Washers Game (or Urban Horse Shoes)




Do you like the game Horse Shoes, but unfortunately live in the city and don't have the yard space? Maybe you just can't throw those heavy metal U's. Whatever the reason, Washers is a simple game for the whole family or college student that's simple to play, quick to set up and break down anywhere (grass, stone, dirt, pavement). The following instructions are how to build my version of the game: Washers.

Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools

Materials List:
2 - 12 length of Nylon Rope
2 - PVC pieces; 3 " height and 3 " O.D.
6 - Galvanized Washers; 2 O.D.
4 - Decorative L brackets (solid brass)
4 - Nuts and bolts for L brackets
16 - 8x3 wood screws
8 - 1 " wood screws
2 - 14x14 squares of artificial grass
2 - 14x14 squares of plywood (3 ply thick)
4 - Nail staples (to secure rope)
2 - Cans of spray paint (two colors)
1 - 10" length of 2x4 wood
1 - Can of clear wood finish or stain
1 - Box of staples
4 - Latching or locking mechanism
2 - Magnetic retriever tools

All in all it'll cost almost $30 in materials (assuming you have tools already).

Recommended Tools:
Philips Screw driver
Circular saw
Staple gun
Paint brush
Wood burner (optional)

Step 2: Assemble the Frame

Assemble the 2x4's into a 14x14 square frame using the 3 wood screws (miter the
joints or butt lengths together; pre-drill holes for the screws)

Step 3: Da'Grass!

Staple the 14"x14" pieces of artificial grass to the squares of plywood. You could use any type of fabric or carpeting. I picked up some scrap outdoor carpet grass at the local hardwood store for pennies.

Step 4: Bottom

Attached each 2x4 frame to a square of plywood.

Step 5: PVC (the Cup)

Drill 2 holes in each piece of PVC for the L brackets (use the brackets to
measure hole placement). Then attach the brackets to the PVC (using nuts and bolts).

Put the PVC inside the box using small screws through the open L bracket holes (make sure to center the PVC in the box).

Step 6: Handles

Nail the 2 lengths of nylon rope with the staples to make handles on the boxes.

Step 7: Latching

Attach latching or locking mechanism to the completed boxes. I put one on each side. There are a number of styles to use depending what you find at the store.

Step 8: All Finished! and Rules

Finally, just spray paint the galvanized washers two different colors (Red vs. Blue).

And play Washers

Two teams of two (red vs. blue);
Set boxes approx. 12 ft apart (may offset boxes)
One person from each team throws washers into box alternating turns

Washer in box or on top rim of box = 1 point
Washer leaning on cup on inside of box = 2 points
Washer inside of cup (leaning or flat) = 3 points (a cupper!)
Every washer counts, Colors cancel out.
First team to 21 points wins.
Scoring Example One: 1 blue in cup; 1 red in cup, 2 red in box  Score = 2 points for Red Team.
Scoring Example Two: 1 blue in box, 1 blue in cup; 2 red in box, 1 red leaning on outside of cup  Score = O points, round draw.



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    25 Discussions


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    You can also install a PVC flange to the bottom with nuts and bolts, and then glue the PVC pipe in the flange with PVC cement. I'd cut a whole in the carpet and place it over the pipe so the thickness of the carpet does not cause the pipe to be higher than the sides of the box. It should be at the same height. Good instructions though!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Are the scoring instructions correct?

    "Scoring Example One: 1 blue in cup; 1 red in cup, 2 red in box Score = 2 points for Red Team.
    Scoring Example Two: 1 blue in box, 1 blue in cup; 2 red in box, 1 red leaning on outside of cup Score = O points, round draw."

    Shouldn't 'Scoring Example One equate to 4 points for Red Team?
    Scoring Example One:
    1 blue in cup (3 Points) [Cancels out]

    1 red in cup (3 Points) [Cancels out]
    2 red in box (4 Points)
    Score = 4 points for Red Team.

    Shouldn't 'Scoring Example Two equate to either 3 points for blue and 4 points for Red....or just 1 point for Red?
    Scoring Example Two:
    1 blue in box (2 Points) [Cancels out]
    1 blue in cup (3 Points)

    2 red in box (4 Points) [Cancels out only 2 points leaving 2 points to Red]
    1 red leaning on outside of cup (2 Points)

    Score = 3 points Blue, 4 points for Red
    Score = just 1point for Red

    2 replies

    You can score anyway you'd like but my example of how we play follows:
    Washer in box or on top rim of box = 1 point
    Washer leaning on cup on inside of box = 2 points
    Washer inside of cup (leaning or flat) = 3 points (a cupper!)

    You might be confusing a leaner against the outside of the cup (2 points) verses just 1 point for getting it in the box (no leaner).

    Ok. I misread one of the scoring rules.
    "Washer leaning on cup on inside of box = 2 points"

    I read this as "Washer leaning on cup [OR] inside of box = 2 points"

    Your scoring is correct. Sorry for my confusion.


    9 years ago on Step 8

    where exactly did you find your large washers? the best I could find was 1.5 inch diameter galvanized, but they weren't as heavy as the ones you have look to be.

    2 replies

    9 years ago on Step 8

    I like this. :)  - Am I understanding the scoring, that when you say colors cancel out, you only keep track of how much lead there is by whichever color rather than a total score?  I think that would be another way to say it.  Nice sturdy construction for a game.

    The outer dimensions and the bottom plywood piece are 14"X14" . The would make the inner target area about 12"X12" (I say about because the 2X4's aren't exactly 2X4).


    10 years ago on Step 8

    I had one of these made a while ago, but I do like your addition of the latch and handles. The two main differences between mine and yours is that I did not use the artificial turf on the bottom, and I used a stainless steel cup that I made at work. The pros and cons are that without the turf it is more difficult to keep it in the box, but the turf protects the wood from becoming easily damaged. And for the cup, a stainless steel cup won't break as well as gives a nice ting when you hit the cup. Aside from that the rules that we generally play are pretty close to yours, except if nothing is made into the box/cup closest washer gets one point, in box is two, and in cup is three, and like points cancel out as well.


    Reply 10 years ago on Step 3

    That's actually a brand-name that's turned into generic, like Velcro and Duck-tape.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I love Washers. Great set. These cost a lot of money (at least $100) at the store and they are great for tailgates! Thanks for sharing.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    played it at a party oncfe, with a bunch of reletives of a friend, and we stood 20ft back, marked by string, tied to 2 boxes. 2 washers each, per 2 people on a team, one person from ewach team stodd at each end, threw them, and the team members on the other end picked them up and threw them again

    Lost Moai

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I really like the way you designed the latches to make it so easily portable and contained. Good idea. The only thing I would have done differently would be to make the artificial turf level with the opening of the PVC. On a 'regulation" (yes, there is such a thing) washer pit, the hole (which is 4 inches in diameter) is placed in sand and the opening is flush with the surface. This allows a little different game play by letting the washers slide into the hole instead of a 'nothing but net' approach. It also allows for "hangers," which are three points. "Cuppers" are 5 and closest to the cup is 1.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    My grand parents have something like this, but they call theirs the holy board :P you have to stand ten feet away and toss a waher at a board with three holes and try to get it in the middle hole....its hard>:-O