Introduction: Outdoor Carpet Ball Table ( Also Called Gutter Ball )

Picture of Outdoor Carpet Ball Table ( Also Called Gutter Ball )

My sons and their friends love this game, so I wanted to give them a table for the back yard. Carpet ball is played with pool balls. Each player places five balls on the table within arms reach of his end. Players take turns rolling (tossing) the cue ball down the table, trying to knock his opponents balls off the playing surface. 

The official rules to Carpet Ball are available here:

NOTE: This is my first Instructable. Please let me know if I am missing information that would have been helpful to you. 

Step 1: Materials

2 - 2"X10"X12' Planks
2 - 2"X10"X25" Planks
15 - 2"X4"X25" Boards
4 - 2"X4"X30" Pressure Treated Boards
4 - 2"X4"X38" Pressure Treated Boards
2 - 12"X10' Hardi Plank Flat Siding Boards
1 - 2'X12' Outdoor Carpet
8 - 3.5" Carriage Bolts with washer and nut
Staple Gun and Staples
Deck Screws
Rink Shank Nails
Water Sealant and brush (Thompson's works well.) As an alternative, use pressure treated lumber throughout.

Step 2: Build the Frame

Picture of Build the Frame

Gather the 10" wide planks, and build the frame using deck screws. 
The short planks form the game ends and the long planks form the sides.
The ends take more abuse from balls slamming into them so overlap the long boards over the short boards to prevent loosening over time. 

Step 3: Install Bottom Boards

Picture of Install Bottom Boards

Mark every foot down the length of the side planks.
Using deck screws (or nails), install a 2"X4"X25" board at each foot.
The bottom edge of each of these boards should be flush with the bottom edge of the side planks.
The game surface will rest on these boards.

Step 4: Add the End Well Bottoms

Picture of Add the End Well Bottoms

The last 12 inches of each end form a well for the balls to fall into. 
Using two 2"X4"X25" boards at each end, build the bottom for the end well.
Be careful to turn these boards horizontal so that they are below the game surface.
Space them eavenly in the end space. 

NOTE: For an indoor version, the end well could be solid. For example, a 12"X28" piece of plywood could be screwed in from the bottom. I designed mine this way - with these gaps - so that rain would not collect.

Step 5: Build and Install Table Legs.

Picture of Build and Install Table Legs.

Build each leg using one 2"X4"X30" and one 2"X4"X38" pressure treated board.
Attach these to each other using deck screws.

The side plank will sit on the 30" portion, and the 38" portion will wrap up the outside of the plank. 

Place each leg 3 feet from the end.
Attach the legs with deck screws to hold it together for drilling.
Drill holes and attach the legs to the side planks with the carriage bolts. 

NOTE: My table was for outdoor use and the legs would contact the ground. Pressure treated wood was essential. If you are  building an indoor game, use regular 2X4's. 

Step 6: Install the Playing Surface

Picture of Install the Playing Surface

Measure the distance of the playing surface. The playing surface the the area between the furthermost boards installed in step three. It should be approximately 10 feet. Remember - the playing surface stops 12 inches short of each end so that the balls can fall into the well. 

Because this table is for outdoor use, I used Fiber Cement Siding. Pressure treated plywood would also work here. 

Install the Fiber Cement Siding to the boards added in step 3. Leave a .5 inch gap along both sides for rain to escape. 

Step 7: Treat the Wood With Water Sealant

Before installing the carpet, treat all of the wood with a water sealant, designed to protect wood from the elements. 

Step 8: Install Outdoor Carpet

Picture of Install Outdoor Carpet

Cover the playing surface with outdoor carpet.
Lay the carpet in place.
Wrap it around the boards at each end of the playing surface, and staple from underneath. NOTE: Pull the carpet as tight as you can. Wrinkles in the carpet will negatively effect the game. 
Trim the access. 

NOTE: The carpet will need to be replaced every couple years or so. Do not glue it in place. Staples at each end (and along the side if necessary) will allow you to remove it later.


DanielC795 (author)2018-01-08

how many Deck Screws and

Rink Shank Nails did you use????? why didn't you list it, your making me make it a lot harder.

