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game on!

From habitat magazine - issue 35, bright ideas

Family young and old will be entertained with lawn games that can brighten up your day.

‘Tis the season to spend time with family and friends outdoors and with any gathering it pays to have a few colourful tricks up your sleeve to keep everyone in good spirits. While you are waiting for the sausages to cook at a family barbecue or the turkey to come out of the oven, keep everyone entertained with a few fun lawn games. Sometimes the best memories are made in our own backyards. Let the games begin!

Croquet, you stay

Take nana’s old croquet set from the back of the shed and refresh it ready for a fun lawn game with Resene paints and wood stains. The object of the game is to hit the ball through a course of gates.

Croquet lawn game

Rejuvenate an old croquet set for a fun game for guests at your next gathering. We stained our croquet mallets using Resene Woodsman Dark Oak. Hoops and main part of the stake in Resene Half Black White, balls, mallet and stake stripes in Resene Teal Blue, Resene Blue Gem, Resene Sunshade and Resene Gorse. Picnic basket and outdoor rug from Mighty Ape, cushions stylist’s own.

To repair the mallets, sand down any imperfections on the mallets using coarse sandpaper followed by fine sandpaper. Wipe clean with a damp cloth before staining with two coats of Resene Woodsman wood stain. Apply masking tape to the middle of the handle and paint stripes on each mallet in two coats of one colour. To refresh the balls, paint a large circle of colour on each ball using the same four colours used on the mallets. Apply two coats.

Giant checkers

A game of checkers has never looked bigger or brighter than when it has been given a bold Resene Colorwood Apollo Blue and Resene Half Black White checkerboard colour scheme.

Giant checkers lawn game

Black and white are the most traditional checkerboard colours, but this colourful version is stained in Resene Colorwood Apollo Blue with the checks painted in Resene Half Black White. The checker pieces are painted in Resene Quarter Frozen and Resene Moonbeam. The full board is finished in Resene Aquaclear.

You will need:

Stain the plywood square in Resene Colorwood. Wipe away any excess stain with a rag or cloth. Create a border 60mm wide with the masking tape. Use the tape to create a grid of squares equally spaced apart, from top to bottom and left to right. There should be four squares along each line. Each square on the board measures 110mm. Paint the squares in a contrasting colour. Once dry, remove the masking tape. Repeat the above, except this time covering the painted squares. Once completely dry and all masking tape has been removed, apply Resene Aquaclear to seal the checkerboard. To make the counters, apply Resene StainLock to the jar lids. Paint the lids in two different colours – 12 of each.

Dynamic dominoes

You can play this jumbo version of the classic tile game on a garden lawn or sandy beach. Dominoes is a great way to use up leftover timber offcuts. Keep your tiles together as a set by storing them in an old Resene paint bucket or a crate painted in your favourite Resene colours.

Dominoes lawn game

This colourful version of dominoes is stained in Resene Colorwood Teak with dots painted using Resene Black White, Resene Daisy Bush, Resene Riptide, Resene Princess, Resene Sunshade and Resene Teal Blue.

You will need:

Cut the pieces to 230mm lengths. For a full set, cut 28 pieces. Sand the cut sides and carefully wipe away any dust with a cloth. Stain the pieces of wood in Resene Colorwood. Wipe away any excess stain with a rag or cloth. Rule a centre line in the middle of the domino and paint. Once dry, paint the dots. Visit to see the different combinations that need to be painted. Seal the pieces using Resene Aquaclear.

Ring around

The game of quoits (also known as ring toss) has been entertaining families since medieval times when it was played with horseshoes.

Ring around lawn game

Upcycle leftover bottles into a fun game for all ages. (From left) bottles painted in Resene Daisy Bush, Resene Teal Blue, Resene West Side, Resene Blue Gem, Resene Riptide, Resene Supernova, Resene Gorse, Resene Sunshade and Resene Fog. The crate is painted in Resene Jordy Blue and the rings are in Resene Gorse, Resene West Side and Resene Daisy Bush.

You will need:

Prime the bottles using Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer and leave to dry. Paint the bottles in various colours using Resene testpots. Cut the rope to 160mm and tape ends together to create a ring. Repeat until you’ve made at least 10 rings. Paint the rings with Resene testpots and leave them to dry. Complete the game by giving the crate a lick of paint.

Wallpaper buntingTip: Create a celebration colour scheme and paint decorations, such as table runners, parking signs, crackers, piñata and party-favour bags, in colours to match your lawn games. Make bunting using leftover wallpaper – we used Resene Wallpaper Collection KEN504, Resene Wallpaper Collection FJ40508 and Resene Wallpaper Collection E378049.

More online: For how-to videos and more ideas for your next celebration, visit

Projects: Sarah Kolver, Leigh Stockton
Images: Bryce Carleton


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Printed copies of habitat highlights are available from late March 2024 at Resene ColorShops and resellers, while stocks last. You can view back issues of habitat magazine online.

If you have an idea, project or story that you think would suit habitat, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us an email with your details and include photos if submitting a project.

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