DIY giant outdoor chess set. This easy to setup outdoor game is a beautiful addition to landscaping and perfect for entertaining!
My husband and kids LOVE board games. They’ve been playing chess a lot and I thought it would be nice for them to get outside to play with an outdoor set. My kids have so much energy and we’ve spent a lot of time indoors this year thanks to pandemic-homeschooling. Before we had Child #3, a farm, and a pandemic, we took balmy vacations to St. Lucia and Beaches Negril; both had giant chess sets and the kids LOVED them. They kept asking to go back so they could play with the giant chess set.
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So when my dad asked what he should get for the kids for Christmas, I told him to check out these awesome giant chess pieces on Amazon. We agreed that we would build the giant chess board for them once warmer weather hit, and in the meantime, the kids drew out chalk squares on the driveway to play chess with these.
This set was so easy to setup. The hard part is moving 64 pavers (32 gray/32 red) and the sand. The chess pieces unscrew so you can add sand or water to them; I recommend sand because I’d be afraid water would freeze and damage the pieces during the winter months. We used two or three bags of play sand for these.
- 12″ Pavers: Color 1 (32)
- 12″ Pavers: Color 2 (32)
- Play Sand, 50 Lb Bags (3+): We used 3 bags for the chess pieces, but will use more under the pavers when we redo it.
- Giant Chess Pieces
- Landscape fabric
Here’s the tutorial. I made a few adjustments because we are planning to redo this to prevent weeds from growing through.
Step 1: Fill each chess piece bottom with sand. A quick DIY milk jug works as a large funnel for the sand. Dry sand would’ve been easier. Dry sand is easier to move than wet sand (our bags had been sitting outside in the rain).
Step 2: Once the chess pieces are full of sand, screw the tops on.
Step 3: Choose a level spot for your game board. It will need to be 96″ square total. I recommend getting out an 8′ 2×4 and a level to make sure this is as perfect as possible.
We initially didn’t level the spot, or do any of the following steps. I’m adding them as we plan to redo this. There’s a lot of grass growing through and while the spot was fairly level, we’d like to perfect this a bit.
Step 4: Lay down landscape fabric over your 96″ square. This will prevent grass and weeds from growing through. You may want to create a small border around the square and lay loose stone around it to make it easier to mow around.
Step 5: Add a layer of sand on top of the landscape fabric. Again, make sure this is relatively level.
Step 6: Place pavers. You need 64 pavers total, 32 of each color. Total size: 96″ square.
Step 7: Setup your Chess pieces
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Google Web Story: How to Make a Giant Outdoor Chess Set