DanielC795 (author)2017-11-12

can you take some more photos from more angles please.

scottwylie (author)DanielC7952017-11-13

Daniel - I relocated and left the game with the new owners of the house. I can answer a question for you, but I can't send more pictures.

StandingOnStones (author)2015-07-30

How does this hold up after a couple years of sun, rain, use, etc.?

It's holding up well. The balls are taking the most abuse - the sun has faded the colors. The table is doing great. I'm going to add some sort of padding to the ends to reduce the noise of the balls hitting the wood.

Scendon (author)scottwylie2017-07-31

The padding is an important consideration for indoor use. I found some High density craft and cushion foam at Walmart that I am using. I covered it up with a little bit of extra carpet to make it all look uniform.

Thanks. The carpetball at the camp I work at sits outside year-round (covered by a tarp in the winter), and it's looking pretty bad, so I have been looking in to plans for a new one.

DanielC795 (author)2017-06-08

can anyone tell me how much it cost to make this.

Scendon (author)DanielC7952017-07-31

Hey Daniel,

I just went to Home Depot and bought the wood needed to build this table and it cost me around $110. I probably over did it on the 2x4's because I wanted to be sure I had enough, so I bought 15 96" 2x4's.

I am using non pressure treated lumber because my table is for indoor use so the price might vary if you are building an outdoor table. Also note, I only bought the lumber, so the price of the indoor/outdoor carpet is not included nor the cost of the billiard balls used to play.

Hope this helps a little.

SharonP12 (author)2016-06-08

Using Pressure Treated wood that comes in repeated contact with skin is a big NO NO! Do your own research!

AndrewL233 (author)SharonP122016-09-07

This is absolutely not true, and has never been true. AND even if it were true, the chemicals used in the wood were changed in 2003, that's 13 years ago! Do your own research!

EdwardK4 (author)AndrewL2332017-06-19

Agreed. Arsenic is no longer used for "ground-contact" PT lumber (the stuff you find at the big box stores); it was replaced with Copper.

19104937 (author)2016-12-19

how would i Create a carpet ball table that folds in half in order to save space

scottwylie (author)191049372016-12-19

I've not considered one that folds in half, but you would need to begin with a completely different design from this table. This table is very heavy. Instead of something that folds, I think you would want something that disassembles.

Loriann08 (author)2016-02-24

This Thread looks like it may be a few years old... But THANK YOU SOO MUCH!!! Played this with the church youth group and have been searching for the name of the game for a while now! I can not wait to build this and play!! Will be a fun activity for the backyard!

MichaelL10 (author)2015-08-12

were did you buy your wood from?

hltomczak made it! (author)2015-04-12

I have made this table twice! And will now be making it a third time to have at our camper!

Jhayslip (author)2014-08-16

thank you for showing us how to make this. We use it for the youth group on mondays and for fun!!!

G P Miller (author)2014-02-19

Thanks for the great idea. We will make one for our church.


Agoura Hills, CA

calebandrew (author)2013-09-02

We are building the legs and trying to get some 3.5 carriage bolts. Is there a certain width you used with the bolts?

scottwylie (author)calebandrew2013-09-02

They don't need to be super strong. Since the structure is supported with the wood, you really only need those bolts to keep the legs from slipping out from under the table.

aaahotdog (author)2013-08-16

I noticed it is a bad link to the official rules.
Here is the correct link

Looks like a nice project, wish I had the room to try it.

sickdevotee63 (author)2013-08-15


calebandrew (author)2013-08-13

Did you use glue to put down the playing surface (Fiber Cement Siding)?

scottwylie (author)calebandrew2013-08-14

I nailed the fiber cement siding down. If I did it again, I would use construction adhesive because it rattles slightly if someone tosses a ball on it. The rattle does not change the performance, but I would glue it down.

jbusby1 (author)2013-06-19

Built this for my church's youth group. Came together nicely and they love it! Thanks!!!

spottedwalker (author)2013-01-03

I really like this Game, We have a farm so we have a lot of room, also we have several family events during the year. This looks like a lot fun. My husband loves shuffle board and this game remind me of it. Could you post or direct me to the rules of the game.

scottwylie (author)spottedwalker2013-01-03

Hello, Spottedwalker. This really is a great game, and keeps my boys and their friends busy for hours. Here are the official rules:

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