The sun is shining, the days are long and it’s time to relax – to stretch out on your homemade hammock, eyes closed, cold drink in hand, and try to block out the ‘daddy I’m booored’, or the high pitched ‘why won’t you play with me mummy’. The HandyMano has whipped up a quick and fun DIY Connect 4 to get the kids out of the house and occupied during the holidays (and maybe tire them out enough that you can get some rest!)
What you’ll need
To do this DIY project you will need the following tools:
In addition, these materials will be needed:
- 2 panels of (veneer) wood [60x60x0.3cm]
- Wooden slats in a variety of sizes
- 2 600x45x10 mm
- 1 20x510x10 mm
- 2 500x45x10 mm
- 4 20x140x10 mm
- 2 55x45x10 mm
- 2 20x800x10mm
- 1 5x5x1000 mm OR a piece of string/rope
- Carpenter’s glue
- Wood filler
- Foamboard or thick cardboard
Step 1 : Divide and conquer
Divide your board into 9 columns, using your spirit level to help. The first column should be 12cm wide, the next seven at 7cm and the last 12cm. Once you have these columns drawn up, work down the board, dividing it into 6 rows. Your first row should be 12cm, the next four 7cm, and the last 20cm
Step 2: Get the drill out
You’ll be drilling a total of 35 circles, in each square you have created in the middle of your board (the blue sections in the diagram).
Step 3: Sand away
Now for the most satisfying part – grab your sander and work away at any rough edges or imperfections which might have appeared on the wood during your drilling. Tip: veneer is pretty thin so we recommend taking care not to wear through the wood if you choose to use an electric or belt sander! Try using 220 grit sandpaper, and be sure to stop if the wood starts looking a little yellow.
Step 4: All aboard
Grab those many slats you prepared and get ready to stick.
- Firstly, take your two boards of 600x45x10mm. This will be what keeps your two sheets of veneer separated, leaving a space for inserting counters.
- Then, take the strip of 20x510x10mm and put it underneath your bottom row to prevent the counters falling through the bottom.
- To stop counters from sliding into different rows, you have two options. The first option is to cut up a strip of 5x5x1000mm into 5cm lengths and place vertically down the gaps between each circle. If you don’t fancy all the chopping, feel free to take a piece of string or rope, or something similar, and line it up vertically between the circles. This can be glued down and you may need more than one layer, depending on your rope’s thickness.
- The two slats of 20x800x10mm should go on either side of the board, extending from, the first planks to reach out to the floor.
- Now attach the four 20x140x10mm slats, one of either side of each leg, to give your board stability.
Tip: Make sure to clamp your wood together while the glue dries to ensure strong joints!
Step 5: Box it up
And no, not because your children are bored of it already…
You want to grab your last slats of wood now [two 500x45x10mm and two 55x45x10mm], and make a box which will hold the counters. The two long pieces of wood should be joined at a right angle, the two smaller ones on either side of this. Let the box dry, and then attach to the main board
Step 6: Painting time
Get creative! Paint your box any colour you fancy, or maybe even get the kids to help with this step. Tip: remember to get rid of any dust left over from sanding before you paint, and feel free to give it a lick of primer first to make your paint job last longer! As well as this, we recommend filling in any tricky gaps with wood filler to give your project a neat finish.
Once the paint has dried, you can attach the other main piece of board to the back.
Step 7: Counter Attack
Take a thick-ish material of your choice (cardboard or foamboard) and draw out circles of 6.5 cm in diameter. You’ll want 36 counters in total, 18 in one colour, 18 in another. You can colour, paint or spray paint these counters your choice in colour. We went with the classic – white and black.
And there you have it! You built a giant DIY Connect 4, we’re proud of you. If you feel like showing off your achievement, why not head over to our Facebook page and send us a photo! If the kids still won’t get off your back, we’ve put together 8 child friendly garden activities to help keep them entertained. Alternatively, if you feel that you deserve a relax by now (we agree) you could try your hand at this quick and easy wooden bath tray to give your evening that spa quality touch.
This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!