diy outdoor tic tac toe

DIY Outdoor Tic Tac Toe

How to Make an Outdoor Tic Tac Toe

Making your own DIY outdoor Tic Tac Toe board is super easy, and it’s a great addition to the backyard games you already have for parties and picnics!

Plus, it’s also kinda fun to make! You get to be as creative as you’d like with the design! While it’s not technically an outdoor decorating idea, it does add a little something fun to your outdoor life!

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diy outdoor tic tac toe

Supplies for DIY Tic Tac Toe

Alright, so first let’s get our supplies covered. For this DIY Tic Tac Toe, you will need:

Acrylic Paint

Shellac (or some other way to seal the wood and the paint on the rocks).

Paint brushes for the acrylic paint.

Foam brushes for the shellac.

Rocks – This is totally up to you! They are your game pieces, so the size and shape depend on your board. For mine, I wanted to make sure to have some that had some flatness (is that a word?) to them. If you can’t find rocks around your yard, you can get some here.

Wood, tree stump, or some sort of surface to serve as your game board.

We had a tree blow over in our yard, so I had plenty of options for this, and I really like the “rustic” feel of using the tree stump as the game board!

That’s it! Those are all the supplies you need!

DIY tic tac toe

Keep in mind during this tutorial, I am using a tree stump – so a wood surface – for the game board. If you’re using a different material, you may need to change the types of supplies you’re using.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Make an Outdoor Tic Tac Toe

Let’s get to work making our outdoor tic tac toe!

Prep: Sand the wood (if needed)

I had to do quite a bit of sanding and still had lines in my stump, which I didn’t mind. You’ll have to sand until you’re comfortable with the smoothness or roughness of your surface.

Step 1: Draw the lines

Start by deciding how big you need the spaces and lines to be.

You can place all the rocks on the board and space them out to use as a guide. I drew it first with a paint pen, you could also use a sharpie.

DIY outdoor tic tac toe

After you have the lines drawn out, use a paint brush and go over it with the acrylic paint.

Let the paint dry before doing anything else with the board. When I searched for how long it should take acrylic paint to dry, it seemed like 15-20 minutes was the popular answer.

DIY outdoor tic tac toe

I gave it 30 minutes and then double checked by lightly touching a spot with my finger.


Step 2: Seal the wood

If you’re using wood or a tree stump, you’ll want to seal it. Even if you’re using another material, you should put some sort of sealer over it so the paint is less likely to come off.

Since wood is porous, this might take quite a few coats. I kept applying the shellac until the wood had a shiny finish.

You should definitely read the instructions on the shellac, and make sure to leave an appropriate amount of dry time between coats. Even though shellac dries really quickly, if you put it on too thick, it won’t dry as fast.

I like to use the foam brushes for applying shellac. Sometimes I don’t rinse them off fast enough and they become a shellac gooey mess. The foam brushes are fairly cheap and I feel okay getting rid of them if I ruin them accidentally.

Here’s a great article on how to use shellac.

You can continue on to step 3 and work on that between coats to save time!

Step 3: Painting the rocks

If you picked the rocks out of your yard or garden, you may want to wash them first. Make sure they’re completely dry before painting them!

I chose to make little bumble bees and ladybugs, inspired by this post from Chicken Scratch NY, instead of the traditional X and O route to keep it outdoorsy. You can make anything you want! I suggest doing a quick search for “outdoor tic tac toe” or “DIY tic tac toe” and you’ll find a few different ideas!

Ladybug tic tac toe

I only needed one coat of each color on the rocks. I let them dry completely between changing or adding colors.

Step 4: Seal the rocks

Once the rocks are completely dry, use your sealer on those as well. I only used one coat, and after that was completely dry I sealed the bottom of the rock too, just in case.

That’s it! That’s all it takes to make your own outdoor tic tac toe! Leave a comment letting me know what design you used on the rocks!

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DIY Outdoor Tic Tac Toe

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