How to Make a DIY Mini Bowling Alley in Your Backyard

  • By: Kevin
  • Date: July 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.
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To make a DIY mini-bowling alley:

  • Find a flat surface in your backyard
  • Measure and mark out the area for your bowling alley
  • Pour Gravel on the prepared surface
  • Cut the wood panels to size
  • Dig holes and set posts
  • Assemble the base of your bowling alley
  • Finish up the lane

Do you love bowling but don’t have the time or money to go to the lanes? Well, now you can create your own mini-bowling alley right in your backyard.

In this blog post, we will show you how to make a DIY mini-bowling alley using materials that are easy to find. You’ll be able to bowl with your friends and family in no time.

Why Make a DIY Mini Bowling Alley in Your Backyard?

There are various reasons why making a DIY mini-bowling alley in your backyard is a great idea. They include:

It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends

Bowling is a fun activity that can be done by people of all ages. It is a great way to spend time with family and friends.

You can create it to your own specifications

When you make a DIY mini-bowling alley in your backyard, you can tailor it to your own specifications. This means that you can choose the size, shape, and design of the alley.

It’s a great way to get some exercise

Bowling is a great way to get some exercise. It is a low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

Bowling is a great way to relieve stress

Like most sports, bowling is a great way to relieve stress. It is a fun and relaxing activity that can help you unwind after a long day.

You can bowl anytime you want without having to leave your house

What more do you need? You get to bowl without having to leave your house. You can bowl anytime you want, day or night.

It’s cheaper than going to a bowling alley

Making a DIY mini-bowling alley is cheaper than going to a traditional bowling alley. You will only need to spend money on the materials, and you can even reuse some items that you may have around the house.

It’s a lot cheaper than building a bowling alley in your house by many times!

What you’ll need to Make Your DIY Mini Bowling Alley

You will need the following materials to put together your very own mini-bowling alley:

  • 2×4 wood panels
  • A lot of plywood
  • Strong polythene strings
  • Bowling pins
  • A handheld drill
  • Gravel
  • Bowling balls
  • Wood screws
  • A tape measure
  • A spirit level
  • A pulley system (optional)
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Neon lights

How to Make Your DIY Mini Bowling Alley: Step By Step Guide

Follow this procedure to make your own mini-bowling alley:

Find a flat surface in your backyard

You want to make sure that the surface is level so that the game can be played fairly. Be sure to flatten any hilly areas before you begin construction.

Measure and mark out the area for your bowling alley

Once you have found a suitable location, use a tape measure to mark out the dimensions of your desired bowling alley. We recommend an alley that is at least 12 feet long and four feet wide.

It is important that you have the right measurements before you start cutting the wood.

Pour Gravel on the prepared surface

Since you are going to use wood, pouring gravel on the surface will prevent the wood from rotting. You want to carefully level the gravel so that it is level with the rest of the surface.

Cut the wood panels to size

The base will need to be set with 2×4 wood panels and plywood. Measure and cut the wood to size using a handheld drill. You can make the bowling alley as long or short as you want, but we recommend an alley that is at least 12 feet long.

Dig holes and set the posts

You will need to dig holes for the posts in order to set them in place. The posts should be placed at least four feet apart from each other.

Use a spirit level to make sure that the posts are level before you continue.

Assemble the base of your bowling alley

Use wood screws to assemble the base of your bowling alley. Be sure to use a spirit level to make sure that the surface is level.

You want to carefully attach the base to the posts. The best way to do this is having multiple sections cut into equal lengths and attaching them to the posts with wood screws.

Finish up the lane

Once you have set up the base, you may want to finish up with plywood or some other type of surface. This is completely up to you and depends on the look that you are going for.

Stain the wood (optional)

This step is optional, but staining the wood will give it a more polished look. The next step will be setting up the bowling pins and the pulley system.

Setting Up the Bowling Pins and a DIY Pulley System

No one wants to keep going down to the end of the bowling alley to set up the pins every time they bowl a strike, so setting up a pulley system is key.

Here’s how to go about it:

Drill holes at the top of the bowling alley

You can easily do this with a handheld drill. The holes should be big enough to accommodate the string that you will be using.

Attach the string to the bowling pins

Tie one end of the strong polythene string to the top of the first bowling pin. Make sure that the string is long enough to reach all of the pins.

Run the string through the holes

Thread the string through the holes that you drilled at the top of the bowling alley.

Prepare a 2ft. x 2ft. wood panel

You can use umber here. Drill holes in this panel where the bowling pin strings are going to pass. Dig four holes at the end of the alley and erect four strong posts in these holes.

Put the wood panel on top of these posts. The idea is, once the pully system is done, you can easily lift the wood panel to set up the pins.

