3 Fun DIY Games for the Fourth of July

Three do-it-yourself games to build for backyard fun on the Fourth of July.
Lowe's Home Improvement
Strategically toss rings onto poles for points with the Rope Ring Toss Game.

The Fourth is the perfect time to come together for food and backyard fun without breaking the bank. Below are three do-it-yourself games to build, shared by Matt Michaels at Lowe’s Home Improvement, for backyard fun on the Fourth of July or anytime this summer.

1. Ring Toss

How to play: Players attempt to toss washer rings into buckets for points- suggest playing to a set number to see who can get there first.

Estimated project timeA few hours

Skill level required: Beginner

Tools and materials needed:

  • 1-by-10-by-4 feet whitewood board
  • 12-ounce can Valspar spray paint, garden green gloss
  • Blue plastic paint
  • USS 3/4-inch flat washers
  • Pan Phillips self-drilling screw
  • 5-pack flat washers
  • 3 small buckets or large cups of slightly different sizes
  • 1, 2 and 3 number stencils
  • Drill


1. Download the number stencils here.

2. Apply the numbers to the board, with 1 at the bottom and 3 at the top (offset the numbers as shown or design as desired).

3. Spray paint the board green. Let dry.

4. Remove the number stencils.

5. Spray-paint the plastic buckets. Let dry.

6. Drill buckets and attach below each number in the center of the board with a washer and screw. Place the largest bucket at the bottom and the smallest at the top.


2. Rope Ring Toss Game

How to play: Learn the ropes of this all-ages game by strategically tossing the rings onto the poles for points. Determine what color identifies the number of points. Suggest playing to a set number to see who can get there first. 

Estimated project time: A few hours

Skill level required: Beginner

Tools and materials:

  • 6 feet of manila rope
  • 6 pack of electrical tape, multicolor
  • 3 7/8-by-48-inch hardwood dowels


1. Cut one dowel into two 24-inch pieces using a handsaw. Cut the second dowel into one 24-inch piece, one 18-inch piece, and one six-inch piece. Cut the third dowel into two 21-inch pieces (you will have a 6-inch piece left over).

2.  Using the photo as a guide, wrap colored electrical tape around the dowels; this will help you calculate point totals during play. Apply three rings of blue tape between rings of white tape on the 24-inch dowels; two rings of red tape between rings of white tape on the 21-inch dowels; and one yellow ring of tape between white rings on the 18-inch dowel.

3.  Cut six 12-inch pieces of manila rope with scissors. Bring two ends of one piece together to make a circle, then wrap a piece of orange tape around the ends. (If tape doesn't keep the ends together, try hot glue.) Next, wrap three additional pieces of orange tape around the rope ring, evenly spacing them out. (See the rope ring pictured.) Repeat with two more pieces of rope. Then repeat the process with the other three pieces of rope, only using green tape instead of orange. The different colors help identify which rope rings belong to which team.

4.  Arrange the six dowels in a pyramid pattern. Place the dowel with the yellow ring at the front, the two dowels with red rings in the middle, and the three with blue rings in the back. (It's up to you how far to space out one dowel from another. We spaced ours about 12 inches.) Then you're ready to play!


3. Diced Darts

How to play: Take turns rolling two oversize foam dice toward a dartboard-like target of rings. Score points by multiplying the number showing on each die by the number of the ring it lands in.

Estimated project timeA few hours

Skill level requiredBeginner

Tools and materials:

  • 1 5/8-inch flat washer
  • 1 1-1/2-inch Dow polystyrene insulated sheathing, 24-by-96 inches
  • 1 black duct tape
  • 1 Gorilla glue
  • 1 4-inch combo stencil
  • 1 green Top Sail Turf
  • 1 12-ounce white paint


1. Cut the foam into 9-by-9-inch squares. You'll need a total of 12 squares — six for each die.

2. Glue six "slices" of foam stacked together so they form one 9-inch cube. Add weight, such as a concrete block or gallon paint can to the top of the stack to keep the pieces pressed together while the glue dries. Repeat for the other cube. Sand the cut edges smooth and round over the corners of the dice so they roll better.

3. For the dots, use a flat washer to trace circles onto black duct tape. Cut out the dots and apply them to the six faces of each die. (Opposite faces of the die should feature the same number of dots — so of the six faces on the die, two should have one dot, two should have two dots, and two should have three dots.)

4.  Cut a piece of artificial turf for the target. Ours is about 6-by-6 feet, which we made by cutting a 3-by-12-inch piece of turf in half and taping it together.

5. Use a simple string compass to mark guidelines for three concentric circles centered on the turf, then spray-paint the rings. Use stencils to spray-paint numbers for the rings, putting a "1" on the outside ring and a "3" on the innermost ring.