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DIY - Chinese Checkers Nesting Table

white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
As the kids prepare for their final months of school, this is the perfect time to plan some of the activities that will keep them busy during those lazy days of Summer.
And today, you guys are in for a treat! As part of our monthly DIY-Challenge, I have 11 games that you can build to keep those kids super busy while having loads of fun. - Be sure to check all the amazing games linked at the end of this post!

My project > a Chinese checkers game that doubles as nesting table and that you can use inside or outside your home.

Before I start giving you all the details of this build, I have to tell you a little story about this project:
Three years ago I was rushing to finish the final details for the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge - I had completed the construction of the deck, but I was also completing many other smaller projects that I needed to decorate the deck.

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

I scored a thrifty set of nesting tables and decided to turn them into games for the kids to have fun while enjoying their time in our new outdoor space.

Now, if you have gotten into one of these challenges, you know how crazy that final week is. As the final deadline approaches, your problems somehow multiply. We even had a good amount of snow that made us stop construction!

Anyhow, I was super busy, so I asked the mister to drill the holes for the Chinese checker board. He gladly accepted the task, but boy oh boy, his attention to detail was less than desirable. 😒

Three years later, I'm finally giving you all the details about this project, after fixing many imperfections created while construction.

Again, I used a set of nesting tables I bought at a thrift store for five dollars. However, you can follow the complete plans for building the tables right HERE.
Chinese checkers free printable

I made the Chinese checker board template to fit perfectly on the top of the larger table. You can skip all that measuring by simply downloading the free template right HERE.

Center the template on the top of the large table, tape it in place and using an awl tool and a hammer mark the location of the holes.
how to make a Chinese checkers game table
Awl Tool  |  

At that time, the mister used a spade bit to make the holes. He even added the tape to know how deep to drill.
How to make a Chinese checkers game table
But, as you can see in the picture below, the spade bit didn't produce a smooth surface on the bottom of those holes.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge

Instead of marbles I used wooden dowels to create the 60 pegs you need to play the game. A 1/2" dowel was used for the heads and 1/4" for the bases.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge

At that time, my daughter was the one in charge of painting the entire thing. And she went for bright colors.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge

Well, this picture below was the only one to make it to the final reveal. I didn't dare taking a close-up shot.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge

However, the tables were used as tables and the kids also played the games many times, but after awhile the tables were forgotten in the basement.

When the DIY-Game Challenge arrived, I knew it was the time to give them a second shot.
A 5/8" Forstner bit was the perfect tool to smooth out all those holes. A sanding drum on my Dremel fine tuned those edges.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
Diablo 5/8" Forstner Bit  |  DREMEL 4300 Series Variable Speed Corded Rotary Tool   |  

Look at the difference! Talk about using the right tool for the job.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge

Some of the holes suffered so much damage that was impossible to erase some of those marks. But, overall it looks way better.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge

The yellow was changed for a bright white and the holes were painted in blues and greens.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
Oh, and the small table got a chess board painted on it.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
Here's a step by step photo tutorial of how it was done.
white nesting tables with checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
The tables are being used in our living room and they work perfectly with the decor in that room.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
When not in use, the pegs go inside this little basket.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
Well, another good thing about using pegs is that they don't move easily! You need to take them out and into a new spot.  You can find the Chinese checkers rules right HERE.
The pieces for playing checkers are regular metal washers.
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
white nesting tables with Chinese checkers game on it #diygamechallenge
Well, if you're looking for a nice set of nesting tables that also double as games ready to be played, this is the project for you!!

But, I also have ten more awesome game ideas you would love to try:

For more DIY - ideas check these out:

football toss game #thdprospective

how to make coastal looking votives

*This post contains affiliate links.

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  1. Cute, Cute, Cute idea, Cristina!!!! I just taught my grandgirl how to play Chinese checkers. It is a great game that makes you strategize and THINK. Love your take on it here. Have a great week. xo Diana

    1. Hi Diana, thanks!! I supposed it's Little Miss BrightEyes the lucky one. I know she's as witty and smart as you, she's gonna be a Chinese checkers champion in no time! My kids are already there. :D

  2. I love the idea that you won't be chasing any marbles on the floor. Really a fabulous update for some lost pastimes. My boys are in their mid forties, and we have started board games and card games again---all ages can be included in these. Love your instructions and finished tables...I'm sure you will have years of fun with these!

    1. Thanks to much, Sandi! That's so true. No chasing marbles on the floor and of course, those of us already in our forties, fifties and beyond still love to play games! 💓

  3. Oh so adorable! And they look perfect to me. Kudos for such a double cute game table idea!

  4. Christina,

    What a fun way to keep games and pieces together! Family game time is so much fun!

  5. Chinese Checkers is my FAVORITE board game... and you just made it the PRETTIEST board game! Lol! I am so going to copy you on this awesome project and build some for my kiddos! Too cute, I absolutely love this!

  6. Those tables are so cute! And how fun that they also provide games for the kiddos! My son loves checkers right now - I may have to try this on a thrifted table too! :)

  7. This is absolutely darling and super creative! I had to laugh about the Mister helping out... they don't always have the same vision when they help. We've had a few of those here too, LOL! What a fun group challenge too! I need lawn games for the North House summer guests. Pinned!

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