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I got a family heirloom some months ago: an old box full of chess en checkers pieces. Super fun. Only, it didn’t include a board. Bummer! Since you can’t really find boards without pieces lying around on the street and pieces without a board are pretty sad, I decided to make my own damn board from leftover pieces of fabric. Only I never found enough leftover fabric, or it weren’t the right colours, or I got bored, or… It just didn’t happen. Meanwhile those gorgeous pieces are gathering dust and we want to play!

And then someone stole my bike last week. Luckily, we found it a little further down the road, but the hooligans did trash my bike bags. Not such a disaster, they were already starting to disintegrate, but still… Boo! I thought it was a shame to throw away so much waxed cotton. And then I remembered my little chess project. What a silver lining! So I did my thing and tadaaaa: a nice, rollable,  washable, beach and mountainproof chess board! Since I want you to be able to make such a gorgeous piece of loveliness, I made a tutorial.

Step 1:

You will need:

1 busted up bike bag (or something else that gets you enoug fabric to make a board)
1 destitcher (or how do you call it) or little scissors
A piece of cardboard
Scissors
A pen
Sewing thread
Sewing machine

Step 2:

Take your bag apart. I used the dethreaderthingie. You can just as easily rip or cut open your bag, like my boyfriend pointed out when I started nagging about ‘what I had gotten myself into’ , but  you’ll get more pieces to work with if you do it good.
After some hours of hard work, I was left with a mountain of fabric, yards of webbing, some closures and some well hidden velcro.

Wash your dirties. Years of dust, leftover groceries and spilt cola had gunked up in the bags. It had to go. Now let me give you a very good pointer: don’t use bleach! I’m an eco chick, so I usually don’t use this shit, but seeing all the fungus that infested this bag, I got some bleach and I’m sorry! I’m never using this stuff again. Stench, my shirt ruined, itchy hands and eyes and a spotty fabric. Not smart! Long live soap and elbow grease!

Make a template out of some cardboard: a square of 6 x 6cm with a cut out square of 4 x 4 cm in the middle. Use this to make 32 squares of 6 x 6 cm with a drawn in square of 4 x 4 cm to use as a guideline while stitching later on.

Step 3:

Cut the corners off all squares.

Step 4:

Sew the pieces together in a chess board pattern, using the lines.

Step 5:

Fold the flaps on the back open, glue or tape them to the board, cut out a piece of fabric that’s the size of the board you just made (34 x34 cm). Put that on the wrong side of the construction and weigh it down with a book or something. Don’t use Playboy. Not heavy enough. Let it dry.

Trim your outer edge with 3 mm. Now sew the webbing around the edges. Sew two pieces of ribbon with the webbing. You can use them to tie your board up later.

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