Beth Barden of designPOST interiors has come up with one of the simplest DIY backyard games ever. It’s her contribution to our Outdoor Games Style Challenge. We’ve asked some of our favorite design bloggers to create, or re-imagine fun games that you can play in your backyard or at a tailgate party, and that you can make yourself.
Beth’s version of yard pong cleverly makes use of regular PVC pipe and some spray paint. You’ll see how she made it just below.
But Beth didn’t stop at creating the outdoor game. She also came up with an ingenious way of turning a slightly mysterious concrete box in her backyard into a sweet outdoor sitting area with a storage area below. And she shows us some of her ace outdoor decorating ideas, too.
(And if you get only one message from Beth’s story it’s this: never, ever be afraid to stroll the aisles of Home Depot! Read on to see what we mean.)
But first, the backyard game…
When I got the invitation to participate in Home Depot’s latest Style Challenge I couldn’t say “YES!” fast enough. As a long-time fan of their various style challenges, I knew this was going to be a blast! But, after quickly accepting I had to begin brainstorming ideas for an outdoor game. I don’t have a lot of patience when it comes to DIY projects, so I knew that I would have to keep it simple. I also have a really hard time sticking to just one project at a time so I knew immediately that I would also be working on more than a game!
My main goal for creating my outdoor game was to come up with something that would work for all skill levels. With my three young kids home all summer I knew I wanted something that they could play and my husband and I also like to have friends over to grill out as often as we can, so I wanted it to be a new game we could all enjoy as well.
Truthfully, I have always been a little intimidated by the aisles of Home Depot [?! -ed.], but I really wanted to challenge myself though to shop the store as I would my favorite home decor stores, so I began by just browsing all the aisles. It really got my creative juices flowing!
The Home Depot challenged me to use PVC in my backyard game DIY, so I began on the plumbing aisle. Within minutes I was already visualizing our game. I was amazed at all of the sizes and accessories that come with PVC pipe. There were rows and rows of pre-cut pieces, long pipes, couplings, caps, and adaptors.
After playing around with some ideas right there in the aisle and compiling a list of the supplies we would need we headed to find some rope, outdoor carpet, spray paint, and wood. I shopped all over Home Depot with a new sense of excitement!
Materials to Make this DIY Backyard Game
- PVC couplings (5 of each: 4 in., 3 in., 2 in., and one 1 in. for the bullseye)
- PVC Running Bend Trap
- Ping pong balls (6 and more for back up)
- 3 inch painters tape
- Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch spray paint (Blue, Green, Yellow and Orange)
- Artificial grass (2 ft x 2 ft piece)
- Mesh bag
- Carabiner Clip
Yard Pong is our idea of a simple but fun outdoor game! We began by taping off one half of each PVC coupling and spray painting them with different colors of Rustoleum 2X Ultra Cover spray paint. My four-year-old son was in charge of choosing our colors, but you could customize the game with any color scheme you’d like.
Next we assigned each color a point value: orange = 5, blue = 10, green = 20, and yellow “bullseye” = 50. To transport our game we simply slip the rings onto the rope, tie it in a bow and carry it all by the handle. I found a mesh bag for the ping pong balls and attached it with a carabiner.
Our Yard Pong Rules
1. Player order is determined by birthday…closest upcoming date goes first, and so on. This worked out great for me since my birthday was only days away!
2. Each player sets up the rings for their turn. Rings must be touching at least one other ring, but can be in any formation you’d like.
3. Players must take 10 steps back and throw from that line.
4. Each player gets 6 balls to throw.
5. Tally your points!
I am proud to state that I got the very first bullseye!
The artificial grass is important, especially if you don’t have a yard. You can place your own “patch” and play on any hard surface. The “grass” not only acts as a faux yard, it also provides a softer landing for the balls so they don’t bounce out.
Creating an Outdoor Sitting Area
I am a much better spectator than player, so having a good viewing area for the game was top of my list. And it just so happens that we had an eye sore in the backyard that was screaming for a little TLC.
When you move into an older home you have to expect surprises…some of them not so pretty. When we moved into our 1930s house, there was one big ugly surprise! Apparently the owners before us needed a large cement box in the backyard, and we were left with this gem you see below.
It was unattractive and not exactly kid-friendly. I always knew it could provide great storage but it desperately needed a lid.
Here is where my husband Taylor and my dad came into play! They constructed a lid using plywood and pine board and I stained it using Behr Premium All In One Weather Proofing.
Together we came up with a great daybed design with backing that provides the perfect lounge spot!
(We added hinges in the gap so that we can utilize the lid from both sides)
My plan is to continue to grow ivy up the back to camouflage the cement.
More Outdoor Decorating Ideas
One of my favorite things I learned during this project is that Home Depot carries foam! I always thought I had to find that at a craft store but it is right there in their aisles or online! I purchased two pieces of 3-inch polyurethane foam, covered it with some great outdoor fabric and threw on all of my outdoor pillows!
I accessorized with paper lanterns and an assortment of potted flowers.
I even planted some in our fountain to spruce it up
I love this new seating and it provided the perfect spot to lounge and watch the game!
An Outdoor Party
And what’s a new game without a party?!
We had a little get-together with some friends to test out our new game and it was definitely a hit for all ages!
And I even found a use for my leftover fake grass and PVC pipe: a table topper and flower pots!
Playing the Game Indoors
Our little patch of faux grass came in handy when our party got rained out. A storm rolled in but the kids set up their own “yard” and continued the game indoors!
We have been having a great time playing our new game and I am so thrilled that our mysterious cement box was able to finally be transformed into something practical.
We have been spending more time in our backyard and I am no longer afraid to stroll the aisles of Home Depot and let my imagination go wild!
Beth Barden is one of those enviable people who has manged to turn a hobby into a full-blown passion– designPOST interiors. When she’s not working with design clients in Charlotte, North Carolina, or spending time with her family, she writes about design and style on her blog.
For more DIY backyard games, see other Outdoor Games Style Challenge articles here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. Browse our Outdoor Recreation Department, too, for everything you need for fun in the outdoors.
Beth received a Home Depot gift card to complete her DIY backyard game project. The ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.