Nothing brings a group together quite like a fun board game. And as the weather warms up and you move outdoors for your gatherings, the games can join. Bringing games outdoors only makes them more fun. And with DIY, you can create a number of lawn games yourself at a low cost.
Jenga is a popular lawn game because of its simplicity—it’s easy to keep track of the wooden blocks, even when they’re tossed around outside. As the popularity of lawn games rises, you may have noticed a jumbo version of the game on the market for a pretty penny. But with a few tools, it’s easy to DIY this one on your own.
Equipment / Tools
- Table saw or circular saw
- Tape measure
- 5 2x3" wooden boards, 8-feet long
Measure Your Blocks
To make a solid Jenga game, all of your wood blocks must match. You must also make sure that the length of each block is equal to the width of four blocks lined up side by side. That’s to ensure that, when the blocks are stacked, you have a perfectly square tower.
Don’t worry, we did the math for you. Cut each 2 x 3-inch board at 10.5 inches. Measure this length with a tape measure and mark it with a pencil. You only need to make one mark—use that block to measure the rest as you cut to save time.
This will create a tower built for stacking rows of four blocks. The four-block design makes the game a little less challenging, increasing the length of time it takes to play a round and ensuring all ages and abilities will have fun.
If you’d like to stick to the classic three-block design, you’ll need to use different measurements for your cuts.
Cut Each Block
Make sure you’re wearing protective eyewear and noise-canceling headphones as this project does have some safety risks. Then, use a table saw or circular saw to cut through the wooden board exactly at the 10.5-inch marking you made earlier.
Once that first block is cut, set it on top of the rest of the board to use it like a stencil when making all future cuts. Keep repeating this process until all of your boards are cut into Jenga blocks. Five of these eight-foot long boards should make 45 blocks. You’ll need 44 to make a game, so this allows you one extra block in case of any mistakes during the DIY process.
Feel free to get more boards to create a larger game if desired.
Sand Your Jenga Blocks
It’s important to have a smooth surface on your Jenga blocks because, let’s be honest, nobody wants splinters. If you have an electric sander, this step will go lightning fast. If not, sandpaper works just fine, too. You don’t need to make each edge completely rounded, but a little rounding is great. The goal is to get all surfaces smooth to the touch.
Beyond improving the safety of your DIY lawn game, this step will ensure the game works properly. The goal of Jenga is to slide each block out of the stack without moving the others. The smoother each block is, the less likely it is to affect adjacent blocks when moved.
Let the Games Begin!
Grab some friends and turn on the barbecue. It’s time for an outdoor party! Set up your Jenga game on a flat surface, like a patio, deck, or even an outdoor table. Arrange the blocks in a four by four stack, alternating the direction the blocks are pointed. Then take turns trying to pull individual blocks out of the tower without knocking it over. Once you’ve pulled a block out, stack it on top. Keep taking turns until someone loses by destroying the tower.
Find a large box or bucket to keep the blocks organized when you aren’t using them. Then, it’s easy to pull out when you’re in the mood for some fun and games.