diy by 16

diy project: handmade lawn games

Daylight Saving Time begins this weekend, so the sun is staying out longer and the air is warming up a little. I know I’m an adult, but I really want to go outside and play! This DIY project from designer Chelsea Fullerton of Go Forth Creative has set off a chain reaction in my head. I’m dying to rediscover — and remake — the games of my youth. How could I have forgotten what a graphically awesome the game of Twister is? Damien Hirst should turn those million dollar paintings of his into giant Twister mats for public parks. Wouldn’t that be fun? But I digress.

I love that Chelsea has added her own handmade touches to this game, swapping out the primary color palette for more interesting colors and filling in the spin board with rough, painterly swatches. This project would make such a fun, thoughtful gift — pair it with a great bottle of wine and a picnic basket, and you have the makings of a pretty awesome day. I love that this project is inspiring me to think of all the games that could be given a modern, design-y twist. Pun intended. Thanks for sharing, Chelsea! — Kate

Read the full how-to after the jump . . .

Materials

  • 4′ x 5′ drop cloth
  • craft paint (4 colors)
  • spray adhesive
  • pencil
  • X-Acto knife
  • screwdriver
  • 4 paint brushes
  • ruler, preferably 18″
  • paper cutting board
  • 3/32″ x 2″ x 24″ piece of basswood or balsa wood
  • 9″ paper plates (x 4)
  • 11″ x 11″ piece of chipboard or other heavy stock, like cardboard
  • 2 printed copies of the template (click here to download!)
  • newspaper
  • 1/4″ post screw (the brass hardware that holds the spinner together)
  • small washers (x 4)

Instructions

1. Throw your drop cloth in the washing machine with warm water. Iron or lay flat right out of the dryer. This step is to soften the fabric.

2. Print the board template twice before you begin the next step on an 11″ x 17″ printer. I went to FedEx Office to print mine. Download the template here!

3. Cut out the square template so that you’re left with the 11″ x 11″ board. Save the other print just in case you mess up on the first.

4. Using your ruler, pencil and one paper plate, measure and draw 4 rows and 5 columns of 9″ circles.

5. To protect your floors, spread newspaper under the drop cloth. Now, using one color per paper plate, carefully paint inside the traced circles on your drop cloth. Be careful not to overuse the paint per circle, or you’ll run out! Let the drop cloth dry overnight.

6. While you’re painting the drop cloth, have your print handy. You can either paint imperfect circles like I did or paint in the lines for each square. The board should be dry within an hour.

7. Time to make the spinner: Take the piece of basswood and your ruler and measure a 5 1/2″ triangle with the larger end being 1″ wide, similar to the one shown below. Then cut out the shape using the X-Acto knife, ruler and cutting board. Don’t worry if your measurements aren’t on the nose.

8. If your piece of chipboard isn’t already cut down to an 11″ square, do so now with your X-Acto, ruler and cutting board.

9. Now that your paper board is dry, go outside, follow the spray adhesive directions and mount the 11″ paper to the 11″ chipboard. Carefully line up the top edge and then slowly press the sheets together from top to bottom, smoothing out any air bubbles along the way.

10. With your wooden spinner, measure 1 3/4″ from the wider side. Make a pencil mark in the dead center of the spinner at 1 3/4″. Gently turn your screwdriver until you make a hole where your pencil mark is that’s the width of the screwdriver.

11. Use the same method with the screwdriver to make a hole where the “x” is in the center of the game board print.

12. Finally, take your post screw and connect your spinner and game board. Place the 3 or 4 washers on the back of the post screw, on the underside of the board. Then connect your spinner and board with the post screw and washers.

You’re done!

(Editor’s Note: I made this to celebrate how fun this project is. Yay for animated GIFs!)

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16 Comments

Chelsea

Wow! I’m so thrilled to have my project featured. Thank you, Kate, for sharing with your readers. Enjoy, everyone!

Cate @ lifecomesround

Excellent DIY! Love it! When not in use the drop-clothe would look hanging on the wall of a play room or kids room. Colors of the dots could coordinate with the room and home.

Tan

How fun! Perhaps I’ll have to include this with the lawn games on our wedding ;)

Mel McCarthy

This is pure delight! Such a brilliant idea. I’m going to make one of these as a gift. Thank You so much for the tutorial.

Jordan

Wow!
That is so cool!
If I had other people to play that game with, I would so totally make this!
And what’s neat is you can make them different colors too, or even put pictures on it.
You can really get creative with it, like they could be hearts instead of circles or something!
lol look at me, getting inspired!
-Jordan

Elizabeth

When I was a kid, my family had a GIANT twister mat made out of about 6 full size sheets sewn together. About 20 people could play at once, and it was so much fun!
What an excellent project!

Shalimar

OMG! Thank you so much! Also thanks for elizabeths comment! I am going to make one like that big for my families annual field day! it will be awesome!

Stephanie

Made this for my backyard wedding reception! It was a huge hit. Thanks for the instructions!

Elizabe

It is a lot easier to spray paint the grass and then clean up when you mow!

Morgan

I’m going to make this for one of my lawn games in my wedding colors- what an awesome idea!! And it will be used every summer for parties and camping.
Love it- thank you!

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