Introduction: Peg Solitaire Puzzle

This week we wanted to make something with scrap wood so we've put together this Peg Solitaire tutorial. Peg Solitaire is a simple (but challenging) game and a great introductory woodworking project! It requires minimal tools and a relatively small piece of scrap wood, so you'll be playing solitaire in no time!

Have fun and keep making!


Piece of Scrap wood (roughly 5" x 5", at least)


Drill Bit (based on size of game pieces)

13 game pieces (golf tees, screws/nails, wooden dowels, etc. . . )

Peg Solitaire triangle template (provided)


Glue Stick or Tape

Saw (optional)

Ruler or speed square (optional)

Step 1: Layout Game Board

Print, then roughly cut out, the triangle template provided.

Lay the template down on your piece of scrap wood to make sure it fits. You can trim up the template at this point so that it better fits on your game board, if you desire.

Once you're certain about where you'll be placing the template and drilling the holes, glue up the back of the template and affix it to the game board. We like using a regular glue stick for this but liquid school glue or tape would work as well.

If you're not using our template, layout your custom game board using a speed square or just a ruler. This version of peg solitaire has 15 total holes in a triangle formation, but feel free to get creative and try something different!

Step 2: Drill Holes

Now that your template is fixed, you're ready to drill your 15 holes. Remember to use a bit that is the same size (or a touch smaller) than your playing pieces. For example, we're using 1/4" dowels so we'll use a 1/4" drill bit.

There are a couple of ways to complete the drilling process.

You can go straight to drilling, lining up the bit with the center of each circle provided on the template. Or you mark the center of each circle first (we used the point of our scissors, but a knife, nail/screw, or other sharp implement would work), then remove the template and use the marks as guides for drilling.

Be sure to only drill about 1/2 way through the depth of your game board. This will ensure pegs fit snuggly and don't fall through the board.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

After the drilling is complete and you've removed the wood chips and sawdust, it's time to clean up our board a little bit.

First, use a low grit sandpaper (60 or 80) to remove any glue or paper residue left behind from the template. Your peg solitaire puzzle is now ready to play!

You can take this project a step further by customizing with your own artwork and/or wood finishes. If you plan on finishing your board with some sort of paint, stain, or clear coat continue sanding using progressively higher grit sandpaper (100, 120, 150, etc. . . ) until you are satisfied and ready to apply your chosen finish.

That's it! Short and sweet and a great woodworking project to do with the kids while at home!

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoy making this puzzle!

Scraps Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Scraps Speed Challenge