Sunday, May 16, 2010

diy: Washers (Urban Horse Shoes)

I learned about this game, saw how totally make-able it was and immediately set out to make myself a set.

I went to the fantastic hardware store in my Boston neighborhood, Charles Street Hardware, and they cut - even mitered - all the wood for me. If you can get this done for you (or have your own equipment) this is so simple to make.

You'll need:

8 14" 2x4's with mitered corners
2 14"x14" pieces of plywood
1 small can of spray paint
2 cans about 3" high and 3" in diameter
1 leather belt with at least 20" of no-hole space
16 3" wood screws
2 3" screws and 2 nuts
2 1" wood screws
8 2" outside diameter washers

and these tools:
Ruler, pencil
Electric screwdriver/drill


I stained all my pieces first - you can stain, you can paint, you can even do nothing.


*Make sure the screw size you use matches the drill bit you're using*

Next, you'll prepare the base board. Using a ruler, mark 4" in from each corner and .75" from each side. Pre-drill holes at these marks. Take one 2x4 and align it flush with the edge of the board. Use another 2x4 to temporarily support the unsupported side while you drill. Use your 3" screws and attach!

Repeat this for each side until you've got all the sides completely. Next, you'll need to drill a hole in the center of the board. Use a ruller to draw diagonals to each corner to find the center and drill a hole.

You'll now need to drill a hole in the center of the bottom can (open it, remove contents and clean out first of course)(after searching and analyzing each can in the grocery store, I finally chose the, imported from the UK, Heinz Spotted Dick to be the can best suited for the job), be careful when doing this if you're not using a pointed drill bit. Align the hole of the board with the hole in the can and thread the flat tip screw in from the bottom and secure with the nut.

Cut two 10" pieces of an old leather belt (I picked one up at Goodwill) and screw into the top, flat side of the boxes 2" in from each edge. You may want to make it more secure and use small washers between the screw head and the belt.

Finally, take 4 of your washers and spray paint them.


Set the boxes about 20' apart. Two people stand at each box (or if playing with just two, stand together at the same box) and toss the washers to the box. If you make it in the can, 3 pts. If you make the box, 1pt. If your washer lands flat on the edge of the 2x4s, 5pts. And if your washer rings the screw inside the can, game over, you win! Opponents scores cancel each other out. So if you ring the box, and they ring the can, you have 0 and they have 2. Pick and number to play to and go!

Now you're all set with a lawn came to carry at your next time at the river like this:


  1. LOVE this on my way to the hardware store now. THX

  2. Love this..making this this weekend.

  3. We made this for tailgating and it's great! Thanks for the directions!

  4. get a wingnut to fit the center screw and the washers won't fall out (get lost) when it's being carried

  5. It's called Hillbilly Horse Shoes.

  6. You could use 2 old drawers from a dresser if you have one laying around.

  7. I used PVC fittings at 4 inches to make mine. Also, you don' t have to miter the corners at 45 degrees. You can make it simpler with straight cuts and a handle from home depot