Dartboard surrounds are usually a necessity for any darts player. If you are hanging your dartboard on a wall in your home then no matter how good a player you are there will be times when the odd dart will hit the wall. This can happen when you get a “bounce-out” – in other words – when the dart tip strikes the dartboard wire frame and rebounds off it. When the dart hits the wall you get a hole and over time the number of holes will build up to the point where you will wall won’t look so good any more.
If you want dartboard wall protection you can buy standard dartboard surrounds from all good darts equipment suppliers, or you can buy or make a dartboard cabinet to protect your wall and hide away your board when not in use.
But you can also be creative and make your own dartboard surround. Perhaps you can re-design your wall behind the board and make a real feature of it.
Here’s a list of 11 favorite hand-crafted dartboard surrounds to get you inspired. We love the creativity of these people!
1. Driftwood backboard and shelf
This backboard seen on Etsy is of simple construction using salvaged driftwood.
The planks are cut into uneven lengths which gives it a contemporary “urban” look and we love the fact that a shelf has been added at the bottom which is very handy for resting spare darts, scoring cards etc.
Over time the planks will pick up holes as stray darts hit them but that will just add to the appeal of the wood, which is already in an aged and distressed state.
This is a very easy dart backboard to make. You just need to find some old wood, treat it and sand it down. Cut it to size and join the planks then attach the shelf. You can varnish the wood of stain it if you like. If you can’t lay your hands on some old wood then what about maybe some old flooring boards, or even some spare wood laminate flooring boards? If all else fails it shouldn’t cost too much to pick up a few planks of wood at a local store such as Home Depot.
One hack we thought of is to drill small holes in the top of shelf. You can then store spare sets of darts by poking them down through vertically with the top downwards and the dart barrels resting on the shelf surface. Stored in this way they are sure not to fall off as a result of the vibration when darts are thrown at the board. You could also drill another one or two larger holes and insert cups into these (using the protruding lips of the cup mouths to hold them in place). Even if you don’t do any of that this driftwood dartboard backboard is beautiful as it is.
This backboard seen on Etsy is of simple construction using salvaged driftwood.
2. Cable reel backboard
A beautifully-crafted wooden “wheel” supports this dartboard. If you are thinking that cutting planks of wood to make a perfect circle might be too difficult then don’t worry, the circular board is actually taken from an old industrial cable reel which has been salvaged.
The planks are sanded and treated to produce a nice aged and stained effect. You can also hang a light above the board if you wish for a very cool look. With the dartboard mounted on the front the whole structure is attached to the wall using a heavy duty bracket. It will weigh a lot, so make sure your wall can support it. Check out Naptime Decorator for how to make this backboard.
3. Wooden board with LED lighting
The word “cool” has just gone up another notch with this wood dartboard backboard with LED lighting, made from reclaimed wood from a barn which has been buffed, polished, treated and stained.
The LED light strip is attached to a recess around the wood frame which hides the light fitting and allows the LED glow to project on to the board surface.
Using automatic colour-changing LED lights may be too distracting when you are playing darts but you can always go for lights that will change colour at the touch of a button.
We found this for sale at Kijiji Canada and was being sold as a custom piece. Use it as inspiration for your own version!
4. Dartboard wall
Why not go the whole way and cover the entire wall? This idea from underworking.net shows a wall clad entirely in reclaimed pallet wood planks.
The planks are sanded but left fairly natural – there is no treating or staining here – which gives an urban feel and would sit right at home in loft apartment or basement “man cave”.
Since the planks are rough and ready any damage to them by the odd stray dart will not make a great deal of difference, if anything it will just add to the shabby chic appeal. Notice the shelf sitting below the board which carries several sets of darts. This dartboard wall looks the business with a spotlight shining from above which brings out the colours of the electronic dartboard.
5. Free-standing pallet wood backboard
This is a near idea. If you don’t like the idea of a fixed dartboard to the wall, why not attach it to a mini wall that you can move around?
That’s what the designer of this backboard decided to do (image credit) and I’d say it works a treat. Planks of reclaimed pallet wood are attached to some strong battens and the whole structure is free-standing, allowing it to be moved around into position. It can probably be moved into different rooms too. No doubt it’s quite heavy, but not too heavy to move about. The board will just prop against the wall.
