My sister-in-law, Bree, is getting married this fall so we are in full wedding planning mode over here. She is having a gorgeous outdoor wedding so she found this idea for yard tic-tac-toe and asked me to create one for her reception. There was definitely some sweat equity that went into making this (literally) but I'm pleased with how it came out.
-manila natural rope 3/4"x1" • I purchased 40' of rope for this project.
-1/2" PVC 90° elbows (4)
-1/2" PVC Tees (8)
-Stanley box cutter
-Stanley PowerLock measuring tape
-Rustoleum copper metallic finish spray paint
-4x4 plywood underlayment
-large stencils • I made 14" stencils for the X's and ♥️'s using vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo 2 machine.
-rough grit sandpaper
STEP 1: Spray PVC pieces
To start this project off, I first spray painted the PVC pieces with Rustoleum Metallic Copper finish. I let the one side dry completely before flipping them over to spray the other side.
STEP 2: Measure, tie and cut rope
Next, I measured out my rope. Because this tic-tac-toe was going to be for the yard, I chose to make mine 4'x4' so I measured out eight (8) 4' sections of the rope.
Then, I tied twine on my 4' marks. You'll want to include this part of the step so that your rope doesn't fray and pull apart.
After I finished tying the twine, I used a box cutter to cut through the rope. I had to bear down hard and use a short, quick sawing motion (and caution, of course!)--I wasn't sure if this method of cutting would work with such thick rope but it surprisingly cut right through.
Here are my eight 4' pieces of rope. Before starting my next step, I laid the ropes out to resemble a tic-tac-toe board in order to visualize my next approach of assembling the yard tic-tac-toe.
STEP 3: Assemble tic-tac-toe "board"
To create my tic-tac-toe "board" (I'm not sure how else to describe the assembled rope ), I slid two (2) Tees onto each 4' piece of rope.
Then, I applied E6000 glue to each end of the 90 elbows and pushed the rope into either end of the elbows.
A FEW NOTES:
When choosing your PVC elbows at the store, be sure to get the ones without threads. I didn't pay attention to this when I purchased mine so the elbows with threads made it more difficult to push the rope into with the glue.
When using the E6000 glue, you have to be very careful not to get any on the painted PVC as the glue has solvent in it which will rub your paint right off and make a mess on your hands. An option would be to assemble your tic-tac-toe "board" first, then tape off the rope close to the PVC pieces and spray last.
Make sure to let the assembled "board" set overnight in order for the glue to bond.
STEP 4: Create game pieces
Bree requested X's and ♥️'s since guests will be playing this game at her wedding reception so Rob created stencils on our Silhouette Cameo machine. Because the machine only cuts 12" wide, he created half of an X and a ♥️ so that I could cut two of each shape, mirrored, then piece them together on the 4x4 plywood board. Once I placed the sticky vinyl down on the board, I used a Sharpie to trace the shapes, then pulled off the vinyl.
I used a DeWalt jig saw to cut out the X and ♥️ that I had traced...
...then, I used the X and ♥️ that I cut out in order to use as stencils for the remaining game pieces.
After I cut out all of my game pieces, I used a piece of rough grit sandpaper to knock down the edges and get rid of any splinters.
And finally, I sprayed the game pieces with the same copper spray I used for the PVC pieces. You can choose to leave your wood natural but this particular type of plywood started flaking off and I didn't like the way it looked which is why I chose to paint it.
The shapes (♥️'s in particular) aren't perfect, because let's face it, I'm not the best at using a jig saw! However, despite it's flaws, I'm super excited about how this yard tic-tac-toe game came out. The sky's the limit with personalizing this cute game--you can paint the PVC and/or wood any color, stick with traditional X's and O's or purchase pre-cut letters at Michaels to use as game pieces! Have fun with it!