Barefoot by the Sea: Ice Rink Tutorial

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ice Rink Tutorial

A few years ago, my husband made a great backyard ice rink.  After taking a couple years off, we decided it was time to get one going again! Several people have emailed and asked how he did it so I thought I'd go straight to the "master carpenter" for the information.  Here's what he did -You'll need
· 2X4’s (2 – 10 Foot and 4 – 8 foot)
· Joining plates (to join 8 foot 2x4’s into 16 foot lengths of the long sides)
· Right angle joining brackets (for the insides of the corners)
· Galvanized roofing nails (big heads but not so long that they poke out through the 2x4’s)
· 1 Sheet of 3 Mill painters plastic (10 foot width, and I think 25 foot length – something like that)
He created the frame by making the long sides – joining them with the plates and putting the right angle brackets on each end.  Then, he laid out the sheet of plastic where the rink was going to be and put the long sides under it, leaving enough slack so he could nail the edge of the sheet to the top of the 2x4 and hang down to the ground .  FYI - Try to leave additional slack for ay corner or side that needed to be propped up to level the rink – this way the plastic won’t pull so hard if it is suspended from the ground with a ton of water in it.)
Next,  he attached the ends.  He had to leave about 4 – 5 inched hanging over the “short” side due to the width of the plastic and the amount of “hang down” it would need – this is why the right angle brackets need to be on the inside of the corners, not the outside (unless you are going to cut off the excess). Then you tack the plastic in place all along the top of the 2X4 “box” you have created with the galvanized nails, about a foot apart, but closer together if water is pooling into one area adding extra weight and stress on the plastic. In some areas on ours, he has the nails spaced only about 4 inches apart.
Then you fill with water. If it is not on absolutely level ground, you may need to prop up a side or corner (he used excess 2x4 scraps) so that water doesn’t fill up one side, while leaving another side “high and dry”.

Then… wait for it to freeze.


  1. Awesome idea! I bet the girls love it :-)

  2. How fun! My husband always talks about one they had like this as kids!! I bet you guys are the most popular yard in the neighborhood!

  3. Cool!!
    We had friends that did this when our boys were little. It was so much fun.
    I am excited to see some ice skating twirl posts. :-))

  4. That is really cool! Hopefully we get to see photos of it in use too.

  5. Your husband is as talented and creative as you are! I should have known :)
    Hope you all have many hours enjoying it!


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