Introduction: Leather Chessboard

Picture of Leather Chessboard

How to make your own leather Chessboard (pieces not included :)

You will need...

1 Large piece of leather (size depends on what size chessboard you wish to make)

1 Piece of wood the size of your chessboard

2 different leather dyes

Leather sheen (to waterproof)



swivel knife (optional)

Leather modelling spoon and stylus (optional)


Step 1: Measuring and Cutting

Picture of Measuring and Cutting

Measure your leather to what size you want. I made mine 29 cm x 29 cm, allowing 3 cm per square, 8 squares by 8 squares, the extra 5 cm was to allow attachment to the wooden board.

After you've cut out your leather, you need to measure the depth of your wooden base board, and then cut a square of that measurement out of each corner of the leather - see second picture.

Step 2: Marking

Picture of Marking

Using a ruler and stylus or pencil, mark out a border around the edge of the leather, and then mark out the squares.

Sorry, the picture doesn't show it very well :-/

Step 3: Dyeing

Picture of Dyeing

Now its time to start dyeing the leather, using a paint brush go through and neatly paint every first and third square in the first row, and then every second square in the second row, keep alternating between first and third and second, until you have the effect pictured, then paint the blank squares and the edge a different colour.

After its dried coat it with come leather water proofer.

Step 4: Nailing

Picture of Nailing

Now you need to nail the leather to the wooden base board, make sure your board is the right size, so that you can nail the tabs around the edge as shown in the photos, and make sure you pull the leather tightly, so that the playing surface is flat.

Step 5: Finished!!!

Picture of Finished!!!

Now your leather chessboard is finished!!! Happy playing!


bigdaddycole (author)2016-11-01

I really like this idea! I am thinking of making something similar.How did you keep the dye from bleeding into the lighter squares? I thought that the leather would wick dye along the grain. What kind of dye did you use?

Janssen1998 (author)bigdaddycole2016-11-01

Thank you. I think the dye I used was Fiebing's from Tandy Leather. I didn't really have a problem with it bleeding, this may have been because I marked out each square first?

TheGeekPub (author)2015-10-28

Love this!

Kuledoode (author)2015-10-27

What about the waterproofing? I will try this method for a backgammon board. Stay tuned ?

Janssen1998 (author)Kuledoode2015-10-27

Sorry I forgot to include that.....I just coated it with some leather water-proofer, and I guess that should work?

mossyscoop (author)2015-10-25


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-10-25

Very nice looking chess board.

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