I’m sure everyone has played this game before. Jenga is block game consisting of 54 blocks stacked in threes, 18 layers high. The goal is to take a block from below and stack it on top and see if you can stack it as high as possible. A very simple game but it can be many times better when upsized.
In recent years, I’m finding this game pop up at various bars and lounges. Along with getting more popular, they’ve also gotten bigger. Giant Jenga blocks and drinks seems to work well. For the cost of maybe $10, you can make your own. A nice do-it-yourself project that can be as elaborate as you want. Want them to be smooth and nicely sanded? Painted? Stained? Or just plain. You decide.
2×3 lumber – It usually comes in 8ft (96in) lengths. Pine will work and is the most cost effective. Also note that 2×3 lumber is actually 1.5″ x 2.5″. It’s rounded up. Which actually works well because it’s the perfect proportion to the smaller Jenga blocks which are 1.5cm x 2.5cm x 7.5cm.
Saw – If you want to cut these with a hand saw, you’re my hero! If you have some sort of powered saw like a jigsaw, it would be ideal. I used a circular power saw. The best would be a mitre saw, but hey use what you got. If you’re gonna cut with a hand saw, maybe take your time and make 12 blocks a day. I’d use a mitre box with a hand saw. If you use a power tool, I’d use some guide to make straight cuts. However, they don’t have to be perfect.
Platform – If you plan on playing Jenga on the grass, you’ll need a stable platform to stack your blocks on. I just cut a 15″ x 10″ scrap piece of MDF board for that. Anything that is flat and rigid will work.
I got my 2×3 lumber at Home Depot. I think they were about $2 per 8ft. You’ll need 5 of these. Each 8ft lumber will make 12 blocks yielding 60 blocks total. 6 more than a standard Jenga set but the more the better! If you want a smooth finish, I’d sand each 8ft lumber before cutting. I opted to just leave it as it’s smooth enough for me. Measure out 7.5″ and cut, do this 12 times. There really isn’t much to it. Then use some sand paper and clean up the edges.
You can choose to paint or stain the pieces but I didn’t bother.
Storing your blocks can be accomplished in milk crates or cardboard boxes. My 60 blocks and MDF platform fit nicely into some Ikea Brana box.
Watch out for the blocks when they tumble, it can hurt 🙂 For around $10, you can supersize a classic game for any party. Kids and adults all love it. This is the only game that I know of that can appeal to the little ones and the grand parents!