the garage again to test the placement. Remove the sticker from your windshield and enjoy the fact that you, or perhaps your teenagers, can safely park in the garage without causing damage to the vehicle or walls.

Items you will need

  • Tennis ball
  • Utility knife
  • String
  • Washer
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Sticker or masking tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Wood, optional

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images