How to make outdoor noughts and crosses

Whether entertaining little ones, or challenging family and friends, our outdoor noughts and crosses is the game for everyone!

Tools and materials

120 x 35mm MGP10 Untreated Pine Timber Framing - Linear Metre

305 x 305 x 6mm Natural Cork Tile - 6 Pack x2

Boyle 500ml Blueberry Blue Crafty Kid Washable Paint

Craftright 500mm Hand Saw

Eden 10.2cm Clear Vinyl Pot Liner

Monarch 1.5 x 1.5m Canvas Drop Sheet

Porta 30 x 8mm 2.4m Clear Pine Square Edge Moulding

Stanley 5m Tape Measure

Staedtler medium carpenters pencil

UNi-PRO 12mm You Can Do It Synthetic Wall Paint Brush


Take your noughts and crosses to a new level with this super-simple D.I.Y. project! Easy to create, and even easier to set up and pack away each time, this outdoor noughts and crosses game is the perfect accompaniment to any summer BBQ.


It’s also a great game for the kids – simple enough to keep them engaged and quick enough that they can play round after round.


All you’ll need for our outdoor noughts and crosses project is some timber (or rope and garden stakes), cork tiles and paint.

1. Make the noughts

We’re going to use some corkboard to make the noughts and crosses. This will make them nice and uniform, but really you can make the playing pieces out of anything you might have lying around the house, such as old cardboard.


Once you have 10 tiles (or pieces of cardboard), it’s time to paint! Prepare the area by laying down your drop sheet or paint protection.


Drawing freehand, or using a stencil such as a pot plant, draw a large circle in five of the tiles. You can then use a smaller round object to draw a second circle inside (creating a ring design) or leave as is.

2. Make the crosses

Now it’s time for the crosses! Place a ruler in a diagonal position on the tile and trace either side, so you have a diagonal rectangle running across the tile. Repeat in the other direction in order to create a cross. At this stage, you can use masking tape to make sure the paint lines are clean.

3. Start painting

Paint your nought, filling in the ring or painting the entire circle so it’s solid. Once you’ve done five, leave to dry. 


Next are the crosses. Paint these with a different coloured paint and leave to dry. Repeat on all five remaining tiles and leave to dry.

How to make outdoor noughts and crosses

4. Make the grid

We’re going to make the grid for our game using four pieces of timber, but you can use rope and garden stakes. We’ll need two lengths for the horizontal lines and two for the vertical. We are going to use 2.4m pine moulding and cut it in half.


Measure and mark the centre of your 2.4m length.

How to make outdoor noughts and crosses

5. Start sawing

Put on your safety equipment, and then cut in half with a hand saw. Repeat with the second length so you have four pieces.

6. Form your grid

If you are using timber, set them down in a grid shape, using a measuring tape to make sure your grid is spaced evenly apart. You could nail the grid together if you wish but these sit nicely on top of each other and means it’s a bit easier to store.


If you are using rope and garden stakes, place two stakes, evenly spaced on the left-most point of your grid space and then measure 1.2m across. Place your next two stakes here, in line with the existing. 


Then repeat this process vertically so that you have eight stakes evenly spaced around the outside of your grid. Tie one piece of rope to one stake and run it across to its corresponding stake on the other side, securing it with a knot. Repeat three times with the rest of the stakes so you have a grid shape, with two pieces of rope running horizontally and two running vertically. 

How to make outdoor noughts and crosses

Get making

Explore our range of corkboards, paints and other craft materials  for your next D.I.Y. project.


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