Introduction: How to Make a Kubb Set

Picture of How to Make a Kubb Set

One of the best things about summer is playing a casual game on a field or the beach. In our office, one of our favorite games is called Kubb (rhymes with "tube") that is originally from Sweden. If you have access to some woodworking tools it's pretty easy to make and a lot of fun to play.

What's so fun about the game may not be obvious at first, but after a single game many people get hooked. Trust me, it's worth the bit of effort it takes to make a set.

Kubb wiki page
Rules of play

Step 1: Get Some Wood!

Picture of Get Some Wood!

To make one set you'll need:

- 6' of 4x4
- 6' of 1.5"-2" dowel
- 4' of .75" dowel
- 30' of string

If this is your first set you might want to pick up an 8' piece of 4x4 to try making a couple different kings.

Step 2: Make Your King

Picture of Make Your King

Chop off 12" of the 4x4. This is the wood for the king which acts like the eight ball in the game of Kubb. Knock it over at the end to win, but if you knock it over early you lose. Either way it only gets hit once per game and it often gets decorated to show off how important it is.

The amount of decoration is up to you. All I used for these two kings was a table saw. Two 45-degree cuts were used to notch the sides and a series of cuts decorated the top. A router would work brilliantly here as well.

Or don't cut it at all and draw a smiley face on it. It's up to you.

Step 3: Trim the Rest of the Wood

Picture of Trim the Rest of the Wood

The rest of the pieces, the kubbs, are narrower than the king so you'll need a table saw to cut them down.

The size of the kubb is 7cm x 7cm x 15cm or 2.75" x 2.75" x 5.9" so trim off .75" off of two sides of the 4x4.

Step 4: Chop Off the Kubbs

Picture of Chop Off the Kubbs

Now that you have the right size wood, just chop off 10 5.9" lengths of it and you have your 10 kubbs.

Step 5: Chop Up the Dowels

Picture of Chop Up the Dowels

You want 6 batons to throw at the kubbs and the king and these should be about 12" long. You also want 4 stakes to mark off the playing field and these should be about 12" long as well.

So chop off 12" lengths of both size dowel.

Step 6: Knot Up String and Wrap Around a Stake

Picture of Knot Up String and Wrap Around a Stake

The playing field for kubb is 5m by 8m or roughly 16.5' by 26'. You can mark this off with strides or you can get a length of string or rope and tie a few knots in it so you can quickly mark off your playing field accurately.

Below you can see one of the stakes wrapped with a knotted piece of nylon rope.

Step 7: Get Out and Play!

Picture of Get Out and Play!

Now that you have a set, you should go out and play with it! It's awesome and you can work on your throwing skills.

Below, Bilal throws for guts and glory.

Again, for the rules, check outthis link.


gdsmit1 (author)2017-05-24

Looks fun. Might give this a shot.

BTW, the links to the PDF of the rules is broken.

fungus amungus (author)gdsmit12017-05-25

Thanks, fixed.

Arrhyno (author)2013-05-25

Don't want to be too over-the-top when I play, but as a noob (pronounced like newb), would the extra weight of treated 4 x 4's (which I have some scraps of) throw off the way the game is played? Can any experienced players let me know what they think? Thx

ducksarewet (author)Arrhyno2013-06-11

As someone who has played, I don't think it would be noticeable.. However, I wouldn't use pressure treated (PT) lumber unless people can wash their hands after. PT has toxins which transfer to skin. This isn't good if you are playing at a BBQ picnic.

AmluxGaming (author)ducksarewet2017-05-18

If you coat it with some lacquer it should be fine then.

voltan (author)2016-07-30

Is there something interesting that could be done with the "L" shaped peices?

TheLazyCrafter (author)2016-06-05

Well, I was advised to not use my table saw to rip the 4x4, so I did two cuts with the circ saw and then after cutting the Kubbs to size I evened them out with the miter. My teenage daughter taught me about this game because she plays it in gym class. Sounded like fun, but there is no way I'm going to pay $100+ for it when it's so easily made. I used untreated Douglas Fir for the 4x . Thank you for the plans!

chrissmithspresence made it! (author)2016-05-29

I wanted to make a quick yard game for a birthday party tomorrow that no one attending had played before. This was quick and easy. I can't wait to play with the crew.

kamazeuci (author)2009-05-30

I think you really don't need the exact measures. For example, I've just made my kubb set with firewood splitted with my axe. I did the best to match indicated sizes but obviously with an axe you can't be that precise.. I bet vikings didn't buy their kubbs at home depot.

