Some of our favorite design bloggers are inventing clever ways to DIY outdoor games for summer fun in our Outdoor Games Style Challenge. Camille Simmons of Planning Pretty came up with this wonderfully whimsical take on the game of croquet using some unexpected materials. It’s easy to pack up and store, too.
It’s cute, colorful and provides a lovely way to spend a summer afternoon.
Sometimes when you’re a renter, you can feel little left out not having a personal backyard space. But, there are so many ways to make a community space feel like your own! Setting up a fun outdoor game is the perfect way to enjoy the summer sun.
My husband and I took over our Oakland apartment roof for an afternoon of croquet. After DIYing our croquet set and course, we played a few rounds on the rooftop lawn! All the pieces were easy to pack up once we finished. Now that’s on-the-go entertainment!
Using the Trademark Games Croquet Set, I decided to put my own spin on the mallets, balls and wickets. I loved that it came with a carrying case, making it easy to transport to picnics and family barbecues. All the pieces are easy to assemble, but I felt a little personality and inspiration from Alice in Wonderland would be great!
I picked out a pastel color palette of Rust-Oleum spray paints, lots of painters tape, and searched for the perfect wickets. Traditional wickets are a little boring for me, they’re just plain thin white sticks. So instead, with the challenge to incorporate something metal into the outdoor games project, I found air conditioning duct parts!
I used 6-inch starting collars to create croquet wickets. They were the perfect size for a wicket and with the increased surface area, easily customizable. I love the scallop trim and stripe detail around the edges. The parts were easy to bend into U-shapes and painting was a breeze.
I painted all the pieces for the croquet set before assembling.
Using lots of painters tape to cover the wood, I customized the croquet set to pink, grey, lime green, aqua, pale yellow and gold. The Rust-Oleum paint was very quick to dry and only required one coat! It saved so much time especially while painting the croquet balls.
Make sure to use gloves to protect your hands and wear a painter’s mask. If you’re indoors, spray paint in a well-ventilated area of your home.
This project is great for kids too! I chose to go with a more classic style, but children would love to customize their own mallets and balls. Everyone could paint his or her name, favorite animals, add stickers or even glitter!
I added little decorations as “obstacles” like this small boxwood plant to make the game a little more interesting and pretty. The air conditioning duct “wickets” were easy to set up. With the greater width, the wickets could stand on their own and didn’t require any additional holes in the lawn. Perfect for keeping any landlords happy or your own lawn pretty!
Adding extra elements like these fun pink lawn flamingos at the finish line make winning even better! Add more to create fun obstacles for players to hit around.
When choosing paint colors remember bright colors will really pop on a lawn!
I found these great whimsical trellis sticks in the orchid supply section at my local Home Depot store.
By placing them in front of the wicket, we amped up the difficulty level even more. They are tricky to hit around!
We love our new traveling croquet set that we can take with us anywhere. It’s personalized, quick to set up and gives us a chance to join in on all the summer backyard fun!
Photos by Camille Simmons of Planning Pretty
Camille Simmons lives in the Bay Area with her husband and her Yorkie, Spinkles. She’s worked in film, television and digital media and advertising. These days she writes, decorates, bakes and hosts parties. Her blog Planning Pretty focuses on sharing her easy, affordable ideas for entertaining, cooking and more.
For more outdoor ideas, see other Patio Style Challenge articles as well as our Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. And browse our Outdoor Recreation Department for everything you need for fun in the outdoors.
Camille received a Home Depot gift card to complete her outdoor game DIY project. The ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.