Oh my goodness. I love this project so much! Have you noticed the fun trend of turning childhood table games into oversize outdoor games? For the record, I am fully on board. Big interactive games that the whole family can play, and that get people outside? Yes, please. In fact, lately, my new favorite housewarming gift to give has been an oversize outdoor Jenga set. But I think I like this DIY Yard Yahtzee even more! And it’s a total bargain project too.
Picture it now: You and the kids outside after dinner, making the most of the last sunny summer evenings, chasing around your lawn or at the park, playing an active game of Yard Yahtzee and enjoying an icy popsicle.
Amy Christie put together this project, and you can find the full instructions below. But before we jump to the DIY, I’m curious. Is anyone else out there holding on to summer for dear life, or is it just me? My kids went back to school last week, and though I enjoy getting back to a regular work schedule, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the summer break.
Luckily, there are still many warm weekends ahead. And Labor Day too!
How about you? Ready to jump back in to the school year? Wishing summer would last forever?
Here’s what Amy says:
Back during graduation party season, my children and I played our first game of Yard Yatzhee. Our friends had the rules on a big piece of poster board hung on a tree and my children and I played, sticking to the “how many of one number can we get” method. I was never into Yahtzee in my youth. I can remember we had the game when I was little but I don’t remember ever playing it. However, Yard Yahtzee is a blast and fun for all ages (even pre-readers!). Once we played, I knew I wanted to make some dice of our own.
The main material needed for this is a 4″ post which can be found at home improvement store that sells lumber. It’s a bit intimidating to pick out (there are lots of wood-type options) and it’s big and heavy. But it’s inexpensive ($8-10)!
While this DIY is very straight forward, it requires some major tool usage. I’ve listed what I used and then listed other options so you can decide how to proceed depending on what you have. Also, this is an outdoor project unless you have a dedicated workshop. It’s dirty and mess-producing and the tools are loud!
– 4″ post*
– saw – I used a miter saw with a 12″ blade. You could also use a basic hand saw, hack saw, table saw, band saw, sawzall.
– sander – I used an orbital sander. You could use a sanding block or belt sander.
– drill and a large bit- I used a 3/8″ bit. You could use a countersink bit or a forstner bit. You could also use a Dremel with a spherical sanding bit.
– acrylic paint
– paint brushes
– top coat, optional
*My post was 8′ long. Since the dice are cut down into 4″x4″ cubes, the full size is WAY more than you need. I was able to get four full sets from one post. So, think about splitting one post among other DIY friends or search for a partial post in the scrap bin at the home improvement store. Or, like me, make them and give them away!
1. Cut the 4″ post into 4″x4″cubes. However you decide to cut them down, it is best to measure one cube, cut, then remeasure and then cut and so on. If you measure and mark them all beforehand, there is a chance the final cubes won’t be the right size.
2. Use the drill and bit to make the dice dots. The holes DO NOT need to be very deep at all. Not sure how a dice is laid out? Here’s an image. Did you know that each of the opposite faces add up to seven? Me neither!
3. Sand! Sand the die faces and all the edges.
4. Add paint to the dot divots with a paint brush. Any color you want! Add a sealant if desired.
Now you are ready to play! Need the rules? Check out this link.
– This project could be done without any drilling. Just make cubes, sand and then use the paint to add the dots. Using a sealant is necessary for this to make sure the paint stays put.
– The wood grain is different on the different faces of the die and this becomes really apparent when drilling. On the four sides when the grain is going up and down, if you go too deep, the holes can get gnarly and require additional “cleaning up” to make them smooth (using the bit). Just remember: the holes don’t have to be deep. Just a little divot will provide a nice spot for the paint to go.
– Don’t stress about perfection. This is an outdoor game that will be thrown on the ground and will inevitably get banged up. If all the dots aren’t perfectly in place, that is okay.
Thank you so much, Amy!
What do you think, Dear Readers? Is this a project you could tackle? If you don’t have power tools, I’m betting the hardware store could cut the 4-inch cubes for you for a small fee. Then you could just paint on the dots. Done and done! If you give it a try, definitely let me know.
Also, in addition to oversize Jenga and Yahtzee, have you seen any other good table games turned yard games?
Credits: Images and styling by Amy Christie.