I love how my husband is always looking for fun things to do with our girls. I especially like it when his ideas allow them to work with him in the garage or out in the yard. What I like even more is when their creations benefit the whole family, such as this backyard game. 🙂
Steve came across this DIY Giant Jenga project on YouTube and loved how simple it was. It was something he and our oldest, Sadie, could do together but also allowed her the chance to do a lot of it on her own with Steve just supervising.
It was a great time for them both and they have since made a few more sets for other and Sadie’s sisters have been able to help, too.
Here are the steps with pictures to help:
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If you do not have any of these tools, check with your local hardware store, many of them offer rental services.
- 7 8′ framing 2 x 4’s (You are going to want to pick out the straightest pieces with minimal defects.)
- Paint (For this project, Steve and Sadie chose colors to represent their beloved Cubs.)
- Minwax Paste Finishing Wax
- Old, white t-shirt
- Mini Paint Roller Kit
- Sandpaper (60, 120 grit)
You are going to want to measure out your boards marking every 10 1/4 inches.
Carefully make your cuts until you have a minimum of 54 pieces. Your cut boards should look like this:
Start with 60 grit and round your edges.
(Steve said he should have used his router to round the edges before sanding. Also, a stationary belt sander would have made the process easier, but Sadie got some good experience in with the palm sander.)
Once the edges are rounded, go back over each board with the 120 grit sandpaper.
Doesn’t Sadie look so cute in my painting smock? I’m not sure how I feel about my oldest being able to wear my clothes now. 🙂
Once you are done sanding, the pieces should look like this:
On to the fun part. *insert sarcasm*
Thankfully, Sadie enjoys painting and did not ask for my help. She divided her boards into three sections and painted one color at a time. If you are painting with a lighter color, you should do two coats.
Cut up your old t-shirt into square pieces and ball one piece in your hand and rub against the surface of the wax. You will then apply the wax along the wood grain of each board. A little goes a long way.
After you let the wax dry for fifteen minutes, you can add a second coat, which I recommend. After the pieces are dry, you are going to use circular motions with a fresh square of t-shirt and buff the wood.
Tip: Make sure your ends are sanded smooth or the wax will catch in the roughness and collect. If you prefer the more rugged look than you may need a stiff brush to clean out the excess wax.
Now, all that is left to do is have fun! (Oh, and win, because that’s the point of a game, right?) 😉
Of course, you can pick any color you want, you can even stain the wood. You can also buy smaller boards if you prefer a smaller set.
Steve and Sadie bought enough wood for two sets, one smaller than the other. They will be staining the smaller set so you can see the difference and I will update when they finish with them.
*Updated picture of plain wood pieces covered in only wax. (Steve and Sadie liked the pieces better without adding the stain.)*
$55 (We already had the tools so your cost could be more or less depending on what you have on hand and what items you choose to purchase.)
If you make your own set, we’d love to see it so make sure you post in the comments!
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but if I am recommending an item in my post, it is only because I have used it myself or have done enough research on the product to feel it is a good fit for my readers.
About the author
Kimberly McGraw is the founder of Life Worth the Living, a blog focused on helping mothers live their best life. Her desire is to help moms find purpose in who they are as a person, not just as a mom. Life Worth the Living has been featured in Making Sense of Cents, Outwit Trade and Believe and Create.