Sunday, October 19, 2014


Just about a month ago my youngest brother, Jacob got married.  I thought long and hard about what I wanted to get him because he is one of my favorite people in the world.  I didn't want to just get them something off the registry because that's lame for your brother.

So off to Pinterest I searched.  My search terms were something like "personalized wedding gifts", "awesome wedding gifts" and "nontraditional wedding gifts".  There were some really good ideas that popped up but there more I thought about Jacob and what he get use and fun out of, one idea made the most sense.... Jenga!  Jacob has made a couple corn-hole games for himself and others and he and his friends like backyard games so I thought it was a no brainer.

I found a couple links that were really helpful...
Home Depot's Jenga Instructions 

So because I am not the most handy gal out there, I enlisted the help of my other siblings and my hubby.  This was a huge project!!  First, Danny cut 2x4's into 10.5" boards.  Then I sanded the crap out of them with my Mom's very handy palm sander (which reminds me... I need to order more sandpaper for her).  

After each and every board was sanded and wiped down Laura and I branded all the boards with Jacob and Nancy's initials.  Laura got their initials from Brandin' Buddies. It took us a few tries to figure out how the best way to brand the board.  We found that getting the letters too hot or not hot enough is not good.  Keeping the brand hot makes for quicker and cleaner work.  The brands don't hold heat for long so you can't get multiple applications from one heat-up.  We found that lining up multiple boards helps in a couple ways.  1. the letters line up more evenly 2. it made for much quicker work.

Once the branding is done, it was time to stain and polyurethane.  I chose a stain color that was light cause I wanted the letters to stand out.  

I lined up the boards, and with my hubby's help, applied two coats of stain. Now this takes time because they have to dry between the applications.  

This is after 1 coat of stain.

Then came 2 coats of polyurethane.  And that takes more time because it has to dry over night, then has to be sanded with a fine grit sand paper which has to be done by hand because if you use a palm sander it could take too much off.

Dry, baby, dry!

And here is the final product!!

To say I was excited to show Jacob what we did is an understatement.  I hope he and Nancy get many years of fun out of this game.

Here is Jacob's junior groomsman playing it at their rehearsal dinner.

I played with him and it was a draw.  We both wrote our names on 2 of the boards.

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