Create a huge wooden board with the zeroes and crosses! • Grillo Designs UpCycling

The summer holidays require a lot of fun outdoors! Learn how to make a giant out of wood Zeros and crosses game board for the children (or the adults!).

The game board with the zeroes and crosses leaned against a wall

** This post was sponsored by Ronseal and contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please see my disclosure page Here

I know we call this game different things in different parts of the world, but to have a bit of nostalgia, we just call it "zeros and crosses", k? If you are familiar with that "Noughts & Crosses" saga written by Malorie Blackman, you know exactly where this nostalgia comes from. , , not that the subject of the books has anything to do with the actual game.

But hey ho.

This week I bring you this fun outdoor DIY – a giant board for zeroes and crosses. The kids will love it. You will love it. It is guaranteed a favorite of the family – little oath! Or is it a small promise? I always forget!

The game board with the zeroes and crosses leaned against a wall. P; Ant pot right from the board

This project is another collaboration with Ronseal (Remember the I built a rolling table for her before?) – except this time I use her Body color rather than their interior paints. I love Sealing for their stains and varnishes, but I had never tried their color palette before.

Zeros and crosses game board placed on the concrete

First impressions?

Really good. I chose White Ash and Sundail from a choice of 24 colors – and found that both have really good consistency and opacity. This also applied to MDF wood – we all know that this wood likes to drink color! I just had to make two coats to get a smooth finish!

Two cans of outdoor ronseal color presented on a wooden surface

But maybe I am a step ahead of the method here. Let's start from the beginning.

Ah. , the project list.

Side note: Probably important to note that this project could be completed in a day or two – it took me a week to get ready! Just because I always had to start and stop to father my 7-year-old mother. I'm sure you can tell mom's?


  • 1 sheet of plywood (1.8 mm thick)
  • 19 x 32 mm (1.8 m) dried, sawn softwood x 5
  • 1 x sheet MDF 6mm thick
  • Wood glue – that's mine To use favorite brand.
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • Ronseal Sundail Paint
  • Ronseal white ash color
  • Brush, roller + tray


Here are the measurements for the zeros and crosses board

Plans for the zeros and crosses game plan


1. Cut the timber (1000mm x 1000mm – basically a perfect square). You can do this with a circular saw and a guide OR simply cut the wood in your hardware store. Much easier – and you save a lot of time!

Plywood plate leaning against a white wall

You still have wood left from the original plate, but that's fine! You can use the smaller cuts in the future for another project!

2. Lay the wood on a flat surface and sand it well with a grinding machine, Wipe off residues with a cloth

Grind the plywood board with a grinder

3. Create the frames for the board. To do this you need to measure the sides of the plywood square and cut the softwood. (You can do this by placing the wood on the plywood and marking it with a pencil)

Sawn 8-pack of kilo softwood, leaning against a white wall

Measuring the length of the softwood against the screed

I cut the wood with a jigsaw (since I had left my miter saw in my studio), but you can also just use a normal handsaw, as the wood is not too thick.

Use a jigsaw to cut softwood for zeroes and cross the board boundary

Start by measuring and cutting wood for the two vertical sides of the square. And then measure the wood for the horizontal sides, with the vertical pieces of wood in place.

4. Secure the edge wood with wood glue. Be sure to clamp the wood while it is drying.

Apply glue to the wood

5. Next, it's time to create the inner grid. You want this board to be 3×3 to make 9 rasters. Use a pencil and a long ruler to mark two evenly spaced vertical and horizontal lines (for dimensions, see above).

Attach the two vertical pieces of wood with adhesive and clamp

Image of neutral and cross game board with inside grid in place

Then postilise the horizontal pieces of wood as follows (according to the drawn lines you have created). You must measure and mark every single wood before cutting, because not everything may be perfectly straight!

Apply wood glue on the wood, which will be the inner grid

You should end up with something that looks like this!

Zeros and crosses game board completed without color

6. Cut out the letters! (Alternatively, you can order pre-cut MDF letters on eBay or Amazon)

You need 4 x zeroes and 4 x crosses. MDF wood is perfect for this step. Cut the wood into 8 equal squares.

To make the crosses: Use a jigsaw. You can either use a letter template printed from Canva on A4 paper (similar to what I did here for the outline or draw an X, as I have below.

Stack the 4 MDF pieces of wood together, pinch them and cut them along the lines with the jigsaw. Since you only cut straight lines, this should be pretty easy to do

Template for the crosses on MDF plate clamped on the table

To make the zeros: This is a bit more complicated because you need to use a router. , , and a guide! With it you can quickly make one out of wood scrap this tutorial on youtube (pictured above) or skip this step and Buy a guide kit here

Nail the router guide into the center of each MDF sheet and pass the router around until you get a perfect circle. Repeat this process for the inner circle, but make sure to set the guide to be smaller.

Image of the router used to create the zeros for the board game

And that is the finished result

7. Paint the blackboard and letters. As already mentioned, I used the white ash-ronseal color for the zeros and crosses

Zeros and crosses painted with white ash paint

And Sundail to paint the inside of the board. I used a roller and a brush. As you can see, my cat came to see

Paint the zeroes and the Crossess Board with Sundaifarbe

Once everything is dry, all you have to do is play!

The Ronseal Garden Color is waterproof and retains its color for up to 5 years! Check back in 5 years? Ha!

Zeros and crosses game board placed on the concrete

Two young children playing with the zeros and crosses

What do you think? Did you create any outdoor games for the garden this summer? Let me know in the comments below. And if you want to have fun playing outdoors, read this post.

*** This post was sponsored by Ronseal. I have received product and payment for creating (and designing) this post. I only work with brands that I LOVE and think you will LOVE too! All ideas, photos and opinions are 100% mine.

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