Thursday, February 4, 2016

DIY Indoor-Outdoor Bowling Lane

In my neck of the woods, it has been cold and snowy — which is beautiful but also makes me look forward to spring and being outside! Our guest today has a great DIY project that you and the family can use indoors now, and then move outdoors once it warms up outside: an adorable indoor-outdoor bowling lane! 3 Do it Yourself from scrap wood, bowling lane for kids, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Ashley’s version is sized perfectly for littles, but who says adults can’t play mini bowling, or you could easily size it up to a bigger bowling lane, too! (Get the full building tutorial below.) Or, while the kiddos bowl, get the adults playing one of these fun yard games:

DIY Cornhole Set (made easy using a pallet!)

How to Make a Cornhole Set

DIY Yard Dice (for all sorts of games!)DIY Yard Dice

or more like these:


and pssst… make your backyard awesome with these ideas, too:


And now, give Ashley an amazing Remodelaholic welcome — she’s creative and resourceful and you’ll love her projects!

This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure policy here, and thank you for reading and supporting Remodelaholic!

DIY indoor-outdoor bowling lane for kids play @Remodelaholic

How to Build a Kids’ DIY Indoor-Outdoor Bowling Lane
by Ashley from Handmade with Ashley

1 DIY kids bowling lane for indoor or outdoor play, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Hello, my name is Ashley Grenon and I’m the author of the blog, Handmade with Ashley where I document my crafty adventures. I love making things.  Woodworking is one of my favorite hobbies, but I also enjoy crocheting, sculpting with polymer clay and casting with resin.  I have a little boy, and I really enjoy making things for him. One of my favorite projects I worked on is a geometric themed art table I built for him.  He is also my inspiration for the project I’m sharing with you today:  a kids bowling lane!

2 Tutorial for kid-sized bowling lane out of scrap wood, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

One day husband and I were discussing how fun it will be to take our little boy bowling when he is old enough to enjoy it.  From that conversation I got the idea of building a miniature bowling lane.

3 Do it Yourself from scrap wood, bowling lane for kids, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

What you will need

The following items are some of the tools and supplies you will need to build the kids bowling lane:

Bowling Pins

  • White Spray Paint
  • Spray Paint Gun
  • Washi Tape
  • Mod Podge
  • Triple Thick Gloss Glaze
  • 10 – Large Wood Bowling Pins (available here, too)

Bowling Lane

  • Lumber
    • 1 – 46″ long 1×12 board
    • 2 – 46″ long 1×2 boards
    • 2 – 9.75″ long 1×2 boards
    • 1 – 9.75″ long 1×4 board
    • 2 – 23″ long 1×4 boards
  • Kreg Jig (for joining boards)
  • Sander
  • Dremel (for sanding the rounded guard edges)
  • JigSaw (for rounding guard edges)
  • Wood Filler
  • Handsaw (or circular saw)
  • Paint
  • Silhouette (for creating stencils for lane markers)


I made use of scrap lumber in garage to build the bowling lane.  For the project, I needed to purchase the bowling pins, a wooden ball, washi tape and spray paint.  The project cost me about $30-35 to make.


This project can be completed in a day.

Decorating the Bowling Pins

4 Miniature unfinished bowling pins for kid-sized bowling lane tutorial, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

I purchased 10 unfinished wooden bowling pins (there’s a similar set available here, too).  The pins looked pretty bland and in need of a serious makeover.

I took the following steps to update the bowling pins look:

  1. Spray paint the pins white
  2. Wrap a piece of washi tape around the neck of the pin
  3. Coat the pin with a layer of triple thick gloss glaze

The gloss glaze adds a really nice touch to the pins.

5 Hand painted bowling pins with washi tape for kid-sized bowling lane, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Building the Bowling Lane

To build the bowling lane I took the following steps.

