Today, I have a freestanding DIY hook and ring game tutorial for you. I’ll share how to make a DIY hook and ring game with instructions on how to hang them from the ceiling or a post. This is an inexpensive game that you can make with scraps and a few items from the hardware store.
The best part about a hook and ring toss game is it’s easy to make and the entire family can play. I’ve included instructions on how to play with strategy tips to win too!
It’s all well and good that I’m sharing how to make a hook and ring game but if you’re not familiar with this hilariously fun and addicting washer on a string game, you’re probably wondering what it is.
What is a hook and ring game?
What is a ring on a string game? Is it the same as a hook and ring toss game?
Yes! This easy-to-make game has many names, I suspect most are regional. You might know the game as bimini ring toss, ring on a string, or even the tiki ring toss game. I’ve even seen it listed as the ring swing game. They are all one and the same.
The ring on a string game is basically a hook on a backboard with a string attached to a large metal ring that hangs from above.
Ring on a string game or the hook and ring game is a hugely popular game in Florida and I’m sure elsewhere. It’s pretty easy to find one in most beachside bars, casual restaurants and hangouts in beach communities from Pensacola to Key West. Even though I’ve seen them for sale, the DIY’er in me couldn’t handle the idea of purchasing something I knew I could make.
If DIYing doesn’t sound like fun, you can always skip the DIY part and just buy a hook and ring toss game. I won’t tell anyone. 😉
I’m going to show you how to make a hook and ring game for your own backyard or favorite game area.
Be sure to read down to the bottom for instructions on how to play the hook and ring game. I even shared a few tips on a strategy to win….from my own observation and perhaps lots of tries at winning!
Oh! You’ll find several other fun outdoor games to make and play at the bottom of my post too!
*Warning* This game has been known to cause lots of laughter, bring out the competitiveness in otherwise laid-back people, and can be played in teams 😉 In other words, it’s a hoot to play and fun for all ages.
How to Make a DIY Hook and Ring Game Tutorial
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Supplies needed to make a DIY hook and ring game like mine .
- backboard – see below
- pressure treated wood, if your game will be outside
- graphite paper to trace a design or outline the shape of your backboard to cut
- 1 1/2″ to 2″ ring you can find them at a hardware store
- #4 zinc screw hook 3 7/8″
- small eye hook 1 1/8″
- nylon string
- outdoor wood screws
Supplies needed to make the bracket with extending pole.
- outdoor wood screws 1 1/4″
- adjustable flag pole holder to fit 1″ pole
- 4 feet 3/4″ pvc pipe
- brown spray paint
Step 1: Make a back-board for the hook.
Since we live at the beach I personalized my hook and ring backboard by making a boat paddle. Almost any shape will work, just be sure the surface is large enough to hold the hook.
If you want to make one like mine, use graphite paper to trace the design outline. Get tips on how to use graphite paper in my how-to easily transfer graphics post. A square piece of plain wood would be fine as well.
I used my scroll saw to cut out my boat paddle shape but a jigsaw would work fine too.
I sanded the edges before painting the backboard. Last. I added the ring toss hook. Anywhere will work. When positioning the hook, keep in mind you’ll hang your backboard about 4 feet from the ground.
Step 2: Mount the hook and ring toss game backboard.
You can modify my DIY hook and ring game plans to fit where you’re putting it, meaning a freestanding pole or a mounting it on a wall.
First, attach the backboard to a flat surface. Drill pilot holes at the top and bottom of the backboard where you’ll attach it to the wall or post. Attach it to the wall or post with wood screws on a post, wall anchors on sheetrock or use outdoor rated screws if it will be outside.
Step 3. Attach the hook for the ring and string.
As you’re attaching the hook for the ring on the string, keep in mind you’ll need a space of four feet in front of the backboard to swing the hook on a string to play the game. The large metal ring will need to freely swing up to the backboard.
If using a hook in a ceiling, center and position the hook four feet in front of the game backboard.
