Garden Chess Board





Introduction: Garden Chess Board

I wanted to teach my kiddos to play chess, and we had an empty corner in our small garden.

We also wanted them to spend as much time outside as possible. Therefore a large chess board outside seemed to be a good idea.

The whole thing is 1m x 1m big (3.28 feet x 3.28 feet) and is made from concrete pavement blocks.

Time estimate: 8 work hours, this is a one day/weekend project.

Cost estimate: ~40$

It is a simple project requiring only basic tools and a bit of patience.

Step 1: Materials Used

Materials used:

1x a bag of cement (20 kilos) for making concrete - used only 1/4th of the bag though.

4x concrete pavement side blocks, 1 meter length each.

64 + 6 concrete paving blocks (6 extra just to be sure)

1 x bag of granite gravel.

Sand came free.

Tools used:


Spirit level

A piece of wood for compacting soil/sand.

Couple of buckets

A wheelbarrow

Step 2: Making of the Chess Board

Step 1: Preparations

We cleared the area of small pebbles and laid a plastic cloth of digged dirt.

Got everything we neede, prepared the dry cement mix (1 part cement, 4.5 parts sand)

Step 2: The hole

Dig a hole in the ground :)Keep it square and a bit larger than an actual board size.

Once you're done, grab a heavy blunt thing and compact the soil below.

Sink in the side slabs and check that they are level.

Once all 4 sides are in place and level, add some gravel on the bottom for better drainage. Compact it again.

Step 3: Fill the hole up

Fill the hole with sand in thin layers. Re-compact the sand after every inch or so.

Check the height using an actual brick.

I found it was good to water the sand a little bit in the process.

Step 3: Finishing

At the end, once the ground is nice and level, lay the bricks one by one.

Start with a black one at the bottom left corner.

I used a small wooden brick to gently tap the concrete bricks in place.

At the end there was a tiny 0.5 inch gap on one side, so I filled it with left over concrete.

For the finishing, we added some fine sand which filled all the tiny gaps.

We also painted the black tiles some more so they are more visible.

I'll update this instructable with my play pieces later on.

Step 4: Checkers Play Pieces

Just finished and painted play pieces for checkers. Chess pieces in the making.

3 inches x 3 inches each, corners removed. Pine wood, 1 inch thick.


  • Thanks for posting t...-Marsh

    Marsh made it!


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Looking forward to building this for our grandchildren. Have you completed your chess pieces? Would love to see your chosen style and construction method.

Personally, I like the black and white pieces. Would love to do this in tile for a living room table and red wouldn't fit my color scheme. PS: the colors fit the chess color theme and your sets will match. Have you considered an outdoor storage "box" to hold the pieces? I'd want one that could double as a seat.

Maybe try small tiles instead of brick pavers

Avon chess pieces can be found at yard sales or even whole sets on ebay

jkitchin - that is one good site! I'm tempted to buy some of their plastic ones. Although shipping and customs costs cools me off a bit.

thanks for pointing in the right direction - never knew such things existed at all.

Checkers ready for paint. I'm really looking forward to your chess pieces.


These look perfectly suitable. So... who's winning?

awesome idea. how big are the bricks for the checkerboard. where can u get these..maybe online somewhere?