DIY mini hockey rink {L’s third birthday gift}.

For L’s third birthday, his Grandpa Steve {Jord’s father, aka our go-to handy-guy and all-around fixer-upper} gifted our oldest boy an awesome mini hockey rink that he DIYed himself. Our hockey-loving boy couldn’t have been more pleased! Check it out:

DIY-Hockey-Rink

DIY-Hockey-Rink

And today, i’m here to share with you the steps to DIY a hockey rink of your very own! Many thanks to Jord’s dad Steve for writing up the list of materials and the steps, so that i could share the how-to with you!

 

MATERIALS

1/4″ hardboard, cut to approximately 30×13″ with rounded corners {this is used for the foundation of the rink}

1×4″ pine select quality board {this is used to strengthen the underside of the foundation of the rink}

1/32″ polyethylene sheeting {this is used for the “ice” and the “glass boards” that players check each other into :)}

1/2″ wire nails

Sharpie markers in red and blue {to create the regulation lines for the hockey rink}

1 1/2″ PVC pipe {this is used to create the two hockey nets}

Scrap piece of 5-ply hobby plywood {this is used to make the hockey sticks}

1/2″ wooden dowel {this is used to create hockey pucks}

Black spray paint in a semi-flat finish {this is used for the hockey sticks + the hockey pucks}

White spray paint in a gloss finish {this is used for the foundation of the rink}

Image of a hockey rink {this is used as a reference when drawing the regulation lines of the hockey rink}

Image of a hockey stick {this is used as a reference when creating the hockey sticks}

 

TOOLS NEEDED

Bandsaw/jigsaw

Hammer

Tin snips

Needlenose pliers

80-grit sandpaper

220-grit sandpaper

Sanding block

Tape measure

Yardstick

Dividers/compass

5/8″ drill bit

Pencil

 

STEPS

1. Create the foundation for the rink by cutting 1/4″ hardboard to approximately 30×13″. Then, using dividers or a compass, draw out the four rounded corners of the rink and cut using a bandsaw. Then, to add strength to the base, cut and secure a 1×4 along the perimeter underneath the hardboard.

DIY-Hockey-Rink

2. Once the foundation of the rink is its final size and has been strengthened with a 1×4, it’s time to create the “ice.” Use the foundation of the rink as a pattern by placing it on top of the polyethylene sheeting and tracing around the sheeting with a pencil. After tracing the foundation of the rink onto the sheeting, cut a corresponding oval out of the sheeting using tin snips.

3. Once the foundation of the rink and the ice are both cut to final size, paint the foundation of the rink using white spray paint in a gloss finish.

4. Using red and blue Sharpie markers, create the regulation lines of the hockey rink, making sure to follow your image of a hockey rink for reference.

A helpful tip: As you draw, leave a bit of time in between drawing each line to prevent smearing!

DIY-Hockey-Rink

Use a dashed line to differentiate the red center line from the two solid blue regulation lines; for the red center line, use a yardstick and create dash marks every 1/4″ across the sheeting.

Once you’ve drawn the regulation lines, it’s time to create the four face-off circles and the small face-off circle at center ice. Use whatever you have on hand to create these circles; for instance, L’s Grandpa Steve used the inside circle of a roll of masking tape to create the four larger circles and a kitchen ramekin to draw the smaller face-off circle at center ice!

Finally, you’re ready to draw the two goal lines, including each goal’s cage and crease. Again, be certain to allow the marker ink to dry before you begin drawing another regulation line!

A helpful tip: While the name “center line” implies that the red center line should be located precisely in the middle of the “ice,” the other lines are a bit more tricky to place without doing some math. Thankfully, Grandpa Steve did the math for us, so if you are following the dimensions of our mini hockey rink (i.e. your hockey rink is also approximately 30×13″}, here are a few numbers for you: the goal lines are drawn approximately 2″ from either end of the foundation, and the blue lines are drawn approximately 11″ from either end of the foundation.

5. Now that the “ice” is complete, it’s time to use the remnant of the polyethylene sheeting to create the “glass boards” that go around the outside of the foundation of the rink.

DIY-Hockey-Rink

A helpful tip: Ensure that paint on the foundation of the rink is dry before completing this and all future steps of the building process.

Using the foundation of the rink as a guide, wrap the remaining polyethylene sheeting around the foundation of the rink and cut to the appropriate length and height; for reference, the glass “boards” around L’s hockey rink are 2″ high from the bottom of the foundation of the rink. Once cut, set the sheeting aside.

A helpful tip: Since you want the sheeting to wrap around the entire foundation of the rink, you will likely need to cut two separate pieces of sheeting and overlap them at center “ice”; consider allowing for a 1″ overlap, where the two pieces of sheeting will join on each side of the foundation of the rink.

DIY-Hockey-Rink

6. Secure the “ice” to the foundation with 1/2″ wire nails, using the needlenose pliers to help you to hold the nails in place as you hammer. {NOTE: Since glues or any type of adhesive are unfriendly when it comes to polyethylene sheeting, nails are the best way to go.}

A helpful tip: Ensure that the marker lines that you’ve drawn on the “ice” have completely dried before completing this step in the building process.

A helpful tip: Nail the “ice” the foundation along the edges only, so as to prevent the hockey pucks from hitting or bouncing off of the nails during play.

A helpful tip: After securing the “ice” to the foundation of the rink, if you notice a slight overlap between the foundation and the “ice,” use 80-grit sandpaper and a light touch to lightly sand away the overlap of the two pieces. Take care to ensure that you don’t sand away the white paint on the foundation of the ice!

7. Once the “ice” is in place and the sheeting for the “glass boards” is its final length and height, it’s time to prepare the “glass boards” to be secured to the rink.

First, using a light touch, use 220-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the cut edges along the top and the bottom of the sheeting.

Then, starting approximately 1″ past the center line of the “ice,” work your way around the foundation of the rink, wrapping the sheeting around and securing it to the base of the foundation every few inches with 1/2″ wire nails. Then, secure the seams of the sheeting {the 1″ overlap near center ice} with clear packing tape.

DIY-Hockey-Rink

8. The final steps of the process involve creating the accessories that help the hockey rink to come alive: the nets, the pucks and the sticks!

To create the nets, cut two pieces of 1 1/2″ PVC pipe at an angle to resemble a net.

To create the pucks, cut the 1/2″ dowel in slices measuring approximately 3/16″. Cut as many pucks as you’d like! Sand smooth and spray paint black in a semi-flat finish.

To create the sticks, hand-draw a hockey stick shape {here’s a collection of images to reference!} onto hobby plywood. Using a 5/8″ drill bit, drill a hole in the inside knee of the hockey stick {where the hockey stick bends into an L-shape}. Then, cut away the remaining wood using a bandsaw. Sand smooth and spray paint black in a semi-flat finish.

DIY-Hockey-Rink

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And that’s it! You now have your very own mini hockey rink that will provide you and yours many hours of hockey-filled entertainment :) thanks again to Grandpa Steve for giving our Lionel this amazing gift that he so adores AND for sharing this tutorial with us!

About Sara

Sara works in higher education, but she's most proud of her role as a Mama to two precocious boys, Lionel Conner, age 4, and Quincy August, age 2. In honor of turning 30 in 2016, she pierced her nose to "keep her young." She loves watching guilty-pleasure television, writing about motherhood, decorating her first home, sipping red wine with her husband Jordan, and chasing after her sons.
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