White Deer family is selling custom Yard Games
A family from White Deer is making affordable yard games to spice up your backyard cookout or family camping trip.
Betty and Joshua Belflower, owners of Expressions by Betty and Bars and Stars Woodwork, work alongside their two daughters to create outdoor-friendly versions of games that are traditionally played indoors. This includes Farkle and Yahtzee (Yardzee).
“We started doing them last summer. We were looking [online] for hobbies or something to do,” Betty said.
“We were already doing camper marking buckets at the time. We put a light in them and I decorated the front of the buckets with vinyl. People would use them at their camping spots as sort of land markers. They are supposed to help with the bugs, too,” she said.
In an effort to find more ways to utilize their crafts and do more than camper marking buckets, the family began looking for ways to make more outdoor-use products.
Betty’s husband, Josh, came across yard games online such as Jenga and Yahtzee, and the Yahtzee games in particular stuck out to them. The family got to work and according to Betty, they have made and sold more than 150 yard game sets since starting.
“My husband cuts the wood for the dice. Then my oldest daughter, Ciara, rounds the edges and sands them. Then my husband seals them/paints them and they come to me. I design the vinyls and my other daughter, Autumn, puts all the decals on the dice. Then my husband gives them their final three sealing coats,” Betty said.
Once a set is finished, it is shipped to the buyer or a pick-up is arranged. Orders have been shipped as far as North Carolina, New Mexico and Colorado. Shipping for a yard game set is $12.
The yard games themselves have been priced affordably for the customer also.
“For the natural set, we charge $35. If they want a special custom design on them, we charge $45,” Belflower said.
“The games come with six dice, so that you can play both games (Farkle and Yardzee). They come with two laminated front-and back score cards for a total of four score cards for each game.”
“It also comes with a permanent marker, because if there are kids or drinking involved, then the numbers get erased with the dry erase markers. The permanent marker stays better and you can just wipe it off with alcohol when you’re done,” she said.
Belflower explained how the sets can be customized.
“Let’s say you chose the Denver Broncos as your theme. On the dice in the number one spot, there would be a Broncos logo and the vinyl on the bucket would match.”
The family project ties their family businesses together as well- Expressions by Betty and Bars and Stars Woodworks.
The family was temporarily living in Dallas last November when Betty started Expressions by Betty, where she makes and sells custom T-shirts, kitchen towels, yard signs, cups (flasks, baby bottles, sippy cups, tumblers, coffee mugs, etc) and more.
“We moved to the Dallas area last year in October [from the Panhandle area], and we hated it. It was expensive and it rained all the time. It could take three or four hours just to go out to eat,” she said.
“Whenever I was down there, I didn’t have anything to do. I had my Cricut and my husband kept telling me I needed to to try to do the cups.”
Belflower said she was nervous about using epoxy for the first time, which is why she had put off trying to make custom cups.
“The epoxy has to be measured just so-so, and you have to have turners. If you don’t get one thing right, the epoxy won’t set. So it’s very intricate work and I was a little afraid to try it.”
“So anyway, I decided to try and do one for my sister-in-law and it turned out really good,” Betty said.
She started making and selling custom cups regularly after that. She moved the business with her back to White Deer and caters to local customers, old customers from the Dallas area and customers from all over the nation who have discovered her work through Facebook.
Her husband Josh’s business, Bars and Stars Woodworks, was started in 2015. He specializes in custom coffee tables and other furniture, gun concealment flags and plaques.
“He made a really cool penny coffee table. He went all over the place to find different-colored pennies. The darker-colored pennies were the darker stripes and the lighter-colored pennies were the white stripes (American Flag design). The stars were the brighter pennies. Then he put epoxy over all of it. It had $28.71 worth of pennies when it was done,” Betty said.
“He also does the regular wall plaques or flags and he does gun concealment flags.”
“They (gun concealment flags) have seven layers of foam in them that can be cut around the shape of the weapon, they can have it however deep in the foam that they want it. Then it’s got one of two magnetic locks that he uses; one is a child-magnetic lock, or there is an upgrade that you can do and it’s called an RFID key and it looks just like a hotel key. You just swipe the card in front of the magnet (only the owner of the flag would know where the magnet is) and it opens the door,” she said.
Betty explained that you could have any part of the flag open up or all of it, depending on what placement you choose.
To order your yard game or for more information about Expressions by Betty or Bars and Stars Woodworks, you can go online and visit their respective Facebook pages.