Recently, I made Dora a bowling/skittles set. I purchased unfinished 5” tall bowling pins and a 3” wood ball from Casey’s Wood Products. I intentionally had a large bowling ball/pin ratio as I wanted this to be a game that Dora could be successful at from the beginning. If I want to make it harder, later, I can just space the pins a bit farther away from each other.
As I am still on a “no-plastic and non-toxic” crusade right now, I used non-toxic soy-based paints, which I bought from Dick Blick, to paint the pins and ball. I have also seen these soy paints at several craft stores, sometimes for great prices, sometimes for insane prices, so I recommend shopping around some. The paints dried with a very flat, matte finish, which I was not too happy with. so I polished all the pieces with my handy-dandy Daddy Van’s All Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish (Lavender & Sweet Orange). At first, this left the pieces so oily that I was worried I would have to strip the paint and start all over, but by the next morning, the polish had been absorbed and all that was left was a nice, glossy finish.
Originally, I had planned to paint the pins white with small blue and red stripes, like the pins at bowling alleys look like (or used to look like anyway). Dora decided, however, that she wanted to help me paint the set, so we ended up with the pins being different colors. Since I had only set out red, white, and blue paint, the set looks like I made it for the 4th of July or something. It would be a fun game to play with outside on the 4th…
The only complaint I have with the end result is that the white pins are getting marked by the red and blue pins and ball. So I’d recommend that if you decide to attempt making a similar set, you use colors that are of a similar intensity (i.e. don’t mix dark and light colors).
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