Painted Pickup Sticks

It is always fun to play a game together with friends of family, but it is so much better when you can make it yourself. With painted pickup sticks you can have fun making the game, and then playing it too. With just a few household crafting items you can make this fun craft and enjoy it for a long while.



  • Wooden BBQ skewers (approx 50)
  • Paint and brushes
  • Tape

Step 1. First pick out how many sticks you want to use for your game. Usually the game calls for 41, but when making painted pickup sticks you get to decide just how many you want to do. Pick ones that are straight and that won’t give you slivers.


Step 2. Now all you do is paint your sticks. There are a number of ways you can choose to do this, but for about half of the sticks you will just paint them as solid. For this set there are 10 solid white, 10 solid black, 5 solid pink, and 5 solid blue. Then, for the bonus sticks there is one solid silver and one solid gold in this bunch.


Step 3. Now, with the remaining sticks you can choose to paint patterns. To do stripes you will first paint the whole stick with one colour like white, and let it dry. Then you can tape off your stripes and paint them with a contrasting colour. Note: your sticks need to be very dry otherwise the tape will peel off some paint. For this batch there are 5 striped sticks.


Step  4. Another way to paint the sticks is just doing abstract. Use all the colours all at once, blending and swirling them together as you paint. Again, for this batch there are 5 multi-coloured sticks.


Step 5. Let all your pickup sticks dry before putting the whole batch together to play. You can find the rules online or play by your own rules, because now these painted pickup sticks are all your own!


Personalise the Craft

Painted the sticks in different colours can be a fun way to change the craft. You can do camouflage colours, girly colours, or different types of patterns. Another way to personalise the painted pickup sticks is the packaging you choose. You can easily store them in an empty glass jar, or you can decorate an envelope or even make your own envelope out of wax paper. Once your painted pickup sticks are package be sure to write down the rules. Different sticks can be worth a different number of points if you like. Then, when finished you can keep the game for your family, or gift it to someone else, personalising it with their name.