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Customize Your Games for the Holidays!

- Brent Doud

While many holidays create fond memories, none can rival the memories of a good Old Fashioned Fourth of July Gathering. American Flags, Hot Dogs, Corn on the Cob, Sparklers, Cold Bottles of Pop, Green Grass, and of course, Fireworks!

With modern times being so hectic and virtually driven, it’s easy to crave a simpler time, a time where homemade food was abundant, kids ran amok with the excitement of summer and people enjoyed spending time gathered and interacting. We feel that our games are the perfect way to provide entertainment in a way that encourages your guests to engage with each other and have a great time.

To get in the spirit of Memorial Day and the 4th of July, we decided to create a patriotic look with some of our games. It turns out, it was pretty easy since most of our games are traditional games are made in the United States and therefore already patriotic. But we took it a step further and altered one of our best selling games, to match the upcoming summer holidays.

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This is our ever so popular pine Giant Tumbling Tower! During play this tower will grow to over 5 feet tall! Whats more fun then that? Um, well... we think a RED, WHITE and BLUE Giant Tumble Tower is even better then that!

Games are a wonderful way to create a fun atmosphere and add activities to your gathering or party. A painted, colored game makes a PERFECT decorative focal point for your party. It really creates a mood and adds a pop to your color scheme! This red, white and blue Giant Tumble Tower takes center stage at this 4th of July Party!

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We added some vintage crates for a low rise platform, re-purposed a nautical sign into a chalkboard game sign and added a drink ice bucket inside a plant stand for a drink station and VOILA, we have a PARTY people!

How did we do this?

We will tell you how to create this wonderful painted game in these simple instructions below.

Supplies needed:

  • (1) Giant Tumble Tower set
  • (1) 8 oz bottle of each, Red, White and Blue acrylic paint (your choice of shades)
  • (1) Paintbrush
  • Electric hand sander and several sheets of fine or medium grade sand paper or sanding blocks in a fine or medium grade paper.
  • Newspapers or flattened cardboard box to protect painting area
  • Push pins (to create a drying board)
  • Clean cloth rags
  • A non-toxic furniture wax (we recommend butcher block wax, it is food grade so this way if little mouths find their way to the blocks for a chew, there is no safety hazard)
  • 3 paper plates
  • 3 of your best friends to help.
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To prepare

There are 56 blocks per Tumble Tower, so start by dividing your blocks into 3 piles of 19 blocks each. Lay out a large area with either newspapers or flattened cardboard boxes (I like cardboard because I like to create a push pin drying board) Use pushpins and create an elevated drying board for your blocks right onto your cardboard piece. This allows air to circulate underneath the blocks for faster drying and prevents the drying paint on the edges of the blocks from sticking to the surface underneath and pulling it up with them. If you do get paper stuck to the edges of your blocks, don’t panic, you can sand it off later.

Now we are ready to start!

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PAINTING

I recommend doing this assembly line style. Do only 3 sides of each block and set aside to dry and then go back and finish the unpainted sides as they dry. This makes for a less messy paint experience. Be sure to rinse the roots of your paintbrush well when changing colors (paint gets up there and hides and will drip out on your next color).

  • Pour about ¼ cup of paint onto a paper plate to start first coat of paint. (it is better to pour small amounts of paint out because as the paint starts to dry, you will get little dried paint pieces in your paint job. So start with ¼ cup each time and add as you need it)
  • Painting in the same direction as the grain lines, paint the edges of blocks in desired color and set on drying pins to dry. Add a second coat of paint if needed. (we just did one.) Set aside for sanding. You will notice that painting the blocks will cause the grain to raise and the blocks will lose their smoothness. Not to worry, we will fix that with sanding. DO NOT stack wet blocks on top of each other to store or dry. Also, keep the different colored blocks away from each other until they have been sanded and waxed. They will scuff each other with their freshly unprotected paint surfaces.
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SANDING

Be sure you sand in an area where sawdust is ok to gather, as you will have plenty. Make SURE you are not near any drying blocks, as the dust will stick to the wet paint which is a bad idea!

  • Insert a piece of fine grain sand paper into your electric hand sander and plug in.
  • Holding your block flat and stable onto a flat surface with one hand, use the hand sander and go back and forth in the direction of the grain and sand until the block is smooth. (This is also your chance to sand off any “painting boo-boos you may have made). The sander will have a strong grip on the wood (especially with fresh sandpaper) so hold tight and don’t get scared of the pull. Do watch your fingers, as they are not meant to be sanded and you will need them to finish this project.
  • Be careful not to over sand your edges and change the shape of the block. It’s easy to do, so pay attention.
  • You may use a sanding block or plain sanding paper for this step also but a hand sander (they are not too expensive) cuts the work down tremendously. Sand all blocks and store until ready to wax.

We went for a rustic, worn wood look, so we held the sander on there for a bit extra and got the edges nice and good. You will notice that your paint color will lighten a bit with the sanding. It will deepen up some when you get to the waxing part.

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WAXING

This can be a bit messy on the hands, so if you are a neat Nelly then you might want to use rubber gloves. Also, sit in a well-ventilated area.

  • Using a clean cloth, wipe down each block to remove any paint dust from sanding.
  • Using another clean cloth, spread enough wax onto each block to cover the entire surface of the block and set aside onto push pin drying board or on smallest edge. Continue waxing same color blocks.
  • Once blocks have been waxed, start back at block #1 and buff off the wax coating using another clean cloth. This is essentially the same process as waxing your car. Wax on, Wax off. Set aside to air out.

The wax coating protects the painted surface and we found that it makes for a very nice smooth slide during the game!

And that's it!

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The possibilities of color combinations are endless with painted Giant Tumble Towers. Since the blocks are arranged in sets of 3 across, I recommend going with a palette of 3 colors. Now you have the instructions to create your own Giant Tumble Tower to match your party colors, theme or even your favorite football team!

If you found any value in this tutorial, please take a second to share it on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. We really appreciate it.

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Brent is the founder and CEO of Tosso.com. Also the inventor and designer of the Ladder Golf and Hammer Crown collections of games. Brent enjoys working, playing games, mountain biking, swimming and family time.



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