Let’s Make Some Lawn Games!
I’m getting this post up just in time for summer fun to take place! I don’t know about you, but summer is my favorite season. There is just so much to do during the summer, like playing oversized lawn games! We made these for the wedding, and now we have them to entertain guests all summer long.
This is definitely the longest post I’ve ever written, and it may just end up being the longest one for the lifetime of A Little Peace of Home. Below, I’m going to tell you how to make 3 different lawn games: jenga, dice, and tic-tac-toe. We also had giant dominos at our wedding, but we decided it was best just to purchase them.
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Jenga was a huge hit at the wedding, and we’ve actually played it a few times since then. Kids and adults alike are intrigued by this oversized lawn game, which makes it great for all kinds of events or get-togethers. So this is what you’ll need:
2x4s, lots and lots of 2x4s (54 feet to be exact) the straighter, the better!
Saw (we used a circular saw, but I imagine that any saw that cuts through wood will do)
120 grit sand paper and a sanding block, or a handheld sander
Stain- we used 3 different colors to make it more visually appealing, but its definitely not necessary
Gloves and rags (for applying the stain)
Tub for storage (10 gallon size with a lid worked well for us)
- The first thing you’ll need to do is mark your 2x4s so you know where to cut them. Each jenga piece needs to be 10 ½ inches long, so you may want to give yourself just a tiny bit of extra when measuring, since the saw will take some off. When you’ve marked all your 2x4s, double check to make sure that you will have 54 pieces when you are finished cutting. If everything looks good, go ahead and saw away!
- Now you should have a pile of 2x4s measuring 10.5 inches long. Here comes the torturous part, or at least in my opinion: sanding them. The sound of sandpaper against wood makes my skin crawl so I recruited my wonderful husband (at the time, fiancé) to do this part. Each piece needs to be sanded smooth on all sides to make them easier to slide when playing and to prevent splinters. We also rounded off the corners some because we liked the look of it.
- Next is the staining process. Before you start, make sure to wipe the sawdust off each piece. If you’re using 3 different colors of stain, like we did, you’ll use each stain on 18 pieces. Make sure you have enough space to let them dry, and don’t forget to wear your gloves! Be aware that the stain will probably soak in more on the ends (where you cut it), so you may not need to use quite as much stain. When you’re staining, be sure to wipe it on with the grain of the wood-never against the grain- and wipe it off the same way! I would recommend using different rags for different colors, and don’t use rags that will leave behind lint.
- You are welcome to seal the wood to protect it from moisture, but we decided to skip this step. Being that we live in the desert, moisture is rarely an issue for us, and we store our jenga pieces in a tub to keep them out of the weather.
Similar to the jenga pieces, you will need to measure, cut, and sand the dice, but this process is much less tedious. At our wedding, we played the game 10,000 with the dice. You can find directions here, or play your own game! Because the dice were so big, we made sure to have a container so they could be rolled all at once. Now let’s get started:
4×4 – you will need 2 feet or less to make 5-6 dice, but chances are you’ll have to buy more than that!
Saw (again, we used a circular saw, but I imagine that any saw will do)
120 grit sand paper and a sanding block, or a handheld sander
Round foam dabber (like this one)
Dark paint (it doesn’t have to be black, but darker colors will work better on light wood)
Acrylic spray sealer
- First, you’ll mark your wood to cut it every 3 ½ inches. Again, you may want to give yourself a hair extra since the saw will take some off. We made 5 dice, but there are lots of games that require 6 dice so it may be worth it to make 6. When you’ve finished measuring and marking, go ahead and cut them.
- Next is sanding, which again, I happily passed off to someone else. Be sure to sand each side, and round the corners some if you’d like. We opted to go with the natural wood color for the dice, but feel free to stain them if that’s more appealing to you!
- To paint the dots on, use your foam dabber and dark paint. To make sure I got the dots on the right side, I used a regular die for a guide. Just in case you don’t have one, here’s a verbal description: The six and one are opposite each other. The two and five are opposite each other, and the three and four are opposite each other. If you find that there are bubbles in your paint from using the foam dabber, you can use a regular paint brush to smooth them out. You may even want to use a regular paint brush for a second coat, since the shape of the dot is already in place.
- In order to protect the paint, we sprayed each side of the dice with an acrylic spray sealer, and the dice were ready to use shortly after that!
This was probably the least labor intensive out of all the lawn games we made. Plus, we were able to incorporate our wedding colors into this one, which was nice. I’ve seen on Pinterest that you can make tic-tac-toe from a pallet, but I wanted something that was more portable. This is what we came up with:
5 Xs (I found some made from chipboard at Hobby Lobby)
5 Os (Here are the matching chipboard Os)
Paint* and a paint brush (for your letters)
42 feet of Jute rope, about ¼ inch thick
Hot glue gun
*Note: You’ll notice that I went with two paint colors: one for Xs and one for Os. You don’t have to paint them different colors, but it definitely makes it more fun when you’re playing!
- Start off by giving your Xs and Os their first coat of paint. One coat will probably be enough, but its better to get started early if you end up needing more coats.
- While the paint dries, go ahead and cut your jute rope into sections that are about 3 ½ feet long. You’ll need 12 sections.
- This next part requires 3 hands or a piece of tape. You’re go braid your jute rope into 4 thicker sections. It’s easiest to get started with someone holding the end, or by taping the three ropes together. Go ahead and hot glue both ends when you’re done braiding. Just in case it isn’t obvious, you’ll use 3 sections of rope for each braid, and end up with 4 braids when you’re finished. If needed, now is a good time to add a second coat of paint to your letters.
- Next you’ll arrange your braids into a tic-tac-toe board, so they should look like a #. When you’re happy with the arrangement, hot glue all the pieces together.
- If you’re using chipboard letters and decent paint, I can’t imagine you’ll need more than a couple coats, but if you do, now is the time to add another coat of paint. The final step is to add the finishing touches and hide the hot glue. This is where your twine will come in. Wrap the twine around the ends of each braid, using small amounts of hot glue to keep it in place. When you finish with that, wrap your twine around each of the four points where your braids are connected, in the middle. You can see from the picture that we did it diagonally one direction, and then the other, but there are definitely other ways to do this! Just make sure you wrap the twine in a way that will help hold the braids together. Again, use a small amount of hot glue to keep the twine in place. Once the glue dries, you’re all set to play!
Note: don’t let the chipboard letters get wet. They will start to peel apart if they are exposed to too much moisture.
Like I said above, we figured it would be best just to purchase the dominos. They were fun to have at the wedding and I’m so glad that we’ll have them for years to come! If you want to purchase your own set of lawn-sized dominos, you can find them here.
These lawn games were a huge hit at our fall wedding, and I already know that we will be having fun with them this summer too! Games are a great way to connect, relax, and have fun. Being able to do all that in the great outdoors is just a bonus!
Let me know what your favorite lawn games or other outdoor activities are in the comments!