My family was big on road trips and games growing up. But unless we were sitting at the table or on the floor, pieces were falling everywhere. So why not make the games out of felt?! Then you can take ’em along wherever you go!
Play on a pillow in the car, on mom’s bed where it’s comfy, or at the doctor’s office.
Throw them in a little drawstring hobo sack and you’ve got a complete game bag (and simple handmade gift)
Today we’ll make a game of Checkers but there are many games you can try:
• Go Fish
• Tic Tac Toe
Let’s get started.
Grab bright felt colors (found at most fabric shops, on the bolt for about $4-5/yard)
Start by cutting your checkerboard pieces. You want the board to be two layers of felt so it’s sturdy. If you plan to place a different game on the opposite side (like Tic Tac Toe)…then the other game can be serves as your second layer. But if you use a light color of felt–like I did with white–you may need two layers of white and then your other game on the back because the white is a bit see-thru.
• (2) checker boards 17 x 17 inches – White
• (32) checker squares 2 x 2 inches – Blue
• (4) binding pieces 17.5 x 1.25 inches – Yellow
• Place one white checker board square aside for later.
• Start arranging squares on the other checker board piece. Start on the diagonal and leave a 1/2 inch border on the four sides.
• Pin the squares in place. Be as liberal or simple as you want with the pinning. The squares stay in place fairly well because they’re felt.
• Starting with the top right corner square, sew them all in place, around each side of each square. I know that sounds tedious but it goes quickly if you work in lines. First sew the right sides of one row of squares, then sew the left sides of the same row, then move to the next row, then turn it and sew the other sides of the rows, etc. Try your best to keep the squares touching but don’t fret if they don’t! Handmade gifts are cool for many reasons…and one is that they don’t look perfect. Gives them some charm.
• When the top checkerboard is done, lay it over the other large white square piece. Pin them together and baste sew them about 1/4 inch from the edge all the way around. Use a rotary cutter to trim any uneven edges.
At this point, you may choose to add a different game to the back. I created a Tic Tac Toe game fairly easily. Then just sew the entire board game to the back of the checker board, as we did above, and we’ll bind it all together.
Each side will be bound separately. So…
• Grab one strip of binding and fold/sandwich it around one side of the board and pin it in place. Do the same for the opposite side.
• Sew the two bindings in place. Just do a topstitch, about 1/8 inch from the binding edge.
• Trim any excess felt so the binding is flush with the board.
• Sandwich the other bindings around the other sides and sew them in place as well.
• When you get to the corners, sew a small line at the corner edge so there aren’t any open spaces.
• Trim any excess felt from the ends.
And your board is done!
Now let’s make some checkers.
• Find something round to trace your circles, like a thread spool that fits the size of the squares.
• You need 12 checkers for each player and each checker is double layered….so trace and cut 24 circles from two different felt colors (48 circles total).
Now let’s add little charms to one side of each checker…so that when players reach the other side of the board, they can say “King me!” or “Queen me!” I chose hearts and stars. You can do whatever you like or even draw with a sharpie marker to make it fast/easy.
• Draw and cut small hearts and stars from felt.
• Sew each charm to one side of the checker pieces. Then place another plain checker on the back and sew around the two circles.
Finish up the project by making a large drawstring bag to hold the game board and a smaller bag for the checker pieces, using the Hobo Sack Tutorial.
Now you’re ready to play anywhere, anytime!
Check out other Simple Handmade Gifts HERE.