If you’re using a bracket on a single pole like I did, install the flag pole holder onto a wall or flat surface above the backboard. Make a small pilot hole in the end of a 4 foot, 3/4″ pvc pipe and screw in the small eye hook.
Step 4. Attach the ring to the string.
Now you’ll attach the string and tie on the metal ring. Tie a long piece of nylon string onto the eye of the hook either in the ceiling or at the end of the PVC pipe. Burn the end so it fuses and won’t untie. If using a pole, insert the painted four foot 3/4″ PVC into the bracket so the string hangs down.
Tie the ring onto the string, it should hang down about 4 feet away from the backboard and hook. Adjust the length of the string until the ring easily fits onto the hook. If when it swings it hits above or below the hook, it needs to be adjusted.
Tip: Leave a little extra string to adjust the metal ring because the string will stretch a little over time. Melt the nylon ends together when you’re sure no more adjustments need to be made.
How do you play the hook and ring game?
There are probably other variations on how to play the hook and ring toss game. This is how we play. The object of the game is to swing the ring on the string like a pendulum and have it catch on the hook.
The easiest way to keep score is:
- Stand directly four feet back from the hook and backboard.
- Begin with an agreed upon number of points to win the game.
- Play in teams or with only two people.
- Count points to win. One point for a “ringer” or one point when the ring hits the hook and 5 points when the ring is hooked.
How to win hook and ring game
While I’m not an expert on this game, having it in our backyard has helped me get a lot of practice time in. Here are a few tips to win.
- If the ring hits the backboard, you’ve swung too hard. The trick is getting the feel of the ring on a string to swing just enough so the ring touches and falls over the hook on the backboard to catch.
- The second part of the strategy in winning the hook and ring toss game is you want the ring to swing out slightly from the side, towards the hook. Swing it to form an arc. Then the ring can catch the edge of the hook and fall over onto it.
Like I mentioned before, this game is addicting and fun and will surely bring out the competitive spirit in your group! !
Pin my DIY Hook and Ring Game for later!
Silly as it sounds, I’m pretty excited about making my DIY Hook and Ring game. I plan on practicing this evening to get my ring swing and curve down-pat. My sisters are coming for a quick visit tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll end up at the hook and ring toss game…especially after I’ve whipped up a few fresh mango margaritas!
Since it’s the Power Tool Challenge Team’s theme day and this month our theme is Summer Fun. Showing you guys a hook and ring game tutorial and making one for myself in the meantime seemed like the perfect fit. Don’t you think so?
I mentioned it was the Power Tool Challenge Team’s monthly get together. Our theme this month is Summer Fun. Take a look below at what the other team members came up with. These gals are so talented I love seeing the creative projects each month!
My Repurposed Life Portable Folding DIY Pallet Bar
Create and Babble Limbo Game Station
My Love 2 Create Ring Toss Game
The Kim Six Fix Cornhole Game From Cabinet Doors
H2OBungalow DIY Hook and Ring Game Tutorial – That’s me!
You may also like this Football Toss game I made too.
Do you have a favorite outdoor summer game you love to play? Share it below in the comment section!
More outdoor projects from H2OBungalow you may enjoy
- Make a back-board for the hook.
- Use a scroll saw to cut out the boat paddle shape, then sand the edges before painting.
- Hang the ring from a ceiling or a pole with a bracket on a wall. Screw the small eye hook into one end of the pvc pipe, make a pilot hole first. Tie a long piece of nylon string onto the eye of the hook. Insert the painted four foot 3/4" pvc into the bracket so the string hangs down.
- Attach the backboard to a flat surface so the hook is about three or four feet off of the ground. Drill a large pilot hole to help screw the hook into the back board without splitting the wood.
- Attach the ring. Tie the ring onto the string, it should hang down about 4 feet from the backboard and hook. Adjust the length until the ring easily fits onto the hook. If when it swings it hits above or below the hook, it needs to be adjusted. That's it!