It’s finally warming up here in Utah, so we are dreaming of sun and family vacations and playing games outside in our beautiful yard. Awhile back we made a YARDZEE yard dice set that we’ve really enjoyed (and it makes a great easy gift idea, too!) and today we’re adding to our favorite yard games list with these DIY yard dominoes. These would be a great indoor game as well, and dominoes are a great tool to keep your kids mental math skills sharp over the summer break (and, if you’re like me, your own mental math skills, too!)
So for this month’s partnership with Canon, we have a free printable domino scorecard and easy domino game instructions for the whole family
plus, in true can’t-have-it-just-one-way Remodelaholic style, we’re showing you how to make your own yard dominoes in THREE different ways: using pallet wood and a drill bit, using inexpensive 1x4s and paint, or by using 1x4s and our favorite print mounting technique (which we first showed you here with these beautiful feather prints). And for a bonus #4, you could print the domino templates below on a heavy cardstock or or go-to Canon matte photo paper and play that way — I think that would be a great option for using jumbo dominoes in a classroom setting for math games!
How to Make DIY Yard Dominoes – 3 Ways!
This post contains affiliate links; learn more here.
For any of the methods, click here to download the free domino printable scorecard, game rules, and templates. The Canon iP8720 prints both letter sized pages AND up to 13″ x 19″ pages, too — a major bonus for large prints like these or a wall calendar like this.
The free domino printable set has 24 pages: 2 pages of scorecard and game play instruction and rules, which are easily printed on cardstock or matte photo paper and slipped into a plastic page protector; 2 pages of printable templates for both a smaller 1×4 size domino and a larger 1×6 pallet slat domino, 1 page of miniature domino templates for your reference in DIYing (or for printing for a classroom set), and 19 pages of 3.5″ oversized dominoes for printing and mounting on cut boards. The template pages that you’ll need to print will depend on your DIY domino method, so keep reading for those details, and happy DIYing!
Option 1: Mounting Printable Dominoes on Boards
For a full set of 55 double-nine dominoes, you’ll need 4 – 1″x4″ boards, cut into 6.75″ pieces. With careful cuts, you can get 14 dominoes from each board, so you’ll have 56 total pieces — one to spare! The most efficient way to cut all the pieces will be to set up a stop and cut the boards using a miter saw.
Once you have your boards cut, sand any rough edges, and then grab your spray adhesive and a sanding block, and follow the tutorial here (also included in the video above) for mounting each domino print on to one piece of board. Print the large domino set (pages 6-24 of the printable domino set) on a thicker paper like cardstock or matte photo paper to give it some durability. (This set of dominoes will not be weatherproof, so be sure to play and store them safely away from the elements.)
Option 2: Painted Yard Dominoes Using a Printed Double-Nine Domino Template
Again, for the full set of 55 double-nine dominoes, you’ll need 4 – 1″x4″ boards, cut into 6.75″ pieces (using a miter saw and a stop), and that will give you one spare domino piece.
Sand the yard domino blocks, and grab your paint and brush — I’d recommend a round foam stencil brush like this. Then print the double-nine domino template (page 3 of the printable domino set) on thick paper such as heavy cardstock, chipboard, or matte photo paper. Use an X-acto knife to carefully cut out each circle in the template, and then stencil your dominoes following the patterns on page 5 for reference. You can stain or seal over the paint, if you’d like.
Option 3: Reclaimed Wood Pallet Yard Dominoes + Storage Box
Last but not least, the fabulous Krista had a bunch of leftover pallet pieces from the pallet wood tray and centerpiece that she built, so she cut them up to make this set of colorful yard dominoes with a bonus storage box! In addition to being larger than the 1×4 dominoes above, Krista also gave the face of her dominoes dimension using a drill bit and a router, so they look and feel more like traditional dominoes — just jumbo sized!
This set will make a set of double six dominoes, and and storage box to keep them from spreading everywhere! If you decide you’d like to make the full double-nine set, you’ll need to build 2 boxes or double the size of the box. This box is easily adapted to fit the smaller sized dominoes detailed above, too. Krista measured and made her own wood template to drill the domino dots, but we’ve made it even easier for you by including a 5.5″ sized template in the domino printable set (page 4).
Here’s Krista with the details to build your own pallet wood yard dominoes!
For the dominoes:
- 30 @ 11 x 5 1/2″
For the storage box:
- 2 @ 13 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
- 2 @ 11 x 5 1/2″
- 2 @ 12 1/4″ x 5 1/2″
- 1 @ 9 3/4″ x 5 1/2″
Supplies and Tools
Making the Pallet Wood Dominoes
Step 1: Route the center domino line (called the bar)
I used my router and a 3/8″ round router bit for the center line on the dominoes. I set a fence @ 5 1/2″ from the center of the bit, and went to town! Route all 30 11″ pieces
Step 2: Create the domino dot template
Download the template here and trace it onto your template piece, or you can follow Krista’s directions to calculate your own placement.
Draw a grid on one end of the domino. Marking a center line and a line 1″ from both sides.
Turn the domino, and mark 1″ from the end, the center, and 1″ from the middle of the routed channel.
Then using a 3/4″ drill bit drill at each cross point. I found it was easier for the bit to stay in place if I pre-drilled a 1/4″ hole first. See how the left side holes are wonky!
Step 3: Mark all the domino dots
Clamp your template to one domino. You can see I placed tape around the drill bit to mark the depth of the hole where I wanted it. If you have a drill press, this step is much easier!
You will need to make the following dominoes
- Zeros: 0:1, 0:2, 0:3, 0:4, 0:5, 0:6
- Ones: 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:5, 1:6
- Twos: 2:2, 2:3, 2:4, 2:5, 2:6
- Threes: 3:3, 3:4, 3:5, 3:6
- Fours: 4:4, 4:5, 4:6
- Fives: 5:5, 5:6
- Sizes: 6:6
Step 4: Finishing
My holes were a little rough around the edges, so I sanded them a little to prevent slivers.
Then – gather some fun paint colors! These are left overs from a craft my kids did.
Then paint all the ones one color, twos another, etc.
You can spray them with polyurethane to make them water proof, or just go play and have fun!
Making the Yard Dominoes Storage Box
Using biscuit joiner cut biscuit slots as follows (you can use pocket hole screws instead)
Two on the inside of each of the 13 1/2″ pieces
One on each end of the 11″ pieces
One on each narrow end of the 12 1/4″ pieces and one in the center as shown.
One on each narrow end of the 9 3/4″ piece
Glue and clamp the 2 13 1/2″ pieces together.
Join one 12 1/4″ piece to one 11″ piece with a bead of glue on the joint and biscuits (or pocket hole screws)
Attach other 11″ piece.
Attach the 9 3/4″ piece
Attach the final 12 1/4″ piece. If using biscuit joint you will need to gently pry the ends to get everything to fit together.
I like to do these steps quickly so the glue hasn’t dried and the pieces will still move.
Place pieces from Step 1 on the bottom of box, and using a brad nail gun and glue. Run a bead of glue around the bottom of the assembled pieces, and nail into place.
Sand and finish as you please! Paint, stain or plain!
Just print the scorecard above and you’re set for hours of family fun!
Be sure to pin and share this with your friends, too!