How to build a backyard DIY bocce ball court / horseshoe pit in a weekend for fun-filled outdoor gatherings.
Bring on the summer backyard cookouts and hangouts! And on into fall and winter and spring because we added a bocce ball court!
This post is sponsored by STIHL.
It was not without a lot of hard work and sweat, I’ll tell you that. But gosh it’s worth every second for the fun family memories we have ahead of us.
We definitely owe this idea of this bocce ball court to Robert’s sister.
Just after we finished making our fire pit, she noticed that we had this area at the back of our yard that was just the right size and elevation for a small bocce ball court.
It’s one of our favorite games to play on the beach in the summer, so we took her idea and ran with it. (Thanks, Janet!)
The whole thing took us about 14 hours total (except for drying time).
How to Make a DIY Bocce Ball Court
- STIHL Yard Boss®
- STIHL Yard Boss® Edger Attachment
- STIHL Bolo Tines Cultivator Attachment
- Drill with bits
- Miter saw
- Scissors and/or utility knife
- All necessary safety equipment – brush shield protector, gloves, safety glasses
- 16 – 4x4x8 boards
- Waterproofing deck stain
- Stain brushes
- Tape measure
- Flag markers
- White spray paint (or any light color will do)
- Weed fabric
- Landscaping staples
- 1/2″ x 1′ rebar
- #14 4 3/4″ wood screws
- Paver base (enough to cover 1 1/2″ depth of a 5′ x 32′ area)
- Decomposed granite (preferred) or screen washing (enough to cover 2″ depth)
- 2×4 board cut slightly less than 5′ long
- Crushed oyster shell (optional)
Total for all of our supplies was $660.
1. Brush a couple of coats of waterproofing stain on your 4’x4′ boards on all sides first and let dry.
2. While the boards dry, start measuring, planning, and marking your bocce ball court with a tape measure and flag markers. Once you’re happy with the court’s position, use string to outline the court, and spray paint the lines to mark the perimeter.
3. Use the STIHL Yard Boss® with the Edger Attachment to cut into the white painted line around the entire court layout.
We’ve used our Yard Boss® for so many projects in our yard over the past year. It does so many different jobs without needing to store an entire fleet of equipment and tucks right into our garden shed closet as an all-in-one tool.
4. Change out the Edger Attachment for the Bolo Tines Cultivator Attachment, and begin removing grass and 1-2″ depth of soil from the middle of the marked area.
5. Robert was able to cultivate the ground while I worked on the opposite side of the court to remove the loose grass and soil.
6. Continue cultivating until you’ve removed 1-2 inches of dirt depth.
(Robert lives for this stuff. Do you see that smile?)
7. Once you haul off the grass and top layer of dirt, roll out, cut, and staple the weed fabric in place.
8. Use the miter saw to cut the stained 4×4 boards and begin assembling the wooden frame.
9. Screw the boards together at the corners using the deck screws. And screw the adjoining boards together along the sides at an angle.
10. Then you have your basic frame.
11. Cut more 4×4 boards and place them on top of the existing frame. For an added detail, you can cut the ends of 4 of the boards at an angle with a miter saw so that it will create an “entryway” onto the court.
12. To keep the frame from moving, you’ll have to anchor it to the ground. Drill a pilot hole first into the top of the frame.
13. And drive a rebar spike through it into the ground.
14. Repeat the rebar all around the frame until it feels secure.
15. Then touch up or add more deck stain to waterproof the wood.
16. Once the stain is dry, spread the paver base as evenly as possible with a rake or shovel.
17. Then, spread the decomposed granite evenly and tamp it down. (Our local landscape supply company didn’t have any decomposed granite, so they suggested screen washing as an alternative. Still worked great!) Over time, it should settle and become more compact.
18. Use a 2×4 board cut to the width of the court to shimmy along the top of the newly spread soil to make it even. And, in our case, we found a big squeegee came in handy. Random but it worked.
To finish, you can spread a layer of crushed oyster shell on top.
That’s it! Bring on the bocce!
Pretty soon, that old fence is coming down, and I can’t wait to see how it transforms the backyard even more!
I’m so glad we finished this court just in time for Memorial Day as we can hang out with friends and neighbors again. Our 8-year old Olivia has already schooled us at this game. Ha!
If you want more outdoor project ideas, you can find a bunch more we’ve done here:
- DIY Hidden Backyard Beer Garden
- Our Back Porch Refresh
- DIY Fire Pit Done in a Weekend
- DIY Flower Bed Makeover
- DIY Painted Concrete Pool Deck
- Swimming Pool Makeover
- Limewashed Brick Exterior Makeover
Frequently Asked Questions
Certainly! We prefer the feel of the game on the court, but grass works too. You can choose whatever size playing space you would like, but the regulation size is 91′ x 13′.