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DIY Tailgate Games with Wood Dowels

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DIY Tailgate Games with Wood Dowels

Nov 20, 2023
DIY Tailgate Games with Wood Dowels

Tailgates are fun, family-friendly times made for good people, good food, and good games. Most tailgates serve as parties leading up to a big football game or holiday party. However, they can be held for any reason, and sometimes tailgates are celebrated for their own sake.  

One of the most important parts of tailgates is setting up fun games that everyone can enjoy. The best part is that many games perfect for tailgating can be made in your garage using dowels and other supplies.  

In this post, we will walk you through three DIY tailgate games you can build using wood dowels and other common home craft supplies. 

Ladder Ball 


Ladder ball, also known as ladder toss or ladder golf, is a classic outdoor game that is perfect for camping trips, birthday parties, or tailgate parties. This beloved game combines skill and strategy, making it a favorite among both kids and adults. 

To make your own ladder ball game, you'll need a few simple materials, including wooden dowels or dowel rods.  

Use these materials: 

  • 6 - 1¼" x 36" oak dowels 
  • 8 - 2” x 4” boards at least three feet in length
  • A drill with a bit 
  • Wood glue to adhere the vertical boards and horizontal supports together, use pins for extra support
    • 4” screws can be used instead of wood glue 

  1. Drill 6 holes into two vertical wooden boards. The holes should be evenly spaced and sized to fit the dowels snugly. 

  2. Next, insert the dowels into the holes on the boards, making sure they are secure and straight. Use wood glue or screws to reinforce the dowels.

  3. Attach the constructed ladder to the horizontal planks that will serve as a base. 

  4. For the game balls, you can use bean bags, golf balls, or plastic balls, depending on your preference. Or you can buy them pre-made.

  5. Once your ladder ball game is complete, you can start the game! 

Not sure how to play? Check out these instructions for ladder ball! 

Ring Toss 


Looking for a classic outdoor game to add to your next tailgate party? Look no further than the beloved game of Ring Toss! 

Here are some materials you will need: 

  1. Gather a dozen wooden dowels, a few sturdy pieces of wood planks, and a power drill that matches the diameter of your dowels. 

  2. Drill evenly spaced holes into the wood planks. 

  3. If necessary, cut dowels to the desired length and sand the edges to remove any splinters and create a smooth surface.

  4. Insert dowels into the pre-drilled holes in the chipboard, creating a grid pattern. Make sure they are firmly secured in place. You can use screws or glue.

  5. To play the ring toss game, provide your guests with a set of rings and challenge them to toss the rings onto the dowels.

  6. Points are awarded based on which dowel the ring lands on, with the highest points awarded for the most challenging targets. 

Looking to enhance your home’s appeal? Check out these home décor ideas you can make using wooden dowels! 



To make your own horseshoe game, you will need:  

  1. First, measure and mark the center point of each dowel.

  2. Once the holes are drilled, insert the dowels into the holes on the coffee can.

  3. Invite two players to play the game.

  4. Place each coffee can, dowel installed, about twenty feet away from each player, and mark a designated throwing line.

  5. Give each player 2-3 horseshoes and instruct them to throw them underhand at the coffee can target. Players get one point for hitting the outside of the coffee can and two points for landing the horseshoe around the dowel.  

The horseshoe game is perfect for outdoor gatherings, camping trips, tailgate parties, or birthday celebrations. It's a classic game that can be enjoyed by all ages and adds a touch of fun to any event. So, grab your dowels and get ready to show off your horseshoe-throwing skills!

Want more dowel crafts for kids? Check out this DIY guide! 

Get the Dowels You Need from Midwest Dowel 


Tailgates are fun ways to host friends and family before the big game or a holiday feast. They are exciting ways to bond with your loved ones over games, snack foods, and good times. 

Building your own tailgate games at home is one of the best ways to create memories that will last a lifetime while making your next tailgate uniquely personal. Many tailgate games can be built using dowels, a few tools, and other miscellaneous home supplies. 

If you are looking for a wide selection of wood dowels that can be shipped directly to your doorstep, look no further than Midwest Dowel. At Midwest Dowel, we offer dozens of unique dowel products at the best prices. And we can ship them to your door for your convenience.  

To shop our extensive selection of dowel products, click here

Looking for more tips and tricks on dowel crafts? Follow Midwest Dowel on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest

Happy with the difference Midwest Dowel has made for your home woodworking projects? Leave us a quick five-star review here! 

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