The sun is shining (maybe), people are jetting off on their holidays… it must be the summer! Yep, the season for barbecues and garden parties is well upon us. Time to whip out the factor 30 and dig out those shorts from the back of the wardrobe (only for it to inevitably burst into an impromptu rain shower, of course… #BritishProblems).
This is actually the first summer in years that I’ve lived in a house with a garden (up ’til now, it’s mostly been rental flats). So I’m taking full advantage of this by getting out in the garden as much as I can! As well as investing in some garden furniture and a barbecue, I also thought it would be cool to start a collection of garden party games for guests to play. Cos, y’know, I’m such a good host. 😉 So, of course, I took the handmade route and made a DIY ring toss game! (also known as quoits).
I had so much with this project – not just playing it, but making it too! It was actually pretty easy to make, but I’ve managed to surprise quite a few guests when I tell them it’s a DIY.
DIY ring toss game
Supplies and tools
- 2 planks of wood measuring approx 60cm x 10cm
- 4 planks of wood measuring approx 25cm x 10cm
- 5 pieces of thick wooden rods (I used offcuts from a curtain pole!)
- Sandpaper or electric sander
- Strong wood glue
- Power drill and drill bits
- Several small screws
- Wood plane
- 5 x small wooden dowels
- Wood clamp
- Outdoor wood paint or stain (optional)
- Approx 3m of medium thickness rope for each ring
- Large eye needle (e.g. an upholstery needle)
Part 1: Make the base
- Start by cutting all of your wood to size, if it’s not already. You can ask the people in the DIY shop to do this for you, or do it yourself with a jigsaw or hacksaw.
2. Position one of the smaller lengths of wood on top of a longer piece, so that the ends line up. Clamp them together then drill a series of small pilot holes through both pieces (one in each corner should do).
3. Remove the clamp, take apart the pieces of wood and apply a layer of wood glue to them (as per the bottle instructions). Put the two pieces of wood together again, clamp them tightly and drill a screw through each of the pilot holes you made earlier. This will help pull the wood closer together and increase the bond between them.
4. Immediately wipe off the excess glue that will have oozed out of the sides using damp kitchen paper, then leave to dry according to the glue bottle’s instructions.
5. Repeat this process 3 more times with the other small lengths of wood, so you’re left with two separate sections, each consisting of 3 wooden pieces. They should be double layered at the ends, with a small gap in the middle. These will form the base of your DIY ring toss game.
6. Use a wood plane and sandpaper/electric sander to smooth down all of the edges of the wood, so that the sides are completely flush and smooth.
7. Lay the two sections of the base over one another (with one facing up, the other facing down), so that they slot together in the middle gap. They should fit snugly together into a cross shape.
8. With the pieces constructed like this, make a small pencil mark at each of the 4 ends of the cross. These marks will determine where the poles are going to be positioned, so make sure that they have a few centimetres of space all around them (so that the poles are central when the ring toss game is constructed). You also need to make a pencil mark directly in the centre of the cross, which is where the middle pole will be positioned.
9. Deconstruct the two pieces of the base and drill a hole at each pencil mark. The hole must be wide enough for a dowel to fit snugly inside.
Part 2: Make the poles
1. Now the base of the DIY ring toss game is constructed, it’s time to make the poles! Start by cutting your thick wooden rods to size. The actual size isn’t too important, as long as they are all the same – but you should aim for approximately 15-20cm. Sand the edges to smooth them.
2. Drill a hole into the circular flat face of each rod, making sure it’s just large enough to insert a small wooden dowel.
3. Insert one dowel into the hole in each rod. If it’s a tight fit, you may need to use a hammer to get it in. Alternatively, if it’s a little loose, add a little wood glue to ensure it’s held in securely. Do not insert the dowel all the way – make sure half of the length is left sticking out.
4. OPTIONAL: Add a coat of outdoor paint, varnish or polish to the base and the poles (or you could leave it as it is, provided it will not be kept outside when not in use). You can also add a paint stripe to the rods to correspond to the number of points each one represents in the game. I painted mine so that the middle is worth 30 points, and the outside ones are worth either 10 or 20 points.
Part 3: Make the rings to toss
1. To make the actual rings of your DIY ring toss game, you’ll first need to cut three lengths of rope. Approx. 1m each should be sufficient.
2. Use a bulldog clip or a heavy weight to hold the ends of the three pieces of rope together, then plait the ropes together.
3. Keep going until you reach the very end, then tie off the ends.
4. Remove the bulldog clip or heavy weight from the other end, then tie off this end to – you’ll be left with a long piece of plaited rope.
5. Use a large needle and strong twine to tie/stitch the two ends of the rope together, to form a sturdy ring. Repeat this for as many rings as you would like.
When you’re ready to play your DIY ring toss game, simply fit the two base pieces together and slot in the rods to the holes – tah-dah! I love that it’s so easy to take apart, making it the perfect portable garden game for the summer. 🙂 – Mike.
Help me spread the word! Pin this image so you can make it later: