My buddy John helped me with this one. Thanks, bro!
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
A hammer or mallet
Razor blades/utility knife
1/2 inch round punch(feel free to try different sizes and shapes)
Letter & number punch set (or some way to mark pieces)
Leather edge beveler
Small paint brushes
Pen and sharpie marker
2 pieces of differently colored leather scraps, about the size of your hand.
1 piece of leather that you can get an eight inch square from
Acrylic paints in various colors, I used black white and dark yellow. Your leather colors will affect your pallet choices.
Step 2: Punch Pieces
Step 3: Add Piece Markings!
& for King(1 of each color)
Q for Queen(1 of each color)
B for Bishop(2 of each color)
K for Knight(2 of each color)
R for Rook(2 of each color)
P for Pawn(8 of each color)
We used K for Knight and "&" for King because we didn't want to confuse pieces. We had thought about using k for both then adding a secondary marking for the King, but decided to make the King stand out by making him the only non alphabet piece.
Step 4: Add Some Flair! or Don't...
We did try using some rub n buff type paste on the stamps to get the letters to show, but that didn't work. I mean, there was silver in the letters, but also on the rest of the leather, the tool, my hands... If you find a way to make it work let me know.
Step 5: Add a Little Color
Step 6: Make a Big Square!
To make the Chess board, use "Math and other Dark Arts" to determine how big you want your board to be. I used a1/2 punch for my pieces, so I drew a 3/4 inch square and a 1 inch square on a piece of paper and dropped in a couple of pieces. I preferred the look of the 3/4 inch square.
I then went into a deep trance and spoke with the spirits and they told me that the play field would need to be 6 inches across(8*0.75=6). I then added 2 inches for a 1 inch boarder on each side. So I needed a square piece of leather 8 inches wide in each direction.
I grabbed a razor knife and a metal ruler and started by trimming one edge of my large leather piece into a straight line. I then used the ruler to measure 8 inches from my straight edge in two spots, marking them with a pen. I used my ruler to draw a line between the two points, double checked it was 8 inches from the straight edge, then cut along that line using a ruler as a straight line guide, and a razor knife.
I then used a speed square to make a line perpendicular to one of my freshly cut edges, using my ruler to make it 8 inches long. I cut along that line to make a third straight edge, then repeated the steps to get a parallel line eight inches away. I made the final cut and now had a square of leather 8 inches on each side.
Step 7: Make 64 Much Smaller Squares!
So many squares!
Step 8: Breathing Room
Step 9: Add Some More Color
I had used painters tape on the edge to protect the boarder, and I should have done the same to the board, but I'm lazy and impatient sometimes.
Learn from my failures.
After the paint dried I used a sharpie to go along the grooves and make the edges of the squares a little more well defined. Chess board achieved!
Step 10: Tada! Chess Set!
Thanks for reading!