One downside I can see is that because the board is leaning back against the wall the dartboard may not be on a vertical line and not at a perfect right-angle with the thrower, but there are probably some solutions to this. Attaching the board at the top to hold it steady may be one of them. Interested in this idea? Maybe you can make the backboard reversible. What would you put on the back?
6. Framed cork dartboard background
This is another freestanding mount and background for a dartboard, but it could also be fixed to a wall.
This surround is made up from lots of corks which are set on a board in a mosaic style pattern. Corks are ideal to use because they will absorb the impact of a dart when it strikes and the dart is unlikely to bounce out very far, if it bounces out at all.
The board is finished with a neat frame which is painted to match whatever colour scheme you have. It doesn’t have to be a free-standing board of course, but whatever you do you need to make sure it is at the correct height when you throw (centre of board 5 foot 8 inches (173 cm) high for standing darts thrower, or 4 foot 5 inches (137 cm) high for a seated darts thrower (see Darts rules and distances)
7. Framed felt dartboard surround
An expensive custom design found on Etsy, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t give this a go at making it for yourself.
The basic structure of the surround is a black wooden frame lined with red felt. That’s pretty much it. The frame will need to be strong of course so make sure your joins at the corners are good and you will need some strong brackets at the back because with the added weight of the dartboard it will be heavy.
The addition of a picture light is a neat touch and of course the frame and felt can be any colours you like to suit the room you want to put it in. The lower part of the frame has been pre-drilled with small holes for storing darts which is another optional extra you might want to do.
All in all, this is a classy and professional-looking dartboard surround and would be ideal hanging in a games room.
8. Rope dartboard surround
Do you have some old rope lying around? This is an excellent way of re-using old materials. If you can get the rope for free the whole project will cost you only a few dollars for sure.
Unravel the rope along the ground and coil it up to make sure that the circle it makes is going to be a big enough area for the dartboard and around it. You won’t want it too small.
I’d suggest unravelling the rope again and then gluing it all along one side with suitable glue for holding sisal fibers together. There will be plenty of options out there. Once the coil is set you could attach this to a backboard, which could be a smaller size that the coil so that it won’t show on the wall. The backboard will just support the coil and give you something to mount the structure with. You could use another of those cable reelsif you wanted to completely support the coil from behind (see Cable Reel Backboard above)
9. Cork flooring dartboard surround
Another home-made option, found at Lumberjocks, this dartboard surround has been constructed using cork floor tiles.
The cork is cut to size and glued to a backboard of plywood. You could leave it there if you wanted to, but it certainly does add some extra visual appeal by attaching attractive wood mouldings around the outside of the frame, with thicker pieces at the top and bottom. As with many other dartboard surrounds and cabinets a lower shelf has been incorporated to hang your darts on.
This makes a neat solution using cheap materials – some of which you may already have laying around.
10. Flowerpot dartboard surround
So where do you start with this? Yes, you can play darts outdoors if it is dry and not too breezy so if you are outside there is no chance of any real damage occurring. This is an inspiring free-standing unit holding a dartboard in the air – presumably at the correct regulation dartboard height!
The structure is mounted in a large wooden planter and supported at the middle by a vertical plank, upon which is mounted the dartboard. If you are going to try making this then I would suggest using a very strong and rigid plank. You won’t want the dartboard to move around in any way as the darts hit it.
This is a rudimentary structure and there is nothing too glamorous about it, but you can make it exactly how you want it to be. The backboard can be neater and you can mount some trim around it if you wanted to. What about some plants and flowers in the planter too? The beauty of this idea is that it is fairly portable and you could probably move it indoors too. Its stability is governed by its weight so it may not be that easy to move, but why not give this a go!
11. Old door dartboard surround
If you are very short of time and materials then sometimes the simplest things will do. Old doors are very easy to come by as people throw these out routinely when they replace them, so why not pick up an old door at a scrapyard and see what you can do with it?
In this example an old door has been re-purposed by removing the handles and hinges and mounting it on to a wall. The dartboard is simply fixed onto the door at the correct height. The door as you can see is rough and ready which gives it that “urban” look, but why not smarten it up a bit?
If you have a brick or stone wall then you might be thinking this is OK and that no protection is needed from the darts. However, if a dart is thrown at very hard surfaces such as stone or brick this will damage the dart tip very easily because the tip will take the full force of the impact before the dart falls to the floor, so without the wooden protection you will be replacing your darts a lot more often.
If you don’t have an old door to hand then some planks will do equally well. Just connect them together to form a single unit and then fix that to the wall.