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An outside noughts and crosses game made with pavers on a bed of sand with a border of sleepers


Find out how to make a giant noughts and crosses game in your backyard.


1Draw squares on plywood

Measure, mark and draw ten 220mm squares on your plywood. You will draw the noughts and crosses shapes inside these. 

A person marking a sheet of plywood using a ruler and pencil

2Draw up a nought

For the noughts, drill a screw in the centre of one square about a third of the way into your wood. Measure and cut a 215mmm piece of string and tie it to the screw.

Tie a pencil to the other end of the string and use that to draw a perfect circle each time. Do the same with a 90mm piece of string to draw the inner circle.

A person drawing a circle on plywood using a string attached to a screw

3Draw up a cross

For the crosses, mark the centre point in a square and use your ruler to draw a cross from corner to corner. Then measure up and mark the width of your cross.

A person marking diagonal lines on a sheet of plywood

4Cut out the noughts

Use your jigsaw to cut the nought out of the plywood. You can use this as a template to make the other noughts. When you've cut the circle, use your router to cut the inside circle out.

A person making a hole in a circle of plywood using a hole saw

5Cut out the crosses

Use your jigsaw to cut the cross out of the plywood. You can use this as a template to make the other crosses.

A person cutting a sheet of plywood using a jigsaw

6Sand the edges

Sand the edges of your noughts and crosses with an electric sander. 

A person sanding a circle of plywood with an orbital sander

7Paint the noughts and crosses

Then paint your noughts and crosses any colour you like. We've used bright colours for a bit of fun.

A person painting a piece of plywood in the shape on a circle

8Make the border

To create the borders for your game area, take the four sleepers, lay them out in a border and tack on a temporary brace. 

Two people  arranging sleepers at right angles on grass

9Screw sleepers together

Hammer a star picket on each corner and screw the sleepers together. You can also paint the sleepers first to help define the area better. 

A person joining two sleepers at right angles using a cordless drill

10Fill border with sand

Pack and level the inside of your border with sand, making sure you don't overfill it. Leave about 40mm between the surface of the sand and top edge of the sleepers. 

A person using a spirit level to level a bed of sand

11Lay pavers

Evenly place nine pavers on the sand inside the border, leaving about 150mm between each paver. Gently hammer each paver with a rubber mallet and use your level to make sure they're even. We also painted our pavers before we started, to liven them up.

Nine pavers laid out in a square on a bed of sand with a border of sleepers

12Add bark

Pour some bark around the pavers and evenly spread it out. You can use any colour you like but we've chosen black to make the pavers stand out.

A person spreading black mulch between pavers laid out in a square on a bed of sand

13Start playing

The rules of the game are simple. Each player chooses a shape and takes turns placing them on the pavers. The first to get three of their shapes in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row, wins.

An outside noughts and crosses game made with pavers on a bed of sand with a border of sleepers
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.