Skip to content

Giant Jenga

by admin on December 12th, 2020

Here’s a Giant Jenga recipe:

  • Several boards of 2x4x8 white pine
  • 150-grit, 220-grit and 440-grit sandpaper
  • Polyurethane (either water-based or oil-based)
  • Johnson’s Paste Wax
  • Thickness planer (optional)
  • Miter saw

Head over to your local lumber store and dig through their stack of white pine 2×4 lumber. Select 8 straight 2×4 boards. Ideally, you’ll want white pine because it’s light (you’ll thank me later), and tends to have fewer knotholes than other versions of pine. Pick boards that are as straight as possible. If you can find excellent boards, you should be able to get by with 7. But go ahead and get 8 anyway. (You could choose prime pine, but the cost is 3x higher than construction-grade lumber.)


Using your thickness planer, plane the 2x4s on all 4 sides to remove all rough surfaces and edges. After planing, your boards should be 1.5″ thick and 3.5″ wide. If you don’t have a thickness plane, buy more sandpaper and skip this step.

At the miter saw, cut the 2x4s into 54 blocks, each being 10.5″ long. This will give you 18 layers of blocks, 3 blocks per layer. This size is ideal because 3 blocks set side by side gives you a square that’s 10.5″ x 10.5″. Feel free to make a few extra blocks just in case a few get ruined or lost. TIP: If your miter saw doesn’t have a stop block, use a clamp and make a make-shift stop-block. By using a stop block, you won’t have to measure each cut, and that will save you at least 60% of your time at the miter saw.

After you’ve cut all the blocks, sand all sides until they’re smooth. Start with the 150-grit, then move to the 220-grit, then to the 400-grit sandpaper. Hopefully you’ve got an electric sander.

After the blocks are sanded, wipe off all dust and apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane, giving each coat a couple hours to dry. After the polyurethane is dry, use a paper towel to apply the Johnson’s Paste Wax to the tops and bottoms of each piece.

All you have to do now is stack up the pieces, 3 at a time, 18 levels high, and Enjoy your game!

Going The Extra Mile

I made a Craftsman-styled ‘coffee table’ that doubles as a case for the blocks. The table top is removable and sits on the ground so that the blocks can be set up on the table top. This lets the game be played on the grass or on thick carpet.

Giant Jenga Blocks in a custom-made Craftsman-styled “coffee table”. The blocks are stored by standing vertically in the box.
The tabletop of the “coffee table” doubles as a platform for the Giant Jenga blocks. This allows it to be played on the grass or thick carpet.

From → Uncategorized

Comments are closed.