I saw online a story somewhere that made me smile a couple of weeks ago… something about “even after two glasses of his eggnog, Dad could always beat anybody – and quickly, playing with those colorful wooden sticks.”
First we found some fat skewers.
We sharpened the second end, to make it pointed for play.
I was planning on using a paper towel roll for the box, so I had to make sure they weren’t longer than the tube. Whittle them down or cut them if they are, and sharpen them. (Or cut them and the tube down to whatever length you like.)
We painted them with water color paints, and let them dry.
We sealed them with a watered-down modpodge.
For the box, I decided upon cloth over the paper towel tube. If it was just cloth, the points would snag on the cloth, and I wanted them to fall easily into the box.
So I pinned a piece of cloth over the paper towel tube, and sewed it to fit over it.
I knew I wanted flat ends, so I sewed the end square (wrong-side out, of course.)
I fitted the tube into its cloth case, and then made a doubled cap for the end to re-enforce the bottom, so the points of the sticks wouldn’t poke through.
I put glue around the inside of the tube, and tucked the stray material into the tube, finishing the case.
Made a bow for decoration to go around the outside, cutting the ends with pinking sheers.
You can include “Rules of the Game, if you like, on a slip of paper to roll into the tube.
There might be someone on your list who would smile with nostalgia about a game of pick-up sticks.