Giant Jenga — the perfect yard game for all ages! It’s also a great beginner woodworking project and pretty affordable too. All it takes is six 2" x 4" x 8' boards, a few simple tools and two to three hours to build. By the way, here’s a fun fact: Jenga means “build” in Swahili.
Now watch how we did it, then scroll down for the plans, materials, tools and step-by-step instructions.
We recommend wearing safety glasses when operating power tools.
STEP 1: CUT
Cut all (54) pieces out of the (6) 2"x 4" x 8' boards using the Lumber & Sheet Layout Guide.
STEP 2: SAND
Sand each piece to remove any imperfections. Sanding the 54 game pieces will make them slide out from between other pieces so much easier. Boards should stack evenly on top of each other.
PRO-TIP: Sanding not only makes the pieces slide easier, but also helps you avoid splinters.
Rougher finish: Use 60-80 grit sandpaper to hand sand with the grain of the wood
Smoother finish: Use 60-80 grit sandpaper to remove scratches and imperfections, followed by 120-220 grit to smooth
Finish sanding: Use 320-400 grit sandpaper
Super fine sanding: Use 600+ grit sandpaper
STEP 3: BUILD
Start with the wooden crate as your foundation. To build the tower, place layers of (3) wooden boards at alternating right angles. When you’re finished, you’ll have a solid 18-story tower.
PRO-TIP: Use a fine wood paste wax to protect and prolong the life of the boards.
Play Jenga the traditional way or to mix things up, play it backwards. Build the tower with the center pieces missing, so only two blocks per level. Then, using one hand, insert the blocks into the tower. Or instead of stacking the blocks as straight as you can, build a leaning tower of Jenga—talk about challenging! Another fun twist is to write different trivia questions on each block with permanent markers. If the player answers the question correctly, they can remove another piece. If not, they forfeit their turn to the person to their left.
When you're done playing, stack your pieces in these wooden crates from Walmart for compact storage.