How to make yard pick-up sticks.

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giant pick up sticks made from bamboo plant stakes

Do you remember this old-fashioned game? This giant pick-up sticks version is easy to make and so fun to play with a group! Just be mindful you don’t poke an eye out with these sticks!

Supplies for giant pick-up sticks:

24-36 Bamboo yard stakes, like these.

  •  you want the number of stakes to be dividable by the number of colors you want to have, plus 1 black stick. I had 4 colors with 8 sticks per color…32. Plus the black stick…33 stakes.
  •  wooden dowels also work, as do any variety of stakes. Be very sure that you don’t choose any variety with an exceptionally  pointy end…that would be quite dangerous to play!

Spray Paint in the color choices you wish. And a black.

  • I chose to go with the traditional red, yellow, blue, and green. But, the options are open! Be sure to grab a black for your black stick!

Clear Spray Paint

  • A coat of clear spray over your stakes will help the paint last much, much longer.



Yes, it really is that easy.

  1. Paint your stakes different colors, seal with clear primer.
    How you choose to get paint on those stakes is up to you. I chose to push them in the ground and spray them. Then when they dry, flip them over and repeat. However, I would recommend not spray painting multiple colors on a windy day unless you want to look a bit like a Rembrandt painting. Okay, a LOT like a Rembrandt painting!

5 loofah showers later…

Here is the part where I show you multiple amazing live shots of my adorable family (minus the 15 year old daughter…her hair wasn’t “cute enough” for photos) and gorgeous yard.

Well, I have 1 out of the 2 right. I need to work on that yard part a bit more. Playing yard games is much more fun then fixing dead patches of grass.


I would like to make a couple of notes about these giant pick-up sticks…

1. As with all sticks, small children should not play with them. Older children should be cautious. Adults should be okay. But, just tell everyone that safety is first. And watch that you don’t get sharp stake ends.

Have fun in your yard. Be whimsical and cheerful, like these giant pick-up sticks are. Make it a place your children want to be in. Let them free to be kids. Leave the perfect cleaning and styling for elsewhere…nature is perfect already!

Like giant pick-up sticks?  You might also like:

outdoor chess set
mini golf
outdoor pinwheels
garden rock caterpillar
24 herb garden ideas

Nellie is the founder of NellieBellie, and takes basically every photograph you've ever seen on this site. She also runs our web design business, the Savvy Sites Administration.


  1. Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage

    July 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Mom of the year award goes to you – this is so cute!!!!!

  2. Suzy @ Worthing Court

    July 10, 2013 at 7:17 am

    This is such a neat idea! It’ll make a great boredom buster for my grands who stay with me during the day.

  3. Connie

    July 8, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    My grandkids will love these giant size pck up sticks! Besdes dowels what else can e used?

    • miznelliebellie

      July 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      In this I actually used bamboo plant stakes…not dowels. Both would work fine. Also pvc pipe would work. Just be careful that nothing is too sharp. Yes! My kids love these…so fun!

  4. Linda @ Mason Jar Crafts Love

    July 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

    What a fun idea and cute family!!! I’m sure your daughter’s hair was cute enough …

    :) Linda

    • miznelliebellie

      July 7, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I thought it was cute enough. But, I guess 15 year old girls don’t think the same :). Thanks!

  5. JDaniel4's Mom

    July 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    This looks like great fun! I think my son would love it. I have shared this post with my readers on Facebook and Pinterest.

    • miznelliebellie

      July 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you!! It is great fun…we’ve used them lots of times already!

  6. Thistle

    July 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    LOVE the look of the new site! I think it’s perfect! Totally pinned the Pick Up sticks! Thanks so much for inspiring me today!

    Happy day!

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