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Memory Game

Want to enjoy a memorable night with the family? It's easy with this DIY twist on the classic memory-test game.

Memory game

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Sanding pad with medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Drill with 3/8" bit
  • Tape measure


  • 2 3/8" x 48" dowel rods (#19380)
  • 2 1/4" x 6" x 4' poplar boards (#1228)
  • 3/8" x 6" x 36" select pine board (#50244)
  • Loctite spray adhesive, 11 ounces (#275900)
  • Valspar spray paint, 12 ounces, Gloss Berry
  • Titebond Original wood glue, 8 ounces (#86091)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

From 1/4" x 6" poplar boards (actually 5-1/2" wide), cut 24 4"-long game pieces. From the 3/8" x 6" pine board, cut one 7"-long piece to form the base. Sand all pieces with medium- and then fine-grit sandpaper.

Good to Know

Instead of measuring each game piece to be cut, add a stop block to your miter saw or table saw 4" from the blade so all the pieces are of equal length.

Step 2

Cut the dowels to make eight pieces 6-1/2" long. Drill eight 3/8" holes 1/4" deep in the base where shown. Place a couple drops of glue in each hole and insert the dowels.

Step 3

Spray two coats of paint on the entire holder and on one face and the edges of each game piece. Sand lightly between coats.

Step 4

Print two copies each of 12 pictures that can be trimmed slightly smaller than 4" x 5-1/2". Spray adhesive on the non-painted side of each game piece and attach a picture.

Step 5

Memory game with photographs and holder

How to play the game: Shuffle the 24 game pieces to mix up the pictures, and arrange them picture-side down in a grid on a tabletop. Each player turns over two pieces. If there's no match, turn both upside down again while remembering the images and their locations. Remaining players do the same until someone finds a match and collects those two pieces. The player with the most matches wins.