So you're feeling creative and want to DIY some games for your party or carnival. But which one to try?
Surprise, a lot of the DIY carnival games you see on the internet are not really DIY - I've seen pictures of games from well-known manufacturers come up in a search for DIY games. Perhaps they look deceptively simple!
Our Porkchop Speedway was custom-made for us by the very talented Queen of Games. Definitely not DIY for ordinary people like me!
Other games end up costing you more in materials than buying the actual game would cost, and much more than renting it. And others just take a lot more time than you think they will. (See my post about the Cowabunga Ring Toss!)
This game is cute, but it ended up taking me 3 days to make and costing $150.00. You can rent it for $45.
Even more games look cute, but won't hold up in a real carnival with real kids.
Fish bowl game with plastic cups? Not so fast....they blow away if not weighted down. At one point, we had some clear ones with water in them, but the table was soaked and horrible-looking by the end of the event.
So which game to make? Definitely a Ring Toss! Here's how:
First, collect at least 24 bottles. If you have to buy them, it's probably not going to be cheap or easy. Don't be fooled by Pinterest - glass coke bottles are neither cheap nor easy to find (I know because I had to buy 56 of them for my own ring toss). And by the way, after I dumped them all out and cleaned them all, I had to use Goo-Off to remove all the giant white bar code labels, and it took forever and stunk up my house.
Glass Coke bottles are about a dollar each and are cheaper full of Coke than empty.
So don't buy. Collect anything from anyone - wine bottles, soda bottles, lemonade, whatever.
They don't need to match. Trying to use only matching bottles will likely end up with you buying some drink you don't want in large quantities, or else making just a tiny little ring toss, which, while it looks cute on Pinterest up close, will be completely underwhelming at a real event.
Photo: HONEY HONEY PHOTOGRAPHY
This cute ring toss I found on Pinterest uses randomly sized bottles.
Next remove any labels and stickers. You might have to use Goo-Off. This is really the hardest part of the whole project.
I had to clean the labels off Every. Single. One.
Then get some good old Rustoleum spray paint and spray away. You don't have to prime the bottles if you use Rustoleum. This stuff is awesome, and comes in so many colors and finishes. You'll probably need 2 coats if you want a nice solid finish.
DON'T attempt to paint the bottles by swishing paint around the insides. See my post about the Cowabunga Ring Toss for how that worked out.
When your bottles are dry, you are basically done. All you need is a box or crate of some kind to put them in. You might see pictures of DIY ring toss games where the bottles are just standing on the table. That's OK, too, but it's really easy to knock them over and have one end up smashed on the ground.
If you want to preserve your game, putting them in a crate is better. You can even use a bunch of randomly sizes smaller crates and spray them all the same color.
Cowabunga! Ring Toss with 5 different types of crates.
Finally, you can make rings out of 8mm jute rope and colored duct tape, or you can buy plastic ones from Amazon really cheaply. The rope makes for easier game play.
Jute rope rings, with bits of fabric knotted over the tape.