You know what’s been in need of a colorful update for ages? Games. Seriously. Put on a movie, bust out your acrylic paint or paint pens, and add a punch of pizzazz to your faves. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how we jazzed up Jenga, mancala, checkers and a whole set of dominos. It’s yet another installment of #31DaysofDIY, and it will make sure you win your next game night.


No idea what #31DaysofDIY is? It’s a brand new tradition here at Brit + Co that’s all about kicking off 2015 right. We’ve challenged ourselves to make or learn something new every single day for the month of January, and we’re inviting all of you along for the ride. From DIY basics like Sewing 101 to learning to design and laser cut our own stencils, we hope this month of making inspires you to make all year long.


 – acrylic paint

– spray paint

– paint pens

– painter’s tape

– wooden board games (mancala, Jenga, checkers, dominos)

– optional: colorful beads for mancala


1. Choose paint colors you like. Test your paint on the back of one of your game pieces to see what paint works best (spray paint, paint pens or acrylic paint).

2. Apply painter’s tape if you need to create straight lines (like on the checkers board).

3. Paint!

4. Add paint pen details if needed (like the dominos dots).

5. Let dry and game on!


Wooden games are the way to go with this project — they lend a touch of old-school class to the soon-to-be color blocked scene.


We used a variety of paint. Acrylic paint should work for most wooden game pieces, but it’s important to do a small test before painting the whole set. We found that using spray paint for game pieces that have more of a shiny finish worked better. Use paint pens to add necessary details (dots for dominos, for example).



We’ll kick things off with Jenga. This isn’t the first time we’ve remixed this timeless building block game. For this project, we added color to the end of each Jenga piece. When you play, all sorts of fun new color palettes and patterns will most definitely come to life.


Though your blocks will eventually get all mixed up, we love going in a slightly altered rainbow order. Paint the edges of each piece and let dry.


Then stack ’em up. So good.



Next up, checkers. Who knew that this childhood game could actually look psychedelic? This set looks like something straight out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Or Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” video — your call ;)


To create this set, we used acrylic paint on the board itself. Create squares out of painter’s tape to leave half of them their natural wood color. For the pieces, we used spray paint since they seemed to have a more plastic finish.



Remember mancala? Confession: I watched a 7-year-old beat my 30-year-old brother-in-law playing this game not once, not twice, but three times in a row. Clearly our generation needs to brush up!


This is a two-pronged attack. First, we created a huge block of green by sticking a piece of painter’s tape diagonally across the mancala board and painting. Then, we tossed the mancala pieces the set came with and replaced them with bohemian turquoise beads.


How fresh is that?



Finally, dominos! If you’re even more color-obsessed than we are, you could really go to town with this project, painting every single domino a different color, pattern and more. We went with a color palette of light blue, deep turquoise and kept some of the dominos black.


Count out your dominos. Separate into thirds. Keep a third of them black. Then spray paint a third of them light blue. Let those suckers dry for 30 minutes. Then use a paint pen to add the white dominos dots back in. Let dry for an hour before playing.


Done and done. Now, time to plan a game night.


What are your favorite games? If you color block them, be sure to snap a photo and share it to Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter using the hashtag #31DaysofDIY. We’ll feature our favorite projects and makers throughout the month of January here on Brit + Co.

Game on!