Ashley Makes: DIY Bowling Lane

Ashley Makes: DIY Bowling Lane

Scratch your bowling itch by building this miniature bowling lane made from scrap lumber.  My husband and I were discussing how fun it will be to take our little boy bowling once he is old enough to enjoy it.  From that conversation I got the idea of building a miniature bowling lane.    I was also inspired by Ana White’s #GetBuilding2015 challenge to make use of the large pile of lumber stored in my garage.    This bowling lane is a little shy of being a foot wide and 4 feet long.    In this post, I’ll share steps for making a bowling lane of your own!

(For sneak peeks on upcoming projects follow me on Facebook and Instagram!)

Kids bowling lane

Kids bowling lane

Kids bowling lane

Kids bowling lane

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links.

The Tools and Supplies

The following items are some of the tools and supplies I gathered to create the miniature bowling lane:

Bowling Pins

  • White Spray Paint
  • Spray Paint Gun
  • Washi Tape
  • Mod Podge
  • Triple Thick Gloss Glaze
  • 10 – Large Wood Bowling Pins

Bowling Lane

  • 1 – 46″ long 1×12 board
  • 2 – 46″ long 1×2 boards
  • 2 – 9.75″ long 1×2 boards
  • 1 – 9.75″ long 1×4 board
  • 2 – 23″ long 1×4 boards
  • Kreg Jig (for joining boards)
  • Sander
  • Dremel (for rounding guard edges)
  • JigSaw (for rounding guard edges)
  • Wood Filler
  • Handsaw
  • Paint
  • Silhouette (for creating stencils for lane markers)


Decorating the Bowling Pins

I purchased 10 unfinished wooden bowling pins.  The pins looked pretty bland.  A little paint and washi tape made a big difference.  The following steps describe how I decorated the pins.

Unfinished wooden bowling pins



Unfinished wooden bowling pins

Step 1:  Paint the bowling pins white.

I spray painted the bowling pins white with a can of Rust-Oleum’s Painter’s Touch Paint+Primer.

Rust-Oleum Spray paint + Spray Paint Gun

Rust-Oleum Spray paint + Spray Paint Gun

Bowling pins lined up for painting

Bowling pins lined up for painting

Step  2:  Add washi tape to the neck of the bowling pin.

To give the bowling pins a nice pop of color, I added washi tape to the neck of the pins.  I purchased my washi tape from cutetape.com.    I used the following tapes:

  • MT Bright Patch Japanese Masking Washi Tape
  • MT Block Slash Washi Tape Japanese
  • Colorful Stripe Washi Tape Chugoku
Washi Tape from CuteTape



Washi Tape from CuteTape

Step 3:  Seal the washi tape with Mod Podge.

To ensure the tape would stay put, I applied a coat of Mod Podge (Matte Finish).

Step 4:  Coat the pins with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.

For the final step, I coated each pin with two layers of Triple Thick Gloss Glaze.  This gave the pins a nice shiny and smooth finish.

Coating the bowling pins with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze

Coating the bowling pins with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze

diy_bowling_lane_alley_pin (1)

Building the Bowling Lane

Here’s how I pieced together the bowling lane.

Step 1:  Cut the boards to the appropriate size.

I had a leftover 46″ long 1×12 board.  I wanted the lane guards to run half the length of the bowling lane, so I cut 2 1×4 boards to length of 23 inches.  The remaining 1×4 and 1×2 boards were cut to fit the 1×12 board.

Lumber



Lumber

The final cuts were:

  • 1 – 46″ long 1×12 board
  • 2 – 46″ long 1×2 boards
  • 2 – 9.75″ long 1×2 boards
  • 1 – 9.75″ long 1×4 board
  • 2 – 23″ long 1×4 boards

Step 2:  Round the lane guard ends.  (Optional)

Rounding the edges of the lane guards give the bowling lane a nice touch.  I  used a lid to trace a curve on one end of each of the 23″ 1×4 boards.   I then used my jigsaw to cut the curve.

Jigsaw

Jigsaw

Step 3:  Add bottom trim.

I attached the 1×2 boards to the 1×12 board with some finishing nails and a hammer to form a box.

Nailing 1x2 boards to 1x12 board

Nailing 1×2 boards to 1×12 board

Nailing the 1x2 boards to the 1x12 board



Nailing the 1×2 boards to the 1×12 board

Bottom trim added

Bottom trim added

Step 4:  Attach the lane guards.

Next, I used my Kreg Jig to create pocket holes for joining the pieces of the lane guard together.  Once the 3 1×4 boards were joined, I then attached the lane guard to the 1×12 board.

Drilling pocket holes

Drilling pocket holes

Attaching pieces of the guard together



Attaching pieces of the guard together

Attaching pieces of the guard together

Attaching pieces of the guard together

Attaching lane guards to bowling lane base

Attaching lane guards to bowling lane base

Step 5:  Add wood filler and sand, sand sand.

I added wood filler to cover up the pocket holes and spent a good amount of time sanding down the rough edges.

Wood filler



Wood filler

Sanding the rounded edges with a Dremel

Sanding the rounded edges with a Dremel

Sanding bowling lane

Sanding bowling lane

Step 6:  Add paint.

I painted the bowling lane with Krylon Satin Sea Glass spray paint.

Reading for paint!



Ready for paint!

Step 7:  Add washi tape.  (Optional)

I wanted to tie in some of the colors from the bowling pins to the bowling lane.  I wrapped perimeter of the lane with striped washi tape.

My little washi tape helper

My little washi tape helper

Step 8:  Add lane markers.  (Optional)

For a nice final touch, I created stencils for lane arrows and markers for the bowling pin locations with the Silhouette editor.   I used Contact paper to create the stencil.  I followed the Shanty sister’s tutorial on creating a stencil with contact paper to get the perfect cut setting on my Silhouette.   To complement the Sea Glass paint, I painted the lane markers with neon orange paint.

The Silhouette cut files are available here for download:

  • Bowling Pin Locations Cut File
  • Bowling Lane Arrows Cut File

If you don’t own a Silhouette, I made the images available for download here:

  • Bowling Pin locations image 
  • Bowling lane arrows image
Painting lane markers

Painting lane markers

Painting complete!



Painting complete!

Close up on the lane arrows

Close up on the lane arrows

Step 9:  Seal the project!

The Completed Bowling Lane

The bowling lane was a really fun project.  It has been a hit for my little guy, and the adults enjoy it too.  To increase difficultly, use a smaller ball and have the bowler toss the ball from several feet away.

If you build the bowling lane, please leave a comment below or tag me on Instagram as @handmadewithashley or Twitter as @handmadewithash.   I’d love to see your pictures!

Bowling pins in position

Bowling pins in position

diy_bowling_lane_tutorial_woodworking (26)diy_bowling_lane_tutorial_woodworking (40)diy_bowling_lane_tutorial_woodworking (39)diy_bowling_lane_tutorial_woodworking (38)diy_bowling_lane_tutorial_woodworking (37)

Reader Projects

My very first reader project from @sawdustandperfume!



Made this mini bowling ally for my niece who is visually impaired. She loves being able to get up close to see what she is doing. The lrg orange dots for the pins are very helpful for her to set it back up. Plans from @handmadewithashley

A photo posted by @sawdustandperfume on

Pin it!

DIY Bowling Lane

DIY Bowling Lane

DIY Kids Bowling Lane

DIY Kids Bowling Lane

For sneak peaks on upcoming projects follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

I party with Remodelaholic