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DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

With summer temperatures creeping up on us, I broke out my DIY giant yard Jenga and had a little fun in the sun over the weekend. When I shared some pictures of us playing giant Jenga in my stories, I received a lot of questions on the Jenga tower and many of you were surprised to learn that I made it and asked for details. The truth is, I made this giant Jenga years ago but it is never too late for a little tutorial ūüėČ This simple DIY backyard game will be so much fun for summer BBQs and your young kids will love it! The best part is, you only need a few power tools and wood to get you started. You may even have scrap wood on hand you can use ūüôā

DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

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I still remember when I saw a giant Jenga set for the very first time at a local downtown bar when we first moved to Denver. I knew immediately I wanted one and it would be  super simple to DIY with 2x4s to create a life-size set. If you have never played, my first questions is, what?! When I was just a kid I remember getting a normal Jenga set for Christmas one year and playing it as a family over and over. Now, the giant set is one of my favorite yard games to play.

Disclaimer: I DO NOT recommend giant Jenga for indoor use. The blocks are substantial enough to cause real damage to furniture, floors, or other items in close proximity. DO NOT play on glass surfaces.


Giant Jenga Materials

6 – 2x4x8 pine boards
Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Miter Saw or Circular Saw
Orbital Sander
Dust Mask

How to make your own Giant Jenga Yard Game

Step 1: Cutting Giant Jenga Pieces 

You will need to cut down the long pieces of 2x4s to 10.5 inches per piece. This can be done with any electric saw but a circular saw or miter saw will work best for a nice square cut. You could also use a hand saw but that would be a tedious task. Each finished giant Jenga game piece is 3.5W x 1.5H x 10.5L inches. Just don’t forget to wear safety glasses when cutting! 

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

I used the miter saw and set up a stop block. A stop block is a great way to make repeatable cuts and can be done with a scrap piece of wood and some clamps. This will definitely speed up the cutting process. 

My game has 54 pieces. If you use 8ft long 2x4s, you will need six 2x4s, assuming you measure all your cuts correctly on the first try. Depending on where you live, that should cost around $20. My local Home Depot is currently selling 2x4s for $3.35 each but any local hardware store that sells lumber will do. 

Step 2: Sanding the Wood Pieces

You will need to sand all the pieces of your Jenga set to smooth out all the rough edges, especially the cut edges of the game pieces. The wood blocks need a smooth surface to slide when playing the game plus this helps avoid splinters.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

I used our orbital sander because you all know how much I hate sanding things, haha! You could hand sand these with regular sand paper but an electric sander is much more efficient. If you choose to use a belt sander, be very careful not to sand too much as they are very powerful.  

Step 3: Customizing Your Outdoor Jenga Set

This step is totally optional but a really fun way to customize your own DIY giant Jenga game! I have seen some very unique Jenga sets. Here a few options for you….

Use wood stain in different colors to create a pattern while you play. 

Paint your Jenga pieces in a variety of paint colors for a rainbow effect. 

Paint it the colors of your favorite sports team and take it tailgating! You could even turn it into a drinking game!

Use it as a guest book at your wedding. Have guests sign the blocks and write well wishes with a sharpie. Every time you play in the future, you will remember your wedding. 

For my own set I chose to keep mine natural wood. The pieces do get a little stained from the grass sometimes since I did not add a clear coat, but it doesn’t affect the game at all. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

Step 4: Play with the whole family! 

This game is always so much fun to play and everyone always get’s competitive! It is definitely a great yard game for all your outdoor activities. You can play it at home, take it tailgating, or camping! 

How to play your Own Giant Jenga Game

I assume most folks know how to play, but in case you don’t…. 

First, stack the tower of blocks in sets of three, alternating directions just like you would with traditional Jenga pieces. You will want the stack to be as straight as possible. I find it easiest to square up the blocks with two extra pieces by placing them long side up on a corresponding set of blocks and squeezing together. 

Taking turns, each player pulls a block from the tower somewhere below the first three full rows of blocks and adds it back to the top of the stack trying not to cause the tower to fall. 

The player who causes the tower to fall loses.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

For storage and stacking, I use wood crates I found at the craft store. Two crates hold all the blocks and I turn one upside down and use it as a flat surface to play on. No additional building required.

I do not recommend playing on any surface you care about as it will get beat up and definitely no glass! In addition to a level game platform I also recommend an open area game. These can fall hard and fast so it is important to have ample space which is why this is perfect for outdoor games.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

Can I buy a Giant Jenga Set? 

Yes, you can! Many online retailers sell these giant tower games. Just know they tend to be quite a bit smaller and more expensive. My set has 10.5 inch pieces and cost about $20 to make. In many of the commercial sets the length of each block is usually between 5-7 inches long and costs between $50-130. 

This simple DIY yard game has given us hours of fun and laughs! Given the unique summer we are all facing, having some family backyard fun on hand might just be what the doctor ordered. We have even played a virtual game with friends and Marvin has even tried to get in on the action.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

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Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

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Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Giant Block Tower Yard Game

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