SkandoFlambo (author)kamazeuci2015-01-13

No they sure didn't, but they were probably more accurate with an ax then they would be with a circular saw.

With both tools the main concern is finishing with the same number of fingers as you started with!

Purplebeans made it! (author)2016-04-02

Thanks fun easy project can't wait to play.

Mark 42 (author)2015-07-08

For the pronunciation freaks... Did it occur to you that pronunciation variations could be regional?

HewgO (author)2008-07-10

Great Instructable! However, "Kubb" doesn't rhyme with "tube", it actually rhymes more with "tub". Trust me, I'm from Sweden :P Anyways, it's really fun to see that people outside of Sweden are taking a liking to this fantastic, wood-tossing, game :)

MegaMaker (author)HewgO2009-05-24

It's pronounced "koob".

Eric95 (author)MegaMaker2009-11-22

It's not pronounced koob! HewgO is right, it rhymes more with tub, but the U sound is like a mix between the american U and O.

MegaMaker (author)Eric952009-11-22


Eric95 (author)MegaMaker2010-06-26

Yes! Are you swedish? I am. It's pronounced more tike tub than tube.

SkandoFlambo (author)Eric952015-01-13

Jo jag föddes I mora och min mor lär Amerikaner Svenska. I am Swedish, and my mother teaches Swedish to American/w.e culture adults. Not that it really matters, but it is much closer to toob, then tub.

HewgO (author)MegaMaker2009-11-22

"Koob" is actually a very good example of how it sounds like when americans try to speak swedish. They never quite get the U right.

CamillaLuvzMusic (author)HewgO2010-12-14

Well I dunno about you all, but in Denmark it sounds no where near tub. And I'm not going to try to spell it because its not rly possible in english.
Just like americans can't say "rod grod med flode" except the o's in that should be o's w/ lines in them but I cant type that.

jeralyn.merwin (author)2014-12-10

Quick question. I thought I got all the measurements down and made a set. Then questioned myself about the 12" rods. I looked here again and your directions call for a rod 1 1/2 -2". I made mine 1". do you think it will make a difference? I would like to think no (cuz i actually cut them out of 2x4 then routed the edges, dang! All that work) but Im afraid you're going to say yes:-) thx

CementTruck (author)2014-07-07

Made a set for the 4th of July weekend. Played on a level surface by the lake front. We had a lot of boat people come close to shore and watch us play the game and ask us what the game was and how it was played. A fun time was had by all.

PS118 (author)2013-09-02

Made one from western red cedar. (Yea I'm a cedar addict, what can I say?)
Sadly, it started raining before I could try it, but soon...

K'nexFanatiFreek (author)2012-06-26

or you could just paint a stripe on it with enamel paint

taluntain (author)2012-06-12

just made a set today great part is i got all the wood for free

fungus amungus (author)taluntain2012-06-14

Nice! It's not too hard to make this from scrap and it doesn't really matter as long as you have fun playing it.

transparency (author)2008-07-09

I love this game, I made a set a year ago and beveled the ends of the smaller ones and lacquered them all.

Excellent! Cool to see that someone else knows about this game.

what do you mean about someone else knows this game

alisha7869 (author)2012-02-03

omg is it really true if you read it tel me

CrawJac (author)2011-12-06

We made a set and have not put it down. We used it to kill time while cooking a turkey in a trashcan and almost forgot about the bird!

Great job and thanks!

CamillaLuvzMusic (author)2010-12-14

I was too lazy to read the official directions. but to make it more interesting when I play, to shoot for the king we bend over and shoot through our legs

CamillaLuvzMusic (author)2010-12-14

lol "kubb that hes gonna miss"

makendo (author)2010-05-22

Great way for me to recycle some fence post offcuts and an old curtain rod! Looking forward to trying it out this afternoon. Thanks!

seamster (author)2010-05-16

I saw this a while ago, and thought the game looked interesting. I just played it for the first time this weekend--it's a great game! Thanks for posting this.