Set up the pulley system

You want to set this system such that you can easily lift up the pins once they are knocked down in a turn. The strings running through the panel must allow sufficient length so you can easily reach the pins.

Install neon lights

Want to bowl at night? Why not install some neon lights? You can install the lights under the wood panel holding the bowling pins. This way, you can bowl even when it’s dark outside.

Now, all you need to do is enjoy your very own backyard bowling alley. Have fun.

This project is perfect for a summer weekend. It’s easy, relatively inexpensive, and a lot of fun. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.

DIY Mini Bowling Alley for Kids

If your kids enjoy playing bowling, then they will love this mini-bowling alley that you can easily set up in your backyard.

What You Will Need

  • 2×4 wood panels
  • Plywood
  • Bowling Pins
  • Nails/screws

Making the Bowling Alley

For kids, the bowling alley doesn’t have to be very long. It can range anywhere between four to ten feet in length.

Note also that this alley can be portable, so you do not need to attach it to the ground unless you want a permanent setup.

Begin by setting up the base of your bowling alley. You will need to attach the plywood to the wood panels using nails or screws. Be sure to use a level so that the surface is even.

At the end of the alley, screw some plywood a few inches above the base so that the pins are not knocked off the alley easily.

For the pins, you can use plastic or even old soda bottles. Just be sure that they are all the same height.

You will need to raise the edges of the alley by, say, two feet so that the ball does not roll off easily. You can do this by attaching more wood panels to the sides.

Mark the start point with paint or chalk so that everyone knows where to stand when they take their turn. Let your kids have fun knocking down the pins.

Remember, you can always adjust the size of the bowling alley to suit your needs. So if you want a longer or shorter one, simply adjust the dimensions accordingly.

DIY Mini Bowling Alley Making Tips

Overall, this is a simple project that you can make on a weekend. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Safety is key

You don’t want to skimp on safety, so be sure that the bowling alley is sturdy and won’t collapse easily. This is especially important if you have young kids who will be using it.

Paint or decorate the bowling alley

One of the best things about making your own bowling alley is that you can paint or decorate it however you want. So have fun with it and make it your own.

Be creative with the pins

As mentioned, you can use plastic or old soda bottles for the pins. But you can also get creative and use other materials. Just be sure that they are all the same height.

Let the bowling bowls come to you

You don’t have to fetch the bowling balls all the time. You can simply set up a small elevated lane at the end of the alley to which the balls fall and roll right back to you.

Protect the alley from rain

You don’t want your hard work to go to waste, so be sure to protect the bowling alley from rain or snow. You can do this by setting up a tarp or canopy over it.

Have fun

This is supposed to be a fun project, so don’t take it too seriously. Have fun with it and enjoy the process. After all, that’s what DIY is all about.

Mini Bowling DIY FAQs

Is a DIY mini bowling alley expensive?

No, a DIY mini-bowling alley is not expensive. In fact, some of the materials you need maybe lying around your house already.

How long does it take to make a DIY mini bowling alley?

How long it takes to make a DIY mini-bowling alley depends on factors such as the size of the alley and the number of people working on it. That said, it is generally a quick and easy project that can be completed on a weekend.

Is it hard to make a DIY mini bowling alley?

No, it is not hard to make a DIY mini bowling alley. As long as you follow the instructions carefully, it should be a relatively easy project.

What is the best material to use for pins?

The best material to use for pins would be plastic or old soda bottles. However, you can buy plastic pins specifically for this purpose.

Do I need to protect the bowling alley from the weather?

Yes, you should protect the bowling alley from weather conditions such as rain or snow. You can do this by setting up a tarp or canopy over it.

Sun and rain can be damaging to the wood, so it is important to take these precautions.

What are some other ways I can use my DIY mini bowling alley?

Your DIY mini-bowling alley can be used for other games such as skittles or ten-pin bowling. You can also use it as a decoration in your backyard.

Do I need a lot of space for a mini bowling alley?

No, you don’t need a lot of space. A mini-bowling alley can be as long or short as you want it to be. However, if it is mostly going to be sued by adults, you might want to make it a bit longer.

Can I make a mini bowling alley indoors?

I have seen people with bowling alleys in the basement. So yes, you can make a mini-bowling alley indoors. Just be mindful of the noise level if you have young children or live in an apartment building.

Final Thoughts

A DIY mini-bowling alley is a fun and easy project that you can do on a weekend. It’s also relatively inexpensive, so it’s perfect for those on a budget. Just be sure to take safety precautions and protect the alley from weather conditions.

Hopefully, this guide has given you everything you need to know about how to make a DIY mini bowling alley. So what are you waiting for? Get started on your own project today.

We also have plenty of backyard DIY projects if this didn’t strike you! (pun intended), I recommend the DIY Ring Toss Game.


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