DIY Outdoor Games: PVC Bowling Pins, Chalkboard Scoreboard

Posted by: on July 24th, 2014 | 16 Comments
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DIY Outdoor Game: PVC Bowling Pins

DIY Outdoor Game: PVC Bowling Pins

Here’s a great outdoor game that practically anyone in the family can play. It’s backyard bowling with cute PVC bowling pins that are easy to make.  

We’ve asked some of our favorite design bloggers to create DIY outdoor games for our  Outdoor Games Style Challenge series here on The Home Depot Blog. This is the contribution by Katrina Sullivan, the blogger behind Chic Little House. She added a DIY chalkboard to keep score to make this project even better.

Take a look at this fun, easy DIY project that will have the whole family having a ball in the backyard.  

One of the many things we love about living in Northern California, is the amazing outdoor weather we have most of the year. Our home has a smaller footprint, and one of out goals is to truly utilize our backyard and make it a fun spot to cook, lounge and most of all play! I totally jumped at the chance to to participate in the Home Depot Outdoor Games Style Challenge. Our challenge material was creating a game with PVC. I have lots of experience working with PVC, most recently installing irritation in our raised garden beds. I quickly started brain storming fun creative ways to transform the material into a fun outdoor game our family and friends would enjoying playing.

Since our oldest just turned 14 and our youngest recently turned 3 (yup, huge age gap!), having an outdoor game they would both enjoy was a must. One of the family activities we enjoy is bowling, so why not make transform PVC pipes into bowling pins and do backyard bowling? I gathered some inspiration for the design, and along with spray paint, washi tape and mustache stickers, I created colorful whimsical bowling pins.

DIY Outdoor Game: PVC Bowling Pins and Chalkboard Scoreboard

DIY Outdoor Game: PVC Bowling Pins and Chalkboard Scoreboard

Adorable DIY PVC Bowling Pins


Adorable DIY Outdoor Bowling Set

Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Spray Paint

DIY Outdoor Bowling Pins

Spray Painting DIY Outdoor Bowling Pins

Spray Painting DIY Outdoor Bowling Pins

Getting Ready to Spray Paint DIY Outdoor Bowling Pins

Spray Painting DIY Outdoor Bowling Pins

Adorable DIY Outdoor Bowling Set


Making the PVC Bowling Pins

To make the six PVC bowling pins, I bought 2-inch PVC pipe and cut it into 12-inch sections using our miter saw. I attached 2 inch PVC cap sleeves to act as the ‘hat’ on each bowling pin. For the bottom of the PVC pipe, I used reducer couplings with a 3 inch bottom.

My goal was for the bowling pins to have visual impact, so I spray paint each pin a different color. To my amazement, spray painting PVC pipes is very easy, and the color goes on nice and even.

Next we attached washi tape around the center of each bowling pin, and then added mustaches to each pin. For me the mustaches where the cherry on top and so much fun!

We stained a pre-cut piece of plywood we picked up at the Home Depot for the base for the six bowling pins to sit on.

Adorable DIY Outdoor Bowling Set

Adorable DIY Outdoor Bowling Set

Adorable DIY Outdoor Bowling Set by Kartina Sullivan


Building the Chalkboard Scoreboard

Building a Chalkboard Scoreboard

Building a Chalkboard Scoreboard

My husband and I also decided to make a DIY Chalk board to help keep score and make it interactive for oldest.

We found MDF chalk board  in the wood section at Home Depot and added a picture frame-style border to it with miter cuts.

To give the chalk board an older feel, we stained the select pine wood walnut and add corner brackets. I love that the corner brackets on the chalkboard gave it slightly rustic look. We also added rope attached to the back of the frame using D ring hooks. The board hangs from a hook attached to our fence.

Chalkboard Scoreboard

Chalkboard Scoreboard

I love how the chalkboard turned out. It adds a fun element to our simple fence line and acts as a visual anchor for our bowling game. We’ve had lots of fun bowling on the lawn and knocking down our fun PVC pins, though right now our youngest is more interested in walking up to the pins knocking them down one by one and then placing them back on the board!

Family Fun with a DIY Outdoor Bowling Set


Family Fun with a DIY Outdoor Bowling Set

This was for sure a fun challenge to tackle and I adore how the PVC bowling pins were transformed!


Katrina Sullivan Katrina is a Northern California native, wife to Hasani and mother of two delightful boys. Katrina shares her DIY projects and ongoing home renovations on her blog Chic Little House.

For more DIY outdoor games, see other Outdoor Games Style Challenge articles here on The Home Depot Blog, and follow our Style Challenge pinboard on Pinterest. Browse our Outdoor Recreation Department, too, for everything you need for fun in the outdoors. 

Katrina received a Home Depot gift card to complete her DIY outdoor game project. The ideas and opinions she expressed are her own.

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  1. Summer says:

    I love the creativity in this challenge, such a fun way to include everyone in the household! The colors are super fun and I think kids of all ages would love to play and complete for the title!

  2. This is such an awesome idea and budget friendly! Katrina you are so creative and talented! I’m stealing some inspiration for something for the pups;-)

  3. I absolutely love this idea. So cute. Definitely seems like a super fun family game night or day idea. Plus the graphics on the pins are perfect!

  4. I absolutely love this! Such a fun idea. My family loves bowling. How fun would it be to bowl in the backyard:) Great job my friend. The pins are adorable, too:)

  5. How fun! I am loving all these creative outdoor game ideas :) So creative Katrina :)

  6. Lauren M. says:

    What a cute, fun project! I love the decor on the pins and the chalkboard is a nice touch. Great work!

  7. Brandi says:

    I love this idea! The colorful pins are so adorable. Great fun for big and little kids.

  8. Stacy says:

    This DIY project is amazing! I love the mustaches on the pins, what a perfect touch! And I love how detailed the instructions are along with the photos. I will definitely be trying out this project sometime soon!

  9. Venessa Johnson says:

    These bowling pins are so adorable! This will be a great project for my family and also something I plan to complete before my next BBQ! This would certainly keep both the kids and adults entertained!

  10. Kaitlyn says:

    This is adorable! I’ll have to make it for my brothers this summer, they’ll love it! :)