I'll be making a set for myself soon.

fungus amungus (author)seamster2010-05-17

Glad to hear it. You should totally make a set. It's easy and you can knock it out in an hour. The only tricky part for me was finding a place that sold the bigger sized dowels.

Just in time for summer, too!

Logan D (author)2010-02-07

 I should've posted on this a year ago after this instructable after it prompted my interest in and love of kubb.
After first reading this I found an old 4X4 of clear cedar in my garage, bought some poplar dowels, knocked out a set in a day, stained and sealed it, shoved it in a milk crate, and forgot about it until the summer.
One faithful day I decided my and my friends might as well try it, and I think for the next month or two of summer we played everyday, beating that old cedar set to hell and back. It really is one of the best yard games we've ever played and my and my buddies are starting to build our own second generation sets. I am currently planning to make myself a new softwood set every summer, keeping my old battle scarred kings as momentos.
I encourage anyone to try this game, it's fun, strategic, and easy to pick up in an afternoon(though usual some house rules are developed).

fungus amungus (author)Logan D2010-05-17

Glad you made a set and enjoyed it. I've made 3 sets so far. One for myself and the others for friends. Super easy to knock out if you have a table saw handy.

bejt61 (author)2009-08-09

I got my wood from a local hardwood retailer for FREE. I got the spacers or shoring stock they use when shipping and storing the lumber. My king and batons are hickory and the kubbs are maple. BTW a wet 3 3/4 X 3 5/8 x 48 inch picece of hickory is kinda heavy. I am going back to see if I can score another 4 X 4 of that hickory.

RobertAdams (author)2009-05-25

I couldn't find 2" dowel at my local Lowes. The largest I found was 1 1/4". However, when I played, it seemed to be big enough to knock over the kubbs and king.

thepelton (author)RobertAdams2009-05-29

Try a Woodcraft store. Find your local one at

rgmidnite (author)RobertAdams2009-05-26

We use a piece of hand rail instead of dowel. The only difference is a flat spot on one side. It is much easier to find at home improvement store and you can buy it buy the foot.

That's good. Home Depot didn't have it either. I had to go to a hardwood supply house in the area to get it. As long as it works, right? Also I found that playing with the rule that the kubbs get thrown out of the game after they've been knocked down twice makes it more fun when people are new to it. Have fun!

MegaMaker (author)2009-05-24

This game rules. I played it some time back on an 86 mile float trip. SO fun.

loki95531 (author)2008-08-13

The S.C.A group near me are vikings and play this every time I go to a of their rules is you must have a drink in one hand at all times. makes it a bit more challenging if its beer or stronger.lots of fun even sober.I gotta make me a set. thanks for reminding me.

stuant63 (author)2008-07-24

This is a great game (nice instructable too). We discovered it last year at a Pictish/Viking re-enactment day and play it a lot now with a rough and ready home made set. We don't bother with the string between the corner markers. A variant rule we have is this; on the FIRST occasion only in the game when a player is throwing to knock over the king (ie win the game), he has the choice to "be sporting" and use only one of his remaining throwing batons. Thereafter, all available batons are used on turns where a player is trying to hit the king. It adds an extra bit of interest.

fungus amungus (author)stuant632008-07-24

An assault on the king, eh? Sounds interesting. Yeah, the game is totally fun. In fact, we'll be playing it later today! As for the string, that's just to measure out the field in the beginning. We don't bother leaving it around the field.

zygote90 (author)2008-07-22

man i used 2 play this all the time at camp it was freiken sweet i always owned i played it so long ago i 4got how 2 play thanks for the 'ible never woulda played again with out u!!!

Floorman (author)2008-07-21

I've seen this played a the Ohio Renaisance Faire. There's a Viking shop there and they will occasionally set up a game in one of the open areas of the faire and will play a game or two. I've tried to figure it out to make my own set. Thanks for the instructable

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at You'll like it.
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