Build Your Dream Ice Rink: How to Make a Backyard Ice Rink

how to make a backyard ice rink

Nothing beats the fun of ice skating, especially during the winter season. If you’re looking to enjoy this winter activity from the comfort of your own backyard, building an ice rink might be the perfect solution for you. Not only is it a cost-effective way to enjoy winter activities at home, but also creating something yourself adds a sense of satisfaction that can’t be beaten. In this article, we will guide you through the process of building a backyard ice rink from planning to maintenance.

Post Summary:

  • Building a backyard ice rink is a fun and cost-effective way to enjoy winter activities at home.
  • DIY ice rinks provide a sense of satisfaction and pride in creating something yourself.

Planning and Preparation: Setting the Foundation

Before you begin building your backyard ice rink, it’s important to plan and prepare properly. Taking the time to set a solid foundation will pay off when it comes to the durability and longevity of your DIY ice rink.

First and foremost, you need to select the right location for your ice rink. Look for a level surface that is free from any bumps, rocks, or tree roots. This will ensure that the ice rink is smooth and safe to skate on. You should also measure the space to determine the size of your ice rink and gather all the necessary materials.

When it comes to the materials, you’ll need to decide on the frame for your ice rink. There are a few different options to choose from, including wood, PVC piping, or metal brackets. Regardless of the material, it’s important to construct a sturdy structure that can withstand the weight of the water and the skaters.

One of the most important aspects of setting the foundation for your ice rink is ensuring that the surface is level. A wavy or uneven surface can lead to problems with the liner and cause water to seep out. Use a level to check that the surface is even and add sand or gravel to level out any bumps.

Additional Tips:

  • Consider surrounding the perimeter of your ice rink with boards or brackets to keep the water contained and skaters safe.
  • If you live in an area with mild winters, you may need to insulate the ground underneath your ice rink to prevent the water from melting.
  • When selecting a liner, make sure it’s at least 6 mil thick and large enough to cover your entire ice rink.

Building the Frame: Creating a Sturdy Structure

Now that you have selected your location and gathered your materials, it’s time to start building the frame of your backyard ice rink. The frame is the backbone of your ice rink and will determine its sturdiness and durability.

You have several options for materials when building your frame, including wood, PVC piping, or metal brackets. Wood is a popular option due to its affordability and ease of use. However, PVC piping is a lightweight and flexible alternative that can be easily assembled and disassembled. Metal brackets offer the strongest support but can be more expensive and difficult to work with. Consider your budget, resources, and skill level when selecting the best option for you.

To construct the frame, start by measuring and marking the perimeter of your ice rink. Then, cut your materials to size and secure them together using screws, brackets, or other fasteners. Make sure to create a level surface by using a spirit level or a laser level. This will ensure that the water will freeze evenly and prevent any leaks or uneven surfaces.

Depending on your preference, you can also add boards or brackets to the top of your frame for added durability and safety. These will prevent skaters from accidentally sliding off the ice rink and keep the edges neat and tidy. Make sure to leave a gap in the boards or brackets for easy entry and exit.

Remember to double-check the measurements and make any necessary adjustments before filling your ice rink with water. Taking the time to build a solid and sturdy frame will ensure that your backyard ice rink lasts for many winters to come.

Installing the Liner: Ensuring a Watertight Seal

Now that you have built a sturdy frame for your backyard ice rink, it’s time to install the liner. This step is crucial to ensuring that the water stays in place and does not leak out, ruining your hard work.

First, choose a liner material that is appropriate for your climate and the size of your rink. A heavy-duty polyethylene liner is a popular choice as it is durable and resistant to tears and punctures.

Tip: Measure your rink carefully before purchasing a liner. You want to ensure that you have enough material to cover the entire surface, with some extra for overlapping and securing to the frame.

Once you have your liner, lay it out flat over the frame with even coverage. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles or folds in the material to avoid potential punctures or tears that could compromise the liner’s integrity.

Next, secure the liner to the frame using clips or another appropriate fastening method. The goal is to create a tight seal that prevents any water from escaping.

Pro Tip: Consider adding an extra layer of protection to your liner by placing sandbags around the perimeter of the rink. This will help to keep the liner in place during windy conditions and can provide additional support to the structure as well.

Finally, check for any leaks or tears in the liner. If you find any, patch them immediately with a liner patch kit to prevent further damage or leaks. With the liner securely in place, you are one step closer to enjoying your very own backyard ice rink.

Filling and Freezing: Creating the Perfect Ice Surface

Now that you have your frame and liner in place, it’s time to fill and freeze your backyard ice rink. The process may take a few days, so be patient and monitor the weather conditions closely.

First, fill the rink with water using a garden hose or sprinkler system. The water should be at least two inches deep, but no more than four inches. If you overfill the rink, the water may spill over the boards and damage the surrounding area.

Once the rink is filled, wait for the water to freeze. The ideal temperature for freezing is between 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above freezing, try to cover the rink with a tarp or blankets to protect it from the sun rays.

Check the rink regularly to make sure the ice is forming properly. If the surface starts to crack or bubble, it may be due to air pockets under the ice. To fix this, drill a hole and pour hot water onto the surface. This will melt the ice and allow it to settle evenly.

Once the ice is completely frozen, remove any snow or debris from the surface using a broom or shovel. To keep the ice smooth, use a scraper or squeegee to remove any bumps or ridges. You can also add additional layers of water to create a thicker ice surface.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully built your own backyard ice rink! Now, it’s time to enjoy the winter wonderland you’ve created. Invite family and friends over for ice skating, hockey games, or just to enjoy the crisp winter air.


Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to get started on building your dream ice rink! With a bit of planning and preparation, you can create a fun and cost-effective way to enjoy winter activities in the comfort of your own backyard.

Remember to prioritize safety and proper maintenance throughout the construction process and beyond. Regular maintenance, such as removing snow and smoothing the ice, will ensure that your ice rink stays in good condition for years to come.

Don’t be afraid to embrace the DIY spirit and enjoy the process of creating something yourself. Building a backyard ice rink can be a rewarding project that you and your family will enjoy for years to come.


Q: Can I build a backyard ice rink by myself?

A: Yes, building a backyard ice rink is a fun and achievable DIY project.

Q: What materials do I need to build a backyard ice rink?

A: You will need frame materials (such as wood or PVC), a liner, and water to fill the rink.

Q: How do I select the right location for my backyard ice rink?

A: Choose a level surface that is free from obstructions and receives adequate sunlight for proper freezing.

Q: How do I ensure a watertight seal for the ice rink?

A: Use a high-quality liner, secure it tightly to the frame, and check for any tears or punctures regularly.

Q: What is the ideal temperature for freezing the ice rink?

A: The ideal temperature for freezing is below freezing point (32°F or 0°C).

Q: How do I maintain the ice surface of my backyard ice rink?

A: Regularly remove snow, smooth the ice with a shovel or ice smoother, and add layers of water if needed.

Q: How can I ensure the safety of my backyard ice rink?

A: Always supervise skating activities, keep the rink clear of obstacles, and ensure the ice is thick enough to support weight.

Q: Are there any additional maintenance tips for my backyard ice rink?

A: Regularly inspect the liner for any damages, repair any tears or punctures promptly, and drain the rink before the temperature rises above freezing.

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