How to Make DIY Tic-Tac-Toe Game (Great Gift Idea)

Learn how to make a DIY Tic-Tac-Toe game.  A homemade wooden Tic Tac Toe game is fun for all ages and makes a thoughtful handmade gift. This educational game can help teach important strategy skills. Depending upon your skills, you can create this project in about one or two hours.

Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board. Learn how to create your own Tic-Tac-Toe game.   Makes a great gift or present.  Fun for all ages.

Materials needed:

One piece of wood approximately 1.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″ (4cm x 17cm x 17cm).  In my case, I am using a piece of walnut.

Two wooden dowel 3/4″ (2cm) in diameter.  If you only have only type of wood for the dowels, you can paint one set of pegs a different color.

The size of the board and your pegs can easily be modified to match the materials you have on hand.  This project can be completed with just a basic hand saw, a drill, and a drill bit.  However, I have included pictures of other power tools that can be used to speed up the process.

Dimensions of Tic-Tac-Toe game board.
Click to enlarge for dimensions.
Create your own Tic-Tac-Toe game board.
Tic-Tac-Toe Game

Step 1. Saw board to match dimensions of Tic Tac Toe Game Board.

Using a hand saw, table saw, or miter saw cut the board to 1.5″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″ (4cm x 17cm x 17cm).

Cut tic-tac-toe board with hand saw.
Cutting board with a hand saw.

Ripping Tic-Tac-Toe game board with table saw.
Ripping board with a table saw.

Cross cutting Tic-Tac-Toe game with a miter saw.
Cross cutting board with a miter saw.

Step 2. Mark horizontal and vertical lines.

Cut these lines to a depth of  approximately 1/8″ (0.3cm) using either a hand saw or a table saw.

Mark horizontal and vertical lines on game board.
Mark lines on board.

Cut horizontal and vertical lines on game board using hand saw.
Cutting board lines with hand saw.

Cut horizontal and vertical lines using table saw.
Cutting board lines with table saw.

Step 3.  Mark holes for pegs.

Drill holes 3/4″ (2cm) in diameter, approximately 3/4″ (2cm) in depth.  If using a drill press, you can set the “depth stop”.  This will ensure all the holes are drilled to the same depth.

Mark holes on tic-tac-toe board for pegs.
Mark holes on tic-tac-toe board for pegs.

Drill holes in tic-tac-toe board for pegs.
Drill holes in board for pegs.

Step 4.  Cut ten wooden dowels 2″ (5cm) in length.

Ideally cut five pegs from a darker wood, and five pegs from a littler wood. However, if you only have one type of wood, you can paint five of the dowels a different color.

Collection of wooden dowels.
Collection of wooden dowels.

Cutting wooden dowels using hand saw.
Cutting wooden dowels for pegs.

Step 5.  Ensure the pegs easily fit.

Ideally, you want the pegs to go in easily.  If you have a huge selection of drill bits, drill the holes slightly larger than the pegs.  Since I did not have a bit slightly larger than the dowels, I enlarged the holes using a Dremel with a sanding attachment.

Slightly enlarging holes for pegs using Dremel attachment.
Enlarging holes with Dremel attachment.

Step 6:  Sand and smooth the edges.

If you have access to a router, you can use this tool to round the top edges.

Use a router to round edges of tic-tac-toe game board.
Rounding edges with a router.

Step 7.  Apply a finish to the Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board.

In my case, I applied a linseed oil to the walnut wood.

Finishing Tic-Tac-Toe game board with linseed oil.
Finishing Tic-Tac-Toe game board.

Step 8. Enjoy and have fun.

Finished Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board with pegs.
Finished Tic-Tac-Toe Game Board.

Tic-Tac-Toe Rules

Two players take turns inserting pegs into the holes or spaces in the 3×3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their pegs in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.

 

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