postheadericon Family fun game box

The entire family can have as much fun building this quick-and-easy project as they can playing checkers or tic-tac-toe on the built-in game boards.

Tools and Materials Tools

  • Circular saw and straightedge or table saw
  • Drill and 5/8″ bit
  • Sander
  • 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Clamps
  • Scissors


  • 1″ x 2″ x 6′ aspen board (#17907)
  • 21/32″ x 16″ x 48″ paint-grade pine panel (#9102)
  • 10 1/16″ x 6″ x 6″ red rubber sheets (#31446)
  • 16 1/2″ flat washers (#63309)
  • 5/8″ x 150′ twisted nylon rope (#66432)
  • 1″-wide painter’s tape (#45337)
  • Valspar gloss spray paint, Berry
  • Valspar gloss spray paint, Black
  • Valspar semigloss paint, Swiss Coffee (7002-16)
  • Valspar semigloss paint, Jackson Glen (CI16)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources

  • Game Box Project Diagram
  • X-O Patterns

Instructions Build the Game Box Step 1

From the panel, rough-cut two 16″-long pieces. Stack them and tape the uncut edges. Cut both to length and then to width.

Step 2

Cut the sides and bottom from the 1″ x 2″ board. Drill 5/8″ holes where shown and sand the holes smooth. Sand off any sharp edges around the hole to prevent the carrying rope from fraying. Then sand all the parts on both sides with 120-grit sandpaper.

Good to Know

When you drill the holes, clamp the boards to a piece of scrap to keep the bit from tearing out the wood as it exits the hole.

Step 3

Glue and clamp the sides and bottom to one panel and set aside to dry. Cover the edges of the sides and top with painter’s tape. Then tape the underside of the other panel where you’ll later fasten it to the sides and bottom. Apply two coats of paint to the sides and the front and back of both panels.

Step 4

Remove the tape. Then glue and clamp the remaining panel to the sides and bottom. Insert the carrying rope and knot both ends.

Paint the Game Designs and Playing Pieces Step 1

Using painter’s tape, mask off rows and columns for the checkerboard. Protect the surrounding area from overspray and apply at least two coats of black paint. Allow the paint to dry and remove the tape, taking care to avoid peeling away the black paint. Touch up the remaining paint as needed.

Step 2

On the opposite side, use tape and paper to mask off a grid for a tic-tac-toe board. Apply two coats of paint — we used Jackson Glen (#CI16) — and let dry before removing the masking tape.

Step 3

Divide the washers into two groups and spray-paint half of them red (Berry) on both sides. Leave the other half unpainted.

Step 4

Family fun game box

Print enough tic-tac-toe patterns to make five Xs and five Os. Tape the patterns to the rubber sheets and cut out the shapes with scissors or a crafts knife.

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