Thursday, July 26, 2012

Miniature Checkers

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This game board was inspired by a very cute backgammon board I found among my old dollhouse furniture from the seventies. It looks like it took a lot more time than it actually did and you can't tell that most of it is made from cardboard so it is a very rewarding project.

I used white cardboard. I stenciled a 2 inch square onto it but did not cut it out right away.
I drew 7 equal lines down each side to make the checker pattern, and colored in alternate squares using a black permanent marker. I tried to use regular marker pen and colored pencil but the cardboard has a bit of a shine to it and only the permanent marker worked. After I filled in the squares I cut out the board using a razor blade.

To make the game pieces I took black and red fimo (or sculpey) clay and rolled out two tiny tubes. The tubes should be smaller in diameter than your finished game piece will be. I used a razor blade to cut 12 pieces in each color. I cut pieces that were thicker than the ideal game piece, then flattened each one with my finger on a piece of tinfoil. I have had some bad experiences laboring long and hard on a Fimo project and then burning it to a crisp in the oven. These pieces are so incredibly tiny I just put them in the toaster oven, tinfoil on top of a tray, at 225 degrees for 8 minutes.

Next I took a strip of balsa trim that I bought at a craft store. It is 1/4 inch wide. Balsa wood is excellent because you can cut it fairly easily with a razor blade or exacto knife. I cut 2 pieces 2 inches long and glued them to opposite sides of the board. Then I lay the trim across the 3rd and 4th sides and marked with a a pencil where the cut should go. I used the razor blade to cut an angle where the two sides meet.
To finish up I glued a square of green felt to the bottom to hide the bottom.

Finally, I glued the pieces to the board. A more realistic checker board would have some loose pieces on the side that have been captured. I don't think my children will be able to keep track of tiny loose microscopic checkers so I glued everything down.

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