Step 1:  Round the ends of the lane guards

Grab a cup and trace a curve onto one end of each 23″ long 1×4 board.  Use a jigsaw to cut along the curve.   These two boards act as the lane guards.   The curved edges make for a really nice finish.

Step 2:  Attach the 1×2 boards to the 1×12 board

Attach the 1×2 boards to the sides of the 1×12 board with glue and nails creating the base for the bowling lane.

6 Kid-sized bowling lane tutorial, Handmade by Ashley featured on @RemodelaholicNailing the 1×2 boards to the 1×12 board

Step 3:  Attach the lane guards to the bowling lane base

I used a Kreg Jig to create pocket holes for joining the pieces of the lane guard together.   If you use the Kreg Jig you will want pocket holes in the following locations:

  • At the un-curved end of each 23″ long 1×4 board
  • On each end of the 9.75″ long 1×4 board
  • At the bottom of the 9.75″ long 1×4 board and the 23? long 1×4 boards

Once the 3 1×4 boards were joined, I then attached the lane guard to the 1×12 board.

7 Drilling pocket holes for kid-sized bowling lane yard game, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

8 Build your own kid-sized bowling lane for indoor or outdoor play, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Two pieces of the guard being joined together

9 Step by Step tutorial for building a kid-sized bowling lane from scrap wood, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Finished guard


10 DIY bowling lane for kids, step by step yard games, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Guard attached to bowling lane base

Step 4:  Apply wood filler and sand

Fill any gaps with a bit of wood filler.  Once the filler has dried take time to sand the surface.

11 Indoor-Outdoor kid's bowling lane tutorial, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Step 4:  Paint a base coat

Now it’s time for the really fun part:  decorating the bowling lane!   I covered the surface of the 1×12 board with painters tape and newspaper.  Once that was in place I spray painted the bowling lane with Krylon Satin Sea Glass spray paint.

Step 5:  Add a washi tape border

To tie in some of the colors from the bowling lane pins to the color of the bowling lane, I wrapped the perimeter of the lane base with striped washi tape.

12 Pieces of scrap wood create a fun, simple kids' yard game, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

My little washi tape helper

Step 6:  Add bowling pin placement markers and arrows

For a nice final touch, I created stencils for lane arrows and markers for the bowling pin locations with the Silhouette editor.   I used Contact paper to create the stencil.  I followed the Shanty sister’s tutorial on creating a stencil with contact paper to get the perfect cut setting on my Silhouette.   To complement the Sea Glass paint, I painted the lane markers with neon orange paint.

The Silhouette cut files are available here for download:

13 Bowling lane pin markers and arrows for silhouette on a kid-sized homemade bowling lane, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

14 Handmade kids' bowling lane for indoor or outdoor fun, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

Step 7:  Seal the bowling lane

Once everything has dried, seal the project with varnish.  I used a satin varnish.

Kids Bowling Lane

The bowling lane was a really fun project.  It has been a hit for my little guy, and the adults enjoy it too.  To increase difficultly, use a smaller ball and have the bowler toss the ball from several feet away.

If you build the bowling lane, please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram as @handmadewithashley or Twitter as @handmadewithash.   I’d love to see your pictures!

15 DIY bowling lane and pins made of scrap wood and finished with washi tape, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

16 Tutorial for bowling lane yard game, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

17 DIY bowling lane, made of scrap wood, finished in a day, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic

18 Homemade bowling lane for kids, indoor-outdoor use, Handmade by Ashley featured on @Remodelaholic


Ashley, thank you so much for sharing with us! Such a cute project and I can tell your little guy loves it!!

Remodelaholics, be sure to go check out Ashley’s site to see more of her builds and projects — you won’t want to miss her awesome kids’ art table! And if you’re a bit of a geek, be sure to check out her geeky projects, too, like this Star Wars tie fighter bookshelf.

DIY kids art table with storage, handmadewithashley

The post DIY Indoor-Outdoor Bowling Lane appeared first on Remodelaholic.

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