Fun Backyard Games You Can DIY Out Of Scrap Wood

If you love to prepare your home to host summer parties, you know how essential it is to have games ready for your guests. While indoor card games and board games are fantastic, it's more fun if you make the most of your outdoor living space. Barbecues, bonfires, and picnics become even more enjoyable with some fun backyard games to play. Caught without games for your upcoming backyard party? Don't sweat! There's no need to splurge on expensive outdoor games. With some scrap wood, you can easily craft your own fun, classic games in no time.

Interestingly, many classic games are crafted from wood, with versions tailored for both indoor and outdoor fun. Games like Yahtzee and Jenga are typically sized for indoor play, while others are more suited for the outdoors. Whether you're just looking to save some cash or looking for a way to use up the scrap wood lying around in your workshop or garage, you can easily DIY plenty of outdoor games using just some wood, paint, and basic tools.

DIY games from cut-to-size scrap wood

Some scrap wood DIY only requires cutting them to size. For instance, you can create a giant Yahtzee game by making five dice; you can easily download scoreboards online for free. To begin, cut a 4x4 post into five 3 1/2 x 3 1/2-inch cubes to make the dice. For accuracy, create or print out a template before drilling the dice. Place the paper template on the cube and use a nail head to mark the center of each circle. Then, with a 5/8 inch Forstner drill bit aligned to the marks, drill down about a quarter of an inch. If you're using a drill press, set a depth stop for consistency. After drilling, paint the holes and sand the dice smooth. Don't forget to round the cut edges and apply two coats of varnish for a durable finish.

Next, let's tackle a DIY Jenga set! Start with some 2x4s and cut 54 blocks. Each block has to be as long as three other blocks are wide. Since 2x4s are actually 3 1/2 inches wide, you'll need to cut your 2x4s to 10 1/2 in length. Sand each block and finish them with varnish or boiled linseed oil. If you're up for it, you can make a carrying case for the blocks as well. Like Jenga, creating a Stumpfe game involves cutting 2x4s into 12 identical-sized blocks and angling the tops so you can write or etch numbers on them.

Classic games you can make with a hole saw

Still have scrap wood? Use your hole saw to make a cornhole. Build a rectangular frame to your desired size, or use the American Cornhole Association's standards. Assemble the frame with 3/4 x 4-inch pine boards and attach a 1/2-inch plywood top with screws. Cut a 6-inch hole with your hole saw. Sand and paint the unit to your liking. Create legs, keeping the top of each rounded. Drill through each leg into the board's side and secure it with hex cap screws. Make 6x6-inch cornhole bags, and your game is ready.

You can also do this Connect 4 build by TikTok user @pineandpoplardiy. Begin by constructing two sets of stands, each with a box slot at the top center of a flat board that snugly fits the side stand. For the main board, use two 1/4-inch thick boards, each drilled with a 6x7 grid of holes using a 6-inch hole saw. Sand and paint the boards and playing chips (from the holes you made) in your chosen colors. Insert vertical dowels between the holes to maintain alignment, then glue the boards together. Attach 1x3 boards along each side of the main board to form the sides and legs. Add a 1x2 at the bottom to hold a 1/4-inch chip-release strip across the structure's base, letting you reset the game by simply pulling the strip. You can also craft a checkerboard and use your Connect 4 chips for a game of checkers!