Giant Lawn Dominoes

June 10, 2016Allison Murray
Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

I love playing games to the point that I tend to annoy people asking them if they will play with me. Oddly enough Rob also loves games but we haven’t played anything together, yet. We keep saying we will and meaning to but it just doesn’t work out.

One of the things we do find ourselves doing quite often is sitting in our little outdoor love seat watching the dogs run around our itty bitty backyard. We both love being outside so this is a nice time for both of us and we’ll often shirk our responsibilities just a little bit to catch some outdoor time.

I thought that if I could mix games and the outdoors together I might get a game in every once in a while. So Rob and I headed up to Lowe’s so that we could make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes. For a cost of less than $20 this was one heck of an awesome project for us!

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Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

For this project you will need:

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

Believe it or not, I actually researched the common sizes for dominoes and there are apparently 5 different sizes.  I decided to go with approximately the same ratio as professional dominoes that ring in at 1″x2″. I decided to just increase the size to 6″x1′ to keep things proportional.

Now there are 28 dominoes in a double six set (to say the highest domino has a six on both ends) meaning you’ll need at least 28 feet of 2″x6″ select wood board to cut to make enough dominoes. I purchased 4 – 8′ boards at $4.25 apiece for a total of 32 feet of length. That would give us plenty of wiggle room in case of mistakes. We could also have purchased exactly 28 feet of board by getting 2 – 10′ boards at $6.18 apiece and 1 – 8′ board at $4.25 apiece but then there would be no room for error. When you do the math it only cost me  $0.39 more to get an extra 4 feet of wood to help make up for any errors in cutting.

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

You just need to make a straight cut to make 28 foot long lengths. If you have a fancy saw you can get it that way but if you don’t you can also saw by hand but it will take a lot longer. If you’re not a super perfectionist you can even ask for the people at Lowe’s to cut it for you. Most often they don’t even charge me for cuts if they aren’t busy and that’s an amazing courtesy I really appreciate and took advantage of often before we had a few saws lying around.

Because it gets so hot here during the day Rob was kind enough to cut 28 boards for me as the sun was setting. My job was to mark them with a speed square, he’d quickly rip through them and I’d stack and ensure that it was the same length as the others. It took about 30 minutes total but that’s because I was super picky about them being exactly the same. (Thank heavens for that few, extra feet!)

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

After all of the boards are cut sand each down to remove any marks and to smooth any areas that might cause splinters. The ends of most cuts could use a little cleaning up, too.

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

It just so happens that I found 2 quarts of Special Walnut in the garage and that suited me just fine! Each piece was stained in an assembly line fashion. Work however is easiest for you! Allow the stain a few hours to dry. I kept mine in the sun on the driveway and in about 3 hours I was making dominoes!

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

I wanted a more rustic look but if you want something more snazzy you can always make a stencil to use. To go my way just find a large, round pouncer and dab on the appropriate number of dots per side. A quick stripe down the middle is the perfect divider line and it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

The best way to do this and not accidentally mark the wrong dots is to start with your doubles and work up from there. You’ll need to make:

  • Double zero (0/0) and then 0/1 through 0/6.
  • Double one (1/1)  and then 1/2 through 1/6.
  • Double two (2/2)  and then 2/3 through 2/6.
  • Double three (3/3)  and then 3/4 through 3/6.
  • Double four (4/4)  and then 4/5 and 4/6.
  • Double five (5/5)  and then 5/6.
  • Double six (6/6).

See the pattern?

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

And now we have a full set of lawn dominoes for some amazing fun!

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

We all ran outside the very moment the rain decided to only drizzle for a few days and the flooding was able to go down (Houston was TERRIBLE recently) and it was nice enough to play outside. After being cooped up inside for a week it was very exciting to be outdoors and Momma and Rob started a game on the front lawn while I snapped pictures and *tried* not to skid around on the muddy grass :)

In the end they both had a great time and both want to play again and I’m excited for the next time when I get to play as well. We’ve decided we love this so much that we just might work on a few more lawn games in the coming weeks (hint, hint :)

Make a set of giant wood lawn dominoes for less than $20! It's such a fun outdoor activity for the whole family!

Written by Allison Murray - Visit Website

Comments (23)

  • Debrashoppeno5

    June 10, 2016 at 2:28 PM

    This looks like such fun.

  • paula lemay

    June 12, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    I just love this idea. It also gives exercise, as well.

  • Valerie T.

    June 22, 2016 at 5:20 PM

    You say, “I decided to just increase the size to 1’x2′ “, but if you are using 2″x6” boards, aren’t they actually 6″x1′? Basically, you just want them twice as long as they are wide, right?

    1. Allison Murray

      June 23, 2016 at 9:14 AM

      Right, length twice the width. I misspoke. We cut our boards to be 6″ x 1′.

  • Tonia

    June 22, 2016 at 7:59 PM

    How do you shuffle?

    1. Allison Murray

      June 23, 2016 at 9:06 AM

      We just tossed them around :)

      1. Raycia

        June 28, 2016 at 6:37 PM

        Are they heavy?

        1. Allison Murray

          June 29, 2016 at 8:18 AM

          Not really. My mom has a difficult time picking up things off of the ground that have much weight because she gets very dizzy but she had no issue with these.

  • Jan

    June 22, 2016 at 11:51 PM

    Those are just the cutest things. We live in Houston, too, and I know all about this rainy weather. I’m showing my husband this and hopefully, he will want to make them. Thanks for the great idea.

  • Michelle

    June 23, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Where did you buy the pouncer? This is a fabulous idea!!!

    1. Allison Murray

      June 23, 2016 at 3:11 PM

      I got a set for around $3 in the Walmart craft section!

  • Mike

    June 23, 2016 at 7:16 PM

    2×6’s are actually 5 1/2 inches wide. So, eleven inches long for 2:1 ratio. Set up a stop block on the miter saw at 11 inches and cut away. All pieces will be equal. Hope this helps.

    1. Allison Murray

      June 23, 2016 at 7:25 PM

      I have never heard of a stop block. We’ll have to check it out! Thanks :)

  • Mike

    June 25, 2016 at 5:22 PM

    These lawn dominoes are so cool! I love them! I think that you, Rob and I are some of the few people left in the world that actually enjoy playing real games, and not the ones that you see on a phone or computer screen either.
    I would love to see huge Chess pieces as lawn ornaments! That’s totally my game. :)

    1. Allison Murray

      June 26, 2016 at 10:22 AM

      My nephews LOVE chess! I’ve never played myself but I saw some vintage lawn chess pieces at an antique store and it made me really, really want to make a set :)

  • Kim

    June 25, 2016 at 9:39 PM

    we love Mexican Train I am wondering how many we would need. I have a set of double 15’s I think but I would sure want to cut those down that is way to many dominoes! Excellent Idea and am going to try these. Have you thought of any other games you can do for outside?

    1. Allison Murray

      June 26, 2016 at 10:24 AM

      Hi, Kim! I love Mexican Train but that is a TON of dominoes. I can fit most of a double six set (26 dominoes total) in a wooden crate from Walmart but there are still like 6 left over so it can be a little cumbersome of a set. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to have NINETY ONE!

      We’re actually working on a few other yard games as this one has proved so much fun. We hope to have something up soon so check back in the next few weeks ;)

  • Mona zaky

    December 10, 2016 at 9:25 PM

    CAN you leave them outside in the winter and can people walk on them?

    1. Allison Murray

      December 12, 2016 at 1:07 PM

      Moisture wouldn’t be great for these over a long time. If you’re wanting to make them into stepping stones I’d probably go with treated wood. If you give it a go, let me know how it works!

  • Lauren Droescher

    January 27, 2017 at 10:07 PM

    Exactly how many people can be playing this at one time? My family has only ever played Mexican train and there are usually 6-7 of us. However I’m thinking of making this and taking it to the beach this summer where there will be 4-6 playing. Should I make a double 9 set or double 12?

    1. Allison Murray

      January 28, 2017 at 11:45 AM

      For straight double 6 dominoes there can be 2, 3 or 4 players. Each player needs to be able to draw 7 dominoes with some to spare for in the boneyard. Double 9 dominoes can be played with 4, 5 or 6 players and double 12 is 6-12 players. You’ll have to make 55 dominoes for a double nine set and a whopping 91 tiles for double twelve,but you’ll still be able to play Mexican train in addition to straight dominoes. Making that many is totally doable but I’d strongly suggest using wood that is thinner and not as wide as the weight of 91 dominoes just like I made would be heavier than I can even imagine.

  • Treva Salkill

    March 7, 2018 at 10:31 AM

    These are awesome. I will be making these very soon. Thank you so much!

    1. Allison Murray

      March 7, 2018 at 2:42 PM

      Wonderful! Have